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When Pope Alexander dispatches a Vatican courtesan, Damiata, to the remote fortress city of Imola to learn the truth behind the murder of Juan, his most beloved illegitimate son, she cannot fail, for the scheming Borgia pope holds her own young son hostage. Once there, Damiata becomes a pawn in the political intrigues of the pope’s surviving son, the charismatic Duke Valentino, whose own life is threatened by the condottieri, a powerful cabal of mercenary warlords. Damiata suspects that the killer she seeks is one of the brutal condottierri, and as the murders multiply, her quest grows more urgent. She enlists the help of an obscure Florentine diplomat, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Valentino’s eccentric military engineer, Leonardo da Vinci, who together must struggle to decipher the killer’s taunting riddles: Leonardo with his groundbreaking "science of observation" and Machiavelli with his new "science of men". Traveling across an Italy torn apart by war, they will enter a labyrinth of ancient superstition and erotic obsession to discover at its center a new face of evil - and a truth that will shake the foundations of western civilization.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Molly Gordon on 09-28-12
Female narrator is impossible to listen to.
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
I have no idea. I could not get past the narration after the first hour, so I can't really comment on the story. If I could have left the Story and Overall categories unstarred, I would have.
What was most disappointing about Michael Ennis’s story?
Not able to comment.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?
I would have cast someone whose accent was less intrusive and who did not speak in a monotone.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Honestly, I couldn't tell.
Any additional comments?
I hate to be such a cranky pants, but it's very frustrating to have to miss an entire book because one of the narrators is so grating.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
By Jonathan on 09-21-12
The Narration Lost Me
I really like the premise of the story and so wanted to listen to this book. However, I quit after five chapters. Carlotta Montanari's Italian accent was so distracting that I simply could not follow the book. Accent's are great for character dialogue, but not narration. Why the Publisher/Ennis chose this method of narration is beyond me. Be sure and listen to the sample before you purchase. I should have. I wish I could get my money/credit back on this one.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful