Growing up on the streets of medieval Florence, uncommonly handsome Luca Bastardo knows how to survive. His skills come in handy as he goes on to have a lifespan that is absolutely extraordinary, experiencing the transition from medieval to Renaissance Florence; he endures many trials, some harder than others, in his search for his heart’s greatest desire.
This is one chunky historical novel. Not only is it fairly long at over 500 pages, but it also covers a fair span of history. Luca experiences the beginning of the Renaissance and is consistently involved with some of Florence’s most famous faces. I did find it a bit of a stretch that a homeless boy would encounter and befriend so many “famous” people, but I rolled with it and enjoyed guessing who he met before we were told.
The story is very engaging. It moves along, skipping many years when necessary, and with such a long lived character, we lost out on the many boring parts of Luca’s life. In general, I liked him, although he did irritate me at times. There is some magic involved; Luca practices alchemy and obviously his lifespan is not that of any normal human being. So we have to suspend our disbelief to enjoy the book, but as a reader of fantasy, I didn’t mind. I try to take historical fiction with a grain of salt and a bit of fantasy tossed in does help that. To my knowledge, however, the actual history is pretty accurate.
In short, I enjoyed this book and I’d recommend it to other readers of historical fiction. Buy this book on Amazon.