The Daughter of Siena
by Marina Fiorato
"Amid the intrigue and danger of 18th-century Italy, a young woman becomes embroiled in romance and treachery with a rider in the Palio."
This is real stuff, people.
*It's books like this that made me start this blog. I mean, look at that cover. I knew I needed it the second I saw it. I think I actually let out a little gasp, my mouth drawn out in a lovely "oh" when I saw it. I picked it up and the world went slow around me. I could possibly, literally look at it all day.
And it's dresses like that that make me sure I was born in the wrong time period. I covet.
But the book itself? I can't really say much. I mean, I haven't read this sort of book in a while. That sort being "adult" fiction. I'm a little nervous that my taste has been worn down to something incapable of stomaching grown-up writing anymore. My brain has been inundated by frivolous YA where everything is predictable and shallow. Real fiction in real settings with real events...and really sprawling narratives. It might be more than I can bear!
It is historical fiction set in Renaissance Italy. 1729 to be exact. There's a horse race and a diabolical father who uses his daughter like a chess piece in the political battle the tournament masks. And we know she goes and falls in love with the mysterious rider who is probably challenging all her father stands for. And who is definitely not her betrothed.
But I don't think it's chick-lit. I know Fiorato respects history too much to water this down into some bodice-ripping romance. Actually, I'm a little worried that all that attention to detail--especially revolving around a horse race--won't entertain me.
But I'd read anything in that cover. Even if I just numbly turn each page, incapable of following the action, I'll read it. Because a book that pretty--it deserves being celebrated. And I'll never regret buying it.
Yeah, I'm that shallow.