The Daughter of Siena: Book summary and reviews of The Daughter of Siena by Marina Fiorato

The Daughter of Siena

A Novel

By Marina Fiorato

The Daughter of Siena
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  • Published in USA  May 2011,
    400 pages.

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Book Summary

Marina Fiorato, international bestselling author of The Glassblower of Murano and The Botticelli Secret, is back with her latest novel that once again will keep readers on the edge of their seats!

It's 1729, and the Palio, a white-knuckle horse race, is soon to be held in the heart of the peerless Tuscan city of Siena. But the beauty and pageantry masks the deadly rivalry that exists among the city's districts. Each ward, represented by an animal symbol, puts forth a rider to claim the winner's banner, but the contest turns citizens into tribes and men into beasts - and beautiful, headstrong, young Pia Tolomei is in love with a rider of an opposing ward, an outsider who threatens the shaky balance of intrigue and influence that rules the land.

Published simultaneously in hardcover and paperback.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Praise for The Botticelli Secret and The Glassblower of Murano:

"[Fiorato] brings the beauty and danger of 17th-century Venice vividly to life… Those who enjoy intrigue and European history will be easily drawn into this romantic story." - Publishers Weekly on The Glassblower of Murano

"Fiorato crafts a historical novel in the style of Girl with a Pearl Earring blended with painting as code à la The Da Vinci Code." - Library Journal on The Botticelli Secret

"An intriguing mix of history, mystery, art, music, poetry, romance, and politics… Writing with charm and authenticity, Fiorato produces a blend of historical mystery and modern romance that is thoroughly entertaining." - Booklist on The Glassblower of Murano

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 1 of 5 of 5 by Charlene McSweeny
Daughter of Siena
I found the book slow and uninteresting. The characters were underdeveloped. I thought my opinion was harsh so I passed the book to a friend. She read half the book and still couldn't figure out what the point was. I do like historical novels but this was not written up to my standards. I would not recommend it at any time.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Mary O. (Boston, MA)
Intriguing historical read
I found The Daughter of Siena to be a very enjoyable read and good story - perfect for summer beach reading or a book club! I must preface my comments by saying that I am a sucker for romantic historical fiction or any novel set in Italy, especially Tuscany or Umbria! The author does a great job of weaving the Palio race and its rivalries, the city of Siena and its history and art with romance and intrigue. Definitely a quick, worthwhile, and enjoyable read!

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Lynne B. (S. Lake Tahoe, CA)
Great Historical Fiction
Being an avid reader of historical fiction I was pleased to receive this book for review and was not disappointed. Though at first glance it may appear to be just another historical romance, Ms. Fiorato brings much more depth to the novel. The 18th century life in Siena is vividly recreated with careful attention to historical accuracy and detail. I so enjoy being educated in the history and culture of the time and this book enlightened me immensely. I had no prior knowledge of this time and place and now I am intrigued by the history and hope to learn more from this author. The characters are richly drawn and believable. She skillfully moves through the active plot leading the reader into the world of the Siena of 1723 full of the culture of class distinction and family pride. I highly recommend this as an excellent example of very readable historical fiction and look forward to reading more by this author.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Christine L. (Centerport, NY)
I very enjoyable read
This book was a pleasure but not a page turner and a tad bit slow. It wasn't as deeply emotionally satisfying as I had hoped for, however, it was well researched and held my interest. It's more of a romance novel than historical fiction and it fell a little short in both catagories for me. I really enjoyed the historical facts surrounding Sienna and horsemanship. I did learn a lot about that area of Italy in that time period. I liked the characters but felt they could have been more developed. It was enjoyable and I I would recommend it as a beach read but I'm not one for "beach reading". I like a lot more meat and substance in the shade.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Kristine I. (Carmel, IN)
The Daughter of Sienna
This book started a bit slow for me but quickly got my attention. I enjoyed the historical aspects of the book enough to look some facts up on line. While the author did a good job of making the city of Sienna come alive to me, I found that the story was somewhat predictable. If the characters had been more multi-dimensional, it would have allowed for some more interesting plot twists. It was a quick and enjoyable read, but I did not find myself thinking about it much after I was finished.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Luisa A. (Flemington, NJ)
The Daughter of Siena
Overall I enjoyed the book very much. It took a little bit to get going and really capture my attention. Once the story started to develop it was hard to put down. At times a bit predictable – I caught myself hoping for a less foreseeable outcome. It is not a deep story but if you are looking for something light to read this is a great book

...37 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Marina Fiorato Author Biography

Photo: Ian Pickard

Marina Fiorato is half-Venetian and a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialized in the study of Shakespeare's plays as an historical source. After University she studied art and has since worked as an illustrator, actress, and film reviewer. She also designed tour visuals for rock bands including U2 and the Rolling Stones. She was married on the Grand Canal in Venice and lives in London with her husband, son, and daughter. She is the author of The Glassblower of Murano (2008), The Madonna of the Almonds (2009), The Botticelli Secret (2010), The Daughter of Siena (2011), The Venetian Contract (2012), Beatrice and Benedick (2014), and The Venetian Bargain (2014).

Link to Marina Fiorato's Website

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