Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Red Lily Crown by Elizabeth Loupas

Book Summary

Elizabeth Loupas returns with her most ambitious historical novel yet, a story of intrigue, passion, and murder in the Medici Court...

April, 1574, Florence, Italy. Grand Duke Cosimo de’ Medici lies dying. The city is paralyzed with dread, for the next man to wear the red lily crown will be Prince Francesco: despotic, dangerous, and obsessed with alchemy.

Chiara Nerini, the troubled daughter of an anti-Medici bookseller, sets out to save her starving family by selling her dead father’s rare alchemical equipment to the prince. Instead she is trapped in his household—imprisoned and forcibly initiated as a virgin acolyte in Francesco’s quest for power and immortality. Undaunted, she seizes her chance to pursue undreamed-of power of her own.

Witness to sensuous intrigues and brutal murder plots, Chiara seeks a safe path through the labyrinth of Medici tyranny and deception. Beside her walks the prince’s mysterious English alchemist Ruanno, her friend and teacher, driven by his own dark goals. Can Chiara trust him to keep her secrets…even to love her…or will he prove to be her most treacherous enemy of all?

My Review

In The Red Lily Crown, author Elizabeth Loupas takes us to 16th century Florence in a tale of intrigue and suspense. The main character is Chiara, a feisty child of the streets who comes under the notice of the Medici duke who takes her into his home as a virgin assistant for his alchemy experiments. Swept into a world of wealth, poor Chiara soon finds herself surrounded by murder plots, cruelty, violence, poisonings, addictions, and revenge killings. The plot is a constant wave of twists and turns, exciting, and gripping. throughout the book, the author has a tendency to continual repeat long phrases and partial scenes that sadly slowed the pace and became annoying by the end of the book. Other than that, the book was fabulous to read, well researched, and with a very strong Italian flair. Definitely recommended... 

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