The story, set in 15th century
Everyone is out to get this book of secrets, and they will stop at nothing to find it. The council of Cardinals is willing to torture and kill in order to find the book. The secret police, or Cappe Nere, is much feared all over the city, as they are ravaging and torturing everyone expected of knowing anything about the book – librarians, teachers, philosophers.
One other star of this novel, the food. At its heart, this novel is both a historical fiction novel, and a culinary fiction novel. While it doesn’t have actual recipes hidden in it’s pages, the description and the loving care taken to enhance the senses while talking about the food is amazing. You learn from Chef Ferrero that different ingredients can provoke different reactions and emotions. The Chef, Luciano’s maestro, shows again and again the power of food, and tries to teach Luciano many lessons using this gift.
I found this novel to be deeply entertaining, with twists and turns I wasn’t expecting (Luciano is faced with a choice to defend and protect his maestro, or being persuaded to turn back to his old ways by his street friends), and there is even a little love story in this book (Luciano falls in love with a young novice he sees in the Rialto). I was completely engaged and hooked from the very beginning of this novel.
I think this would be a great read for anyone who enjoys either historical fiction or culinary fiction. There is definitely something in this novel for everyone!!! Take the time to pick this one up – you’ll be glad you did because its mysteries and secrets will hold on to you long after you put it down!!!
Thank you to Tracee for asking me to host this book, and thank you to Ms. Newmark for an autographed copy of her fabulous book!!!For more information about this tour, check out Elle Newmark's Pump Up Your Book Promotion page!!!