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Judy K. (Conroe, TX)
I liked it, BUT....
Whenever I read a historical novel, I'm always afraid it will actually be a romance novel. While I love history, I'm not so fond of romance. This book, has a foot in both worlds. It could have been a Walt Disney movie. All of the bad guys got their come-uppance, all loose ends were tied up and there was some jaw-dropping serendipity. Having said all of that, I truly enjoyed reading about the Palio, the contrade and the Medici. I just wish the story could've been less fanciful and more realistic. It could've been a really good book.
Iris C. (Honolulu, HI)
The Daughter of Siena
Readers who enjoy romance novels will love this book as it is a cut above most of the novels of this genre. The usual components of the romance novel are here, but Fiorato has done her research and is able to provide a believable storyline. Her characters are skillfully drawn.
Margaret D. (Brookfield, VT)
Really good vacation read :-)
Marina Fiorato penned a fine historical look at the 1700s in a politically charged Siena. The description of the physical city is captivating. The characters, human and equine, are intriguing. While some of the tale is predictable, on the whole it kept my interest with its unexpected twists. I thoroughly enjoy novels that pique my interest to go look up the actual history of a time, an event, etc.. In this case: contradas, the Palio, and a relook at the reviled Medicis!
Debra P. (Belmont, NC)
Love this book
I love historical fiction and this book has it all. There is romance, intrigue, historical accuracy...I really love it when I learn something about an era or culture at the same time I'm enjoying a good story..In particular, this author does a great job setting the scene with each chapter intro. I look forward to introducing this in our book group.
Vivian H. (Winchester, VA)
Enjoyable Historical Romance with Intrigue
The Daughter of Siena is a book I couldn't put down. Having spent my honeymoon in Tuscany with several days in Siena, I came to love this medieval city and thoroughly enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the contrade, the historic rivalries, the hatred of the Medici, the intrigue caused by the papacy and the political machinations surrounding the Palio, the horse race held twice each summer in the Piazza del Campo.
Joanne V. (Towanda, PA)
A fast, enjoyable read...
This tale involves political and family plotting and intrigue, murder, torture, love, romance, mystery, patricide, infanticide, a damsel in distress, vote rigging, allegorical artwork, an appreciation of horses and always, the city of Siena. Women in early 18th Century Italy were pawns – used to marry off for political or financial advantage and treated as chattel. But in this story we are introduced to two women of substance – Pia and Violetta – both strong and compassionate survivors; both enduring unfathomable heartache; both looking to Bruno – a farrier’s son as a savior. Was the story predictable? Yes. Did it matter? Not really. I will certainly look for other works by Marina Fiorato.
I really enjoyed this book and thought that the author's descriptions of Siena, the Palio, and especially the rivalries among the various contrada to be accurate and compelling. I have been to Siena and visited several of the contrada churches and learned the history of the Palio and how it is conducted. I loved the story and thought the author did a wonderful job of weaving the descriptions of Siena, the art, the horses, the race, the rivalries and throwing in the Medici curse, it made for a very enjoyable read!
Catherine H. (Nashua, NH)
Good book to take to the beach
This is a good book to read while vacations: wonderful descriptions of Siena and the Palio race, forbidden romance, the Medici Family, treason but despite all that, very slow action and very predictable ending.
Susan S. (Middlebury, Connecticut)
The Daughter of Siena
I love this period in history, I love the city of Siena, so a combination of the two has to be a winner for me. Thoroughly enjoyed the book.