The King’s Agent by Donna Russo Morin
As the cloistered ward of the Marquess of Mantua, Lady Aurelia is a woman with a profound duty, and a longing for adventure. In search of a relic intended for the King of France, Battista and Aurelia cross the breathtaking landscape of Renaissance Italy. Clues hide in great works of art, political forces collide, secret societies and enemies abound, and danger lurks in every challenge, those that mirror the passages of Dante’s Divine Comedy. It is an adventurous quest with undercurrents of the supernatural, powers that could change the balance of supremacy throughout Europe. (Goodreads)
Battista della Palla is an art collector, or a thief, for the king of France. His job is to collect valuable paintings and sculptures for the king. He is in a mission to find a mysterious sculpture which is believed to have special powers when he meets mysterious woman named Aurelia. Aurelia has been living as a ward of Marquess of Mantua and her life has been very sheltered but she is a woman with secrets.
Before I started this book I thought this would be straight-forward historical fiction and not so much a mystery book with the quest of finding the sculpture. I haven’t read much about Italy and I enjoyed learning more about the country. The book is a take of Dante’s Inferno and video game The Legend of Zelda and I’m not familiar with either of them and I felt like I was missing way too much stuff. Battista and Aurelia travels through “Hell”, “Purgatory” and “Heaven” finding clues within paintings and from Dante’s work. The stuff with Hell, Purgatory and Heaven went little too much religious side that I lost interest and I’m not good with this mystery thing anyway.
I loved seeing the relationship growing between Battista and Aurelia. Aurelia had been living very sheltered life and hadn’t know freedom and she grows so much with Battista’s crew and seeing the world. I also liked Battista’s crew and their friendship between them.
While the book was bit hard to get into at first, I still enjoyed it. I just wish I was more familiar with Dante so I could have understood more. But this made me even more curious about the author’s previous book To Serve a King which I’ve wanted to read.
Published: Kensington (2012)