Don Bolognese, Author . S&S $16.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-689-85458-3

Author and illustrator Bolognese's (Letters to Horseface) novel works on many different levels: rousing adventure story, morality fable, historical period piece and quietly dazzling love story. Fifteen-year-old Lorenzo Arrighi works as an apprentice armorer in Renaissance Italy. When mercenaries threaten his city, he is torn between devotion to his father, master armorer to the Duke, who does not want his son to join in the war effort, and his strong sense of duty. Chief among his loves is his cherished horse, Scoppio, the finest steed in the city. Bolognese composes a fugue of small interlocked stories, each of them centered around concepts of loyalty, devotion and sacrifice. Lorenzo, a brave and compelling hero, grows from a fearless boy to a man who understands that things are almost always more involved than they seem. The author tightly orchestrates the relationships in the story: Lorenzo deeply loves his father, but also his godfather Massimo, who is more objective and understands the call to duty, as well as the Duke, the noble leader of the city who becomes a second father to the boy. Bolognese further fleshes out the atmosphere with a generous number of sepia-toned drawings of period armor and weaponry, taken from Lorenzo's sketch book. A volume to savor and revisit, from the fast-paced opening to the moving epilogue. Ages 10-14. (June)

Reviewed on: 06/30/2003
Release date: 06/01/2003
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-1-4424-2942-0
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