Linda L. Bartell, Author Onyx Books $4.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-451-40181-6
The backdrop here is 15th-century Florence, a city-state fraught with internecine family feuds that were often exacerbated by papal machinations. Though smoothly woven into the text, the elaborate historical references will be confusing to many. Bartell ( Brittany ) focuses on two factions that hope for alliance through a fortuitous match. In spite of the longstanding animosity between their families and Caressa's certainty that Dante has killed her brother, she is enamored of the warrior ideals Dante represents. However, Dante has lately adopted a foppish personality--an unbelievable guise affected to covertly aid a third clan. Dante's ruse frustrates his own efforts to counter a deranged church official's designs on Caressa. The climactic and innovative battle scene is a welcome surprise in an otherwise slowly paced and repetitious story. Bartell's flair for detail and dialogue and her ability to evoke gentle and humorous moods will likely be trademarks in future books. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
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