Posted in 16th Century Reviews

review: To Serve a King

To Serve a King by Donna Russo Morin Morin’s newest femme fatale, Genevieve Gravois, is sent to the court of Francois I as a spy and assassin. Brought up from a young age to honor and serve England’s King Henry VIII, Genevieve believes the story imbibed in her that the French king is responsible for her parents’ death. With pure hatred in her heart, Genevieve learns much in her early years of espionage and cruelty. Genevieve begins the path to what she believes is her destiny as one of the ladies of the king’s mistress, Anne de Pisseleu d’Heilly. From this position—the absolute closest she can get to the king—she is able to glean information to send abroad to King Henry and form a plan…

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Posted in 17th Century Reviews

review: The Secret of the Glass

The Secret of the Glass by Donna Russo Morin With elegant prose and alluring style, Donna Russo Morin brings 17th century Venice gloriously to life! Based on a glassmaker’s daughter and the invention of the telescope by Galileo Galilei, the story is both a tale of a young woman’s plight when faced with an arranged marriage and a retelling of the birth of modern science. Venetian glass has been the one of the most sought-after luxuries for centuries, and for good reason — only the glassmakers on the island of Murano knew the secret formulas and methods of creating the exquisite works of art. For this they were forced by the Venetian government to guard the secret, even on pain of death. Sophia, the premier…

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Posted in 16th Century Reviews

review: The King’s Agent

The King’s Agent by Donna Russo Morin Blending fact and fantasy, this fast-paced novel–which can only be described as an articulate historical adventure–Donna Russo Morin brings to life a real historical figure, Battista della Palla. Serving his beloved Florence’s political interests, Battista works as an art dealer for France’s King Francois I. He readily bargains and bribes to collect sought after pieces, but is not above thievery if necessary. The ultimate task the King sets him to—unearthing a secret and powerful triptych—proves to be his greatest conquest yet, and the most dangerous. With paintings as clues, and the words of Dante as guide, Battista and his band of loyal men find themselves at a villa where the smart and adventurous Lady Aurelia joins in their…

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Posted in 17th Century Reviews

review: The Courtier’s Secret

The Courtier’s Secret by Donna Russo Morin Jeanne du Bois is the daughter of a minor noble in the court of Louis XIV. Fresh from convent school, she feels very out of place among the sycophants of Versailles. Her father, always scheming to find a way to further his position, plans to use Jeanne as a marriage pawn no matter her own inclinations. Jeanne is determined to have a life of her making, even if she must do so in disguise, and begins a secret life. Dressed as a man she joins the king’s elite group of musketeers, and her adventures lead her on the trail of a plot to murder the queen. The best thing about this book is the detailed descriptions of the…

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