Title: The Red Lily Crown
Author: Elizabeth Loupas
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publish Date: April 1, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "April, 1574, Florence,
Italy. Grand Duke Cosimo de’ Medici lies dying. The city is paralyzed
with dread, for the next man to wear the red lily crown will be Prince
Francesco: despotic, dangerous, and obsessed with alchemy.
Chiara Nerini, the troubled daughter of an anti-Medici bookseller, sets
out to save her starving family by selling her dead father’s rare
alchemical equipment to the prince. Instead she is trapped in his
household—imprisoned and forcibly initiated as a virgin acolyte in
Francesco’s quest for power and immortality. Undaunted, she seizes her
chance to pursue undreamed-of power of her own.
sensuous intrigues and brutal murder plots, Chiara seeks a safe path
through the labyrinth of Medici tyranny and deception. Beside her walks
the prince’s mysterious English alchemist Ruanno, her friend and
teacher, driven by his own dark goals. Can Chiara trust him to keep her
even to love her
or will he prove to be her most treacherous
enemy of all?"
My Two Cents:
"The Red Lily Crown" is the latest release by Elizabeth Loupas, who is beginning to become one of my historical fiction must-read authors. I have enjoyed her other books and this one was no different. "The Red Lily Crown" is a story of an alchemist named Chiara and the infamous Medici family. It is a good blend of historical fiction and magical realism and I ate it up! If you're looking for a good book to get lost in, this is a great choice!
Chiara is a really amazing character. I loved reading about her in this book. I loved the aspect of her being an alchemist in this book. The Medici duke that Chiara works for (Francesco) is wild about alchemy and invites Chiara to practice in his household even when others frown upon putting so much faith into that practice. Loupas was really able to make the things that Chiara do feel really real. She is also just a really fantastic character. She's strong and as she doesn't have much family support, it is up to her to really make her own way and she does to the best of her ability.
And who doesn't like reading about the Medici's? I am utterly fascinated by them and the way that they ran things. Loupas uses a lot of good detail in order to bring the personalities and the reign of this family to life. I loved reading about all of their exploits!
Overall, I know my fellow historical fiction fans are really going to enjoy this book!