Author: John L’Heureux
Genre: Historical Fiction
First Published: 2014
Page Count: 328
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 4/5 Stars
The reader will find themselves transported into Renaissance Italy to learn the author’s fictional take on the creation of one of history’s most famous works of art.
*Rich setting *Interesting ending
“There were prayers and masses and praise for his completed works, and the feeling that perhaps he had not been rightly appreciated, that with the Medici boy he had changed the shape and nature of sculpture forever, that mere beauty would never again be enough.” Luca, a wandering youth that never seemed to show much talent in his previous employment, finds himself a job as an assistant to the famous artist Donatello. Life is fulfilling being this close to such a genius, until Agnolo, Donatello’s beautiful model becomes a fixed part of Donatello’s life. Can Luca save Donatello from the charms of this dangerous youth before it leads him down a forbidden road that he cannot return?
This book was barely a four out of five stars for me. What I did like was that the author has a knack for description and detail that makes it feel as if you are literally in Florence or Padua. It reminded me a lot of the book In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant, because the descriptions are so rich and vivid that the setting alone takes the story to another level. It also had a very interesting ending that had been slowly building up throughout the book and then ends with a grand, essentially satisfying climax.
The story and writing here is great; I can’t deny that. However, the pace felt slow as molasses to me. I know that I generally don’t do very well with stories that predominately feature only men in the story. For some reason the stories just don’t interest me as much and that was definitely the case here. Also, even though it did take place in one of my favorite settings, Renaissance Italy, the story just wasn’t for me. Does that make the story bad? No, which is why I felt I had to give it four stars because there is quality writing here and a story that most would enjoy. But for me, the story of Donatello, the statue of David, and his passion for his sixteen year old muse just didn’t do much for me. And this, subsequently, made the book feel very slow. It seems my issue with the book is more a question of personal taste which is why I’m still highly recommending it.
I know there is an audience for this book and I was very impressed with the book’s rich setting and world the author created. Even if it wasn’t for me, I still recommend it. If you love historical fiction or books that make you wonder how some famous work of art came to be, this would definitely be up your alley. It was definitely an interesting take on one of the art world’s most famous sculptures.
Grab your copy of The Medici Boy here:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1kkIpLL
*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.