The Enchantress of Florence
Knopf, 2008 (2007)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
Reviewed by Michael Graves
n the 16th century there was a ruler of the Mughal Empire called Akbar the Great in what is now modern Afghanistan, Pakistan and a part of northern India. Into this exotic environment walks a yellow haired Italian with the audacious claim that he is of royal blood.
he traveler gives his name as
and commences to bewitch us and the Emperor with his storytelling skills. We receive the stories, like Akbar, with eager anticipation of each word. Of particular interest are those about his mother, Qara K÷z, a descendant of Genghis Khan who is the
Enchantress of Florence
he Enchantress of Florence
is a tall tale with episodes that can only compare to those of that other master storyteller Scheherazade in
The Thousand and One Nights
. This genre is ripe territory for Rushdie's elabourate and effusive style. The novel overflows with mystery, fantasy, intrigue, narrow escapes, love beyond compare and the enchantment of the east. A strong order but one that never fails.
esides the fascination of the east there is life back in Florence where '
In the beginning there were three friends, Antonino Argalia, Niccol˛ 'il Machia,' and Ago Vespucci.
' Yes, this is the same Machiavelli that authored
. Life in 16th century Italy is also very well depicted and there are many interesting anecdotes of the time.
lthough historically correct in time and place and accompanied with a five-page bibliography of historical books and articles this is far from a historic novel but rather a romance-adventure that never fails to entertain.
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