Portrait of Conspiracy (Da Vinci’s Disciples 1)
by Donna Russo Morin
One murder ignites the powderkeg that threatens to consume the Medici’s Florence. Amidst the chaos, five women and one legendary artist weave together a plot that could bring peace, or get them all killed. Seeking to wrest power from the Medici family in 15th Century Florence, members of the Pazzi family drew their blades in a church and slew Giuliano. But Lorenzo de Medici survives, and seeks revenge on everyone involved, plunging the city into a murderous chaos that takes dozens of lives. Bodies are dragged through the streets, and no one is safe. Five women steal away to a church to ply their craft in secret. Viviana, Fiammetta, Isabetta, Natasia, and Mattea are painters, not allowed to be public with their skill, but freed from the restrictions in their lives by their art. When a sixth member of their group, Lapaccia, goes missing, and is rumored to have stolen a much sought after painting as she vanished, the women must venture out into the dangerous streets to find their friend and see her safe. They will have help from one of the most renowned painters of their era the peaceful and kind Leonardo Da Vinci. It is under his tutelage that they will flourish as artists, and with his access that they will infiltrate some of the highest, most secretive places in Florence, unraveling one conspiracy as they build another in its place. Historical fiction at its finest, Donna Russo Morin begins a series of Da Vinci’s disciples with a novel both vibrant and absorbing, perfect for the readers of Sarah Dunant.
“A riveting page-turner unlike any historical novel youíve read, weaving passion, adventure, artistic rebirth, and consequences of ambition into the first of a trilogy by a masterful writer at the peak of her craft.” -C. W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine deí Medici and The Vatican Princess
The book follows 5 women who want to be artists in a time when it was impossible. One of their friends goes missing and when Giuliano de Medici has been murdered the city goes into chaos. Then women get help from Leonardo Da Vinci, trying to find their friend.
I really loved this book and it was hard to put down. I just wanted to know what happens next!
The women all have different kind of lives with their secrets but their love of arts unites them. I loved that while Leonardo Da Vinci is there he’s still a minor character and the women have the center stage.
The book is told by various points of views but it was easy to follow.
I’m glad this is part of a series and I can’t wait for the next book and learn more about these women!
Published: Kensington (April 26, 2016)
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Donna Russo Morin is the award winning of author of historical fiction. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, she lives near the shore with her two sons, Devon and Dylan, her greatest works in progress.
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