With careful research and a deft hand, Ms. Hawes convincingly recreates the Renaissance period, full of colour, noise and politics. Similarly her characters, especially Vini and her father, leap from the page and grab our attention. The story starts slowly, but picks up speed about half-way through as the various plot threads, including a romance between Vini and Paolo, come together. My one real quibble was the author's use of present tense, which I found rather distracting. Still, as an introduction to art and history, few parents could go wrong buying this for their teens.
© Teresa Eckford, 2004
This review first appeared in the November 2004 issue of The Historical Novels Review