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Publisher's Summary

In 1314, 17-year-old Pietro Alighieri travels to Verona with his father, the infamous poet Dante, at the invitation of its leader, the legendary Francesco "Cangrande" della Scala. A sneak attack from Padua leads Pietro into his first battle, fighting alongside the charismatic Cangrande, and into a tight friendship with Mariotto Montecchio and Antonio Capulletto. Behind the scenes, repeated attempts are made against the life of a child believed to be Cangrande's illegitimate son and possible heir.

Pietro is drawn into a web of intrigue around the child and the tension building between Mariotto and Antonio over a woman betrothed to one and in love with the other - a situation that will sever a friendship, divide a city, and ultimately lead to the events of the best known tragic romance in the world.

Inspired by the plays of Shakespeare, the poetry of Dante, and the events of history, The Master of Verona is a compelling novel of politics, loyalty, conspiracy, and star-crossed romance.

©2007 David Blixt (P)2017 David Blixt

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  • Isabelle F
  • 08-03-18

An excellent piece of historical fiction

I really enjoyed listening to this book, having read the entire four part series a few years ago. The story is set in 14th century Verona and follows the various intrigues that involve the ruling Della Scala family. War, honor, romance, politics and drama are all central to the story and the author paints a truly immersive vision of medieval Europe. As the book evolves one begins to slowly recognize familiar characters and references that are slowly teased out, as the delicate draping of a Shakespearean narrative is revealed.

The author, who also narrates the audio version, has clearly undertaken extensive research and not only delivers the historical atmosphere of the era through real events, but also delivers it with a turn of phrase that truly captures how one would imagine such interactions taking place in that setting. The strength of these interactions is built upon very strong dialogue, which is delivered with great skill. He also dips into an encyclopedic knowledge of artifacts, objects and costumes of the time, and shows a particularly strong understanding of medieval armory, references to which are always delivered subtlety and not merely for their own sake.

The delivery of the narrative, as delivered through the audio, is strong and well paced. The narrator has a wide variety of voices which remain consistent through out. He delivers the emotion of the characters very well and it is obvious that he has a deep understanding of his work.

I really enjoyed listening to this book and returned to it, in its entirety, after the first listen. I am looking forward to future recordings from this author/narrator and highly recommend it to all readers/listeners.