Author: Laura Malone Elliott
Publication: November 10th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult ~ Historical Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Young, beautiful, and witty, Ginevra de’ Benci longs to take part in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence. But as the daughter of a wealthy family in a society dictated by men, she is trapped in an arranged marriage, expected to limit her creativity to domestic duties. Her poetry reveals her deepest feelings, and she aches to share her work, to meet painters and sculptors mentored by the famed Lorenzo de Medici, and to find love.
When the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, arrives in Florence, he introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers—a world of thought and conversation she has yearned for. She is instantly attracted to the handsome newcomer, who admires her mind as well as her beauty. Yet Ginevra remains conflicted about his attentions. Choosing her as his Platonic muse, Bembo commissions a portrait by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them—one Ginevra can only begin to understand. In a rich and enthralling world of exquisite art, elaborate feasts, and exhilarating jousts, she faces many temptations to discover her voice, artistic companionship, and a love that defies categorization. In the end, she and Leonardo are caught up in a dangerous and deadly battle between powerful families.
I actually haven't read any books that feature da Vinci or Renaissance Florence so this book was really one I needed. And can I just mention how much I love the fact that someone decided to write about Ginevra de' Benci. Though at times a bit too naive, I really liked her character. She definitely grew on me through the book and I loved her connection with Leonardo.
Speaking of him, he wasn't a whole lot in the book but he definitely was an important character. I liked how the author corporated things that have actually happened to the historical Leonardo into this story. The same goes for other characters like Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici. My inner history fangirl had a blast with this book.
I really liked the writing style. L.M. Elliott is a totally new author for me but I absolutely want to read her other historical books. Another thing I liked about this book was that it wasn't your typical happily ever after, but in my opinion I think an ending like this was even better. I just wished the book had been longer. I wanted to keep on reading!
All in all, Da Vinci's Tiger was superb. Not quite five stars but definitely a solid four star books that I enjoyed so much. I'd recommend it highly to other people who are interested in reading about Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Florence or who just like a really good book.
About the Author:
L. M. Elliott is author of UNDER A WAR-TORN SKY, a Notable Book in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC), a Jefferson Cup Honor Book for Historical Fiction, winner of Border’s Original Voices Award for YA Literature, and a Bank Street College Best Book; its sequel A TROUBLED PEACE, also a NCSS/CBC Notable; and its companion ACROSS A WAR-TOSSED SEA, a Jefferson Cup Overfloweth Title; and ANNIE, BETWEEN THE STATES, a New York City Public Library Book for the Teen Age, IRA Teachers’ choice, and VA Readers’ Choice finalist; GIVE ME LIBERTY; and FLYING SOUTH, a Bank Street College Best Book. Her next novel, DA VINCI'S TIGER, explores the subject of Leonardo's first portrait, the young poet Ginevra de' Benci.