Thursday, July 4, 2013

Canadian Historical Fiction Review: The Wolves of St. Peter's by Gina Buonaguro & Janice Kirk

Publisher: Harper Collins Canada
Pages: 288
Received: Received a copy from Harper Collins Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: April 23, 2013
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

A suspenseful, intoxicating mystery of art, young love and betrayal, set amid the glory and corruption of Renaissance Rome.

When young Francesco Angeli sees a golden-haired woman being pulled from the Tiber on a rainy Rome morning, he is shocked to realize that he knows her. It is 1508, and Francesco is a reluctant houseboy to Michelangelo, who is at work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Francesco prefers the company of the urbane Raphael and the artistic circle that gathers at the home of Imperia, who operates a brothel in the shadow of the Vatican while the all-powerful Pope Julius II turns a blind eye. The woman in the river is one of Imperia’s ladies, and against his will, Francesco becomes involved in the search for the truth about her death.

Meanwhile, rising waters flood the city’s streets, turning Romans into refugees and the Coliseum into an emergency refuge, and hungry wolves descend from the hills to stalk the city like ghosts. As Francesco follows the deepening mystery from the backstreets to the pope’s inner sanctum, he begins to realize that danger and corruption may lurk behind the most beautiful of facades.

My Review:

A historical fiction book that takes place in Rome during Renaissance times, this is all that was going through my head when this book was recommended to me. I will always love books set in Italy, it's always such an amazing place for a story. I was also interested to see how two authors would come together to tell this story (I don't read a lot  of co-authored books), and I have to say that I could not tell where there was a change of writing.

I felt that this book went by really quick, the book opens up with Francesco witnessing a body being pulled from the Tiber, and he realizes that he recognizes this woman. He works hard towards figuring out who would want to kill her and for what. What was really interesting is that when the mystery is finally revealed to the readers, you realize hints were dropped throughout the novel. I think the authors did a great job of having you look over here while something else was going on somewhere else.

There is a lot that goes on in this book, Francesco slowly learns about himself while solving this mystery of who killed the woman. But there is also a great romance story hidden in everything else going on, and then of course some of the interesting friends Francesco has made during his time in Rome. I loved those the most, it was great seeing the male bonding happening and how Francesco wanted to help his friends and what some of those friends would do for him.

Both of these authors did a great job with the setting, I could picture every little bit of Rome and could imagine how the town looked and where the characters were going. Reading this book really made me want to go to Rome and experience it (even though I know it is so different now). This story is told around Michelangelo and his work on the Sistine Chapel, which I loved when there were scenes with him, he was such an interesting and complicated character, and by the end you really come to love him and his crazy ways.

It's nice to see two authors get together and collaborate on a story, I feel like this book was such a success and I am excited to go through some of their older titles. These two did a beautiful job of recreating Renaissance Rome for readers and really brought the characters to life.

For more information on Gina Buonaguro and Janice Kirk and THE WOLVES OF ST. PETER you can check it out on the Harper Collins Canada website.

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