Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: Daughter of Siena by Marina Fiorato

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: John Murray,2011

Passion and intrigue!

Siena, 1723 ........once a republic the city is governed by the widow of one of the last of the great Medici family, Duchess Violante Beatrix, but there is intrigue and treachery brewing as several contrade leaders plot to overthrow her and restore the Council of Nine.

Siena is unique in its division into seventeen contrade , or areas, each with its own bright colours and shields and twice a year the rivalry between them reaches a peak with the running of the.........

The Palio
Siena's famously dangerous and hard-fought horse race . This vibrant and exciting setting provides the background for the story of Pia, daughter of the leader of the Civetta contrade. To consolidate his position with the plotters her father has arranged her marriage to the son of the head of the powerful Eagle contrade , a violent young man she loathes. As she takes her place to watch the Palio she prays for something to save her from her fate. And then into the piazza rides an unknown horseman............

The Daughter of Siena is one of those books that falls midway between serious historical fiction and historical romance and a perfect choice for a quiet wet weekend's entertainment. I loved the history - of Siena , the Duchess Violante, the Palio and the horses and when you add romance and dastardly plots to the mix the result is a book with never a dull moment.
Enjoyed it immensely!

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