When seventeen-year-old Giulia, the orphaned, illegitimate daughter of a Milanese nobleman, learns she's to be packed off to a life behind convent walls, she begs an astrologer-sorcerer for a talisman that will secure what she's certain is her heart's desire: true love and a place where she belongs. But does she really know the compass of her heart? The convent of Santa Marta is full of surprises, including a workshop of nuns who are creating paintings of astonishing beauty using a luminous blue mixed from a secret formula: Passion Blue. As Giulia's own artistic self is awakened she's torn: should she follow the young man who promises to help her escape? Or stay and satisfy her growing desire to paint?
This richly imagined novel of a girl's daring journey towards self-discovery transports readers into the fascinating world of Renaissance Italy where love and faith and art inspire passion of many different hues.
"A rare, rewarding, sumptuous exploration of artistic passion." - Kirkus Reviews
"Giulia's path may not surprise readers, but her unusual story is sure to capture their attention." - Publishers Weekly
"Vividly set during the 15th-century Italian Renaissance, Strauss's novel has a strong and thoroughly likable heroine who is only one of many well-developed female characters." - School Library Journal
"An elegant retelling of that old crucial story of finding one's place in the world, set against a vivid, evocation of the Italian Renaissance." - Robin McKinley, author of The Hero and the Crown, winner of the Newbery Medal
"I don't just like Passion Blue, I love it it has adventure, arguments, soul-searching, villains, romance, hair-breadth escapes, dastardly betrayals, and girl power. I simply galloped through it." - Jane Yolen, author of The Devil's Arithmetic
"From its opening chapter to its final harrowing unfolding, Giulia's tale holds the reader riveted. Passion Blue is both a soul-felt journey and a triumphant, transcendent work of art." - Meredith Ann Pierce, author of The Darkangel Trilogy
"A lovely read." - Megan Whalen Turner, author of The Queens Thief series
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Victoria Strauss's previous books include The Arm of the Stone. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
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