The Malice Of Fortune by Michael EnnisThe Malice Of Fortune by Michael Ennis

The Malice Of Fortune

byMichael Ennis

Hardcover | October 18, 2016

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A sweeping, intense historical thriller starring two of the great minds of Renaissance Italy: Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci. Based on a real historical mystery, and involving serial murder and a gruesome cat and mouse game at the highest levels of the Church -- it was the era of the infamous Borgias -- The Malice of Fortune is a delicious treat for fans of Umberto Eco, Sarah Dunant, and Elizabeth Kostova.
This brilliant novel is an epic tale exploring the backdrop of the most controversial work of the Italian Renaissance, The Prince. Here, Niccolò Machiavelli, the great "scientist" of human behaviour becomes, in effect, the first criminal profiler, while his contemporary and sometime colleague, the erratic genius Leonardo da Vinci, brings his observational powers to the increasingly desperate hunt for a brilliant, terrifying serial murderer. Their foil and partner is the exquisite Damiata, scholar and courtesan. All three know their quarry is someone who holds enormous power, both to tear Italy apart, and destroy each of their most beloved dreams. And every thrilling step is based on historical fact.
MICHAEL ENNIS taught art history at the University of Texas, developed museum programs as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, and works as an independent curator and consultant. He has won several awards for art criticism, and written for such magazines as Esquire and Architectural Digest, on topics as diverse as business, national defens...
Title:The Malice Of FortuneFormat:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.4 inPublished:October 18, 2016Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771030754

ISBN - 13:9780771030758

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A lettered trip to Renaissance Italy For my fb friends who've left their hearts in Italy - or who just plain enjoy history brought to life - this is a spellbinding tale of intrigue, murder and love woven from the real records left behind by some of Renaissance Italy's great minds like da Vinci and Machiavelli. The descriptions of the Rome and towns and districts of Italy circa 1500 make me wish I'd read this book before our own trip last year. Best read on an eReader methinks. Instant access to definitions is helpful. Author Michael Ennis makes gifted use of rare but utterly perfect words. Kudos and thanks to Ennis and his publishing team for this wonderful and memorable foray.
Date published: 2013-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating Historical Fiction Pros: good mystery, afterward explaining what's true and where he took liberties, lots of detail / Cons: / Damiata, once lover of Juan, Duke of Gandia, and mother of his illegitimate child, is accused by Pope Alexander VI (the duke's father) of aiding in his murder. In order to clear her name and reclaim her son she must uncover the true murderers. She is sent to Imola, where a recent string of murders has uncovered an amulet belonging to Juan and where the Pope's first born son, Cesare Borgia, Duke of Valentinois, is brokering a peace with the condottieri (mercenery fighters) Damiata is certain killed her lover. / Meanwhile, Imola is also home to the Florentine secretary Nicolo Machiavelli, who fears that Cesare's peace with the condottieri will mean the destruction of his beloved Florence. Joining forces with Damiata and Cesare's engineer general, Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli tries to solve the murders and make his study of human nature, that eventually lead to the writing of The Prince. / Ennis does a fantastic job of blending known history with his murder mystery. He makes certain assumptions regarding events and characterizations based on primary sources (which he discusses briefly in an afterward to the book so the reader has a better idea of what's true and what he fabricated for the novel). / The first part of the book is told by Damiata, with the rest by Machiavelli. As the characters get closer to discovering the identity of the murderer, Ennis manages to maintain a spirit of uncertainty, making it hard to guess who the real culpret is. This is helped by the number of likely suspects being investigated and the difficulty in performing the investigation. / There is a lot of good detail regarding the characters and the setting, especially with regards to Machiavelli's beliefs on human nature. There are also a few illustrations in the novel, showing scientific principles important to the plot and diagrams drawn by da Vinci. / I'd recommend this to fans of Umberto Eco (particularly The Name of the Rose) and Karen Maitland's Company of Liars.
Date published: 2012-10-02

Editorial Reviews

“A stunning work of historical fiction, and equally a page-turning murder mystery. The depth of research, the compelling characterizations, and the addictively readable storytelling all combine to produce a novel of the highest accomplishment.” —Vincent Lam, award-winning author of Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures and The Headmaster’s Wager “Intricate… rewarding… The Malice of Fortune is reminiscent of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose in that the intrigue is rich and is inextricably entwined in its world. . . . A finely wrought history but because the characters are of their time while transcending it.” —The Denver Post “In this epic novel, Ennis gives ample evidence that political and religious corruption in early-16th-century Italy makes anything vaguely analogous look like Sunnybrook Farm. . . . Permeated by the sights, sounds and smells of Renaissance Italy . . . [it] can stand shoulder to shoulder with Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose, with which it is sure to be compared.” —Kirkus (starred review) “A thrilling whodunit—and a pretty good primer on da Vinci’s ‘science of observation’ as well as Machiavelli’s ‘science of man.’” —Entertainment Weekly“Ennis is an uncommonly graceful writer and a conscientious researcher… his story zips along, a pleasure.” —USA Today “Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli join their considerable forces in this teeming historical thriller… They make an exceptional team.” —New York Daily News “Ennis bring[s] multiple layers of authenticity to his epic novel. It’s a heady mix of “The Da Vinci Code,” Borgia politics and “The Silence of the Lambs.” Think of it as CSI: Italy circa 1502, with Machiavelli as a detective and psychological profiler and da Vinci as history’s first forensic pathologist.” —CNN  “A novel that ranks among the best with the Italian Renaissance setting.” —San Antonio Express“Ennis brilliantly recreates the complex politics of early 16th-century Italy in this absorbing and intelligent thriller. . . Fans of superior historical mystery writers . . . will be enthralled.”—Publishers Weekly"A TRUE MASTERPIECE… Michael Ennis has poured the knowledge and wisdom of many lifetimes into the exquisite form of a mystery so dark, so labyrinthine.  The Malice of Fortune is stunning, terrifying, and utterly mesmerizing. I can honestly say I never fully appreciated the genius of Machiavelli, or the savagery of the Borgias, until now." —Ann Fortier, author of Juliet                              “Michael Ennis bring the Renaissance alive in this tour-de-force: The Malice of Fortune dishes out a simmering stew, thick with chicanery, bloodshed, dastardly deeds, code-breaking, puzzle-solving, and a cast of characters that includes Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolò Machiavelli, Francesco Guicciardini, Cesare Borgia—and Damiata, the real-life courtesan whose brassiness, brains, and beauty dazzle even her employer and nemesis: the Pope.” —Katherine Neville, author of The Eight and The Fire “For readers who've been waiting all these years for the next The Name of the Rose—here it is. Michael Ennis brings a scholar’s mind and a writer’s heart to this beautifully crafted work of Renaissance intrigue that has a rare quality of feeling ancient and modern at the same time. A powerful thinking-man’s thriller.” —Glenn Cooper, author of Library of the Dead and Book of Souls “This is a fascinating novel, filled with extraordinary, well-realized historical characters and a plot that is engrossing and wickedly clever. The Malice of Fortune is an excellent, beautifully researched, and well-written novel that has a fine, fine sense of place. It captured my attention up front and kept me turning the pages to the very end." —Douglas Preston, co-author of The Monster of Florence “With its vivid, well-defined array of characters, The Malice of Fortune captures the glorious and gritty details of Renaissance Italy in a propulsive story. Ennis has achieved a great accomplishment, historical fiction that places us right into the characters' present.” —Matthew Pearl, author of The Monster of Florence and The Technologists