Benvenuto Cellini, master artisan of Renaissance Italy, once crafted a beautiful amulet prized for its unimaginable power - and untold menace. Now the quest to recover this legendary artifact depends upon one man: David Franco, a brilliant but skeptical young scholar at Chicago's world-renowned Newberry Library. What begins as a simple investigation spirals into a tale of dangerous intrigue as Franco races from the châteaux of France to the palazzos of Rome in a desperate search for the ultimate treasure and an answer to a riddle that has puzzled mankind since the beginning of time. Aided by a beautiful young Florentine harboring dark secrets, pursued by deadly assassins, and battling demons of his own, Franco must ultimately confront an evil greater than anything conjured in his worst nightmares.
©2011 Robert Masello (P)2016 Tantor
"Great writing and rich detail combine for a gripping read." (Kirkus)
This is the second book I've listened to by Robert Masello, another great historical fiction book like his other book, The Romanof Cross. I enjoyed both books and couldn't stop listening until they were done. This is a great book that goes from back in Italy around the 1500's to present day. I've been to Florence Italy so many of the artwork pieces they mention in the book, I've seen. A fun listen , however there are many swear words , so not for teens or younger children.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
I am not a fan of this book. In my mind, it cannot be called either a "thriller" or a "mystery." I was not expecting the entire plot to rely so heavily on the occult.
This is a violent, occult fantasy. Nothing wrong with that, but I wanted a lot more history and a lot more mystery. If you like the occult and don't mind that it isn't particularly well-written, this might be worth your time, but I still don't think anyone will find it very memorable. Just be sure you know what you are getting if you choose to invest in this.
Yes! It has wonderful characters that are endearing (except for the evil ones, this isn't a children's story) and isn't a storyline I've heard before.
My only real complaints are the repeated information, and there was way too much time spent on David's sisters illness (which didn't add to the storyline once we knew that it was a motivating issue for David). After about the 7th chapter, random information is repeated until the end. It felt like the author wrote a chapter here, and another at a different time; out of sequence, so bits of information is repeated to the end. This is annoying and distracting because it happens way too much for a book this size. I mean jez, you don't think we can remember key facts about the artist life, or unusual encounters?
That said the story is magical, and the ending very satisfying and that's why the higher overall score
I am not sure it was his issue or the editing company, but there are only brief pauses between chapters (meaning timelines, characters, etc. run together), so it is very hard to follow if you don't have a book. Because it jumps timelines (500 years, and everything in-between), and there are a lot of characters and a few name changes, combined with the perspective in which the story is told, made listening difficult.
What a fascinating suspenseful story...I never wanted to stop listening. The narrator had such a great command of the French and German languages that it increased the impact of the story! The plot was exciting and every twist and turn was so well done I loved the juxtaposition of the story as it switched from past to present.
I read the comments on this book and decided to take it and it was a great idea this book is wonderful! It was full of action and very nice surprises! You like Dan Brown books this one is even better I recommend this book!
This is definitely a book that you must pay attention to and not try to multitask. I listen to audiobooks all the time while I work and generally have no problem being able to function and still get the storyline. It took me quite a while to figure out the cast of characters and I even backed up several chapters so I could figure out what I missed. Not bad but I have heard better.
At the risk of seeming hypercritical, I honestly do not understand how anyone could not foresee the purpose of each chapter within reading the first few lines. I kept listening, waiting for the characters and plot other listeners seem to have enjoyed to kick in, but they never did. Maybe you'll agree with the majority, but be forewarned. This is predictable trope read in the standard voices.
Case in point in chapter 3 – seriously, the sister had to serve meatloaf? This is the 21st century. She couldn't throw mahi-mahi fillets in the oven and maybe serve them with a balsamic vinaigrette reduction she'd whipped up with three ingredients in the microwave?
Similarly, note to author – college professors don't wear worn corduroy and stuff their faces with Swedish meatballs and cheese puffs after research presentations.
If this is your thing, I apologize for denigrating what you enjoy. But if you're looking for something up-to-date, fast-paced, and smart, ...
A bit slow at points, especially at the beginning...I started a few times before getting through it. Overall good story with some interesting twists.
The story was great with flashbacks from present day to renaissance Italy - nicely done. It's part mystery, part family drama, part mythology and some fantasy. But what really makes this Audible great is David Colacci - the narrator. He seems to have a mastery of multiple languages - Italian, French, German and even Latin. All are used with ease and translated for us by him. But all are an integral parts of the story and make it so listenable. I really enjoyed this novel.
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