Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Historical Fiction Virtual Tour: The King's Agent by Donna Russo Morin

Title: The King's Agent
Author: Donna Russo Morin
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: March 1, 2012
Source: HF Virtual Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You enjoy a little mystery.
  • You enjoy a little romance.
What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "The King’s Agent is based loosely on the life of Battista della Palla-a patriotic plunderer, a religious rogue-of the 16th century, a lifelong friend to the great Michelangelo.

As the cloistered ward of the Marquess of Mantua, Lady Aurelia is a woman with a profound duty, and a longing for adventure. In search of a relic intended for the King of France, Battista and Aurelia cross the breathtaking landscape of Renaissance Italy. Clues hide in great works of art, political forces collide, secret societies and enemies abound, and danger lurks in every challenge, those that mirror the passages of Dante's Divine Comedy. It is an adventurous quest with undercurrents of the supernatural, powers that could change the balance of supremacy throughout Europe."

My Two Cents: 

This book has a great mix of history, mystery, and romance. It's told from the point of view of Battista, who is sent to Italy to look for a mysterious relic by the King of France. I feel like I don't read too many historical fiction books from the gentlemen's point of view (I wonder why that is?) so this book was a nice change of pace from that perspective.

Lady Aurelia is a cool character for a book about this time period. Even though she's a woman, she's independent and she's smart. She doesn't seem like she'd tolerate being pushed around. I know that women back in this time really didn't always have a lot of choices in their life but Lady Aurelia seems to defy convention in that way. I love it!

I loved, loved, loved that the artist Michaelangelo has a starring role in this book. I'm a huge fan of his work and this book is particularly timely with the news story going around that art historians may have found one of Michaelangelo's paintings behind another painting (How cool is that). I didn't know much about Michaelangelo's private life and we the readers kind of get to see some of that from Battista since he's a lifelong friend of Michaelangelo's.

I also love how in order to solve the book's grand mystery, Battista and Lady Aurelia follow clues from Dante's Divine Comedy. I thought it was a really cool touch. Even if you have not read the Divine Comedy, you will have no trouble following along with the mystery. It's been a long time since I've read the Divine Comedy (I think since high school) but the story is familiar to us through cultural references that it works really well. Morin does a good job of weaving the story together.

Bottom line: This book has a little of something for historical fiction lovers of all stripes.

Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Tuesday, February 28th

Wednesday, February 29th
Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, March 1st

Friday, March 2nd
Author Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Monday, March 5th

Tuesday, March 6th

Thursday, March 8th
Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Reflections of a Bookaholic

Friday, March 9th
Review at Luxury Reading

Monday, March 12th
Author Guest Post & Giveaway at The Owl Bookmark Blog

Tuesday, March 13th

Thursday, March 15th
Review at Historical Fiction Review
Author Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Friday, March 16th
Review at The Book Garden

Monday, March 19th

Tuesday, March 20th
Author Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, March 22nd
Review & Giveaway at The Bookworm

Friday, March 23rd
Author Guest Post at Jenny Loves to Read

Monday, March 26th

Tuesday, March 27th

Thursday, March 29th
Author Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, March 30th
Author Guest Post & Giveaway at To Read or Not to Read

Monday, April 2nd

Tuesday, April 3rd
Author Interview & Giveaway at Tanzanite's Castle Full of Books

Thursday, April 5th
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden's Court
Review at The Broke and the Bookish

Friday, April 6th

Monday, April 9th

Tuesday, April 10th

Thursday, April 12th
Author Interview at The Eclectic Reader

Friday, April 13th
Author Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Monday, April 16th

Tuesday, April 17th

Thursday, April 19th

Friday, April 20th
Author Guest Post at Books, Belles & Beaux

Monday, April 23rd

Tuesday, April 24th

Thursday, April 26th
Author Interview at The True Book Addict

Friday, April 27th
Author Guest Post at CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, April 30th

Tuesday, May 1st
Author Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Thursday, May 3rd

Friday, May 4th
Review at Just One More Paragraph


  1. This one sounds like a great historical fiction read. I'll have to add this one to my wish list.

  2. This sounds positively delightful..my first love was historical romance. A male POV sounds cool too!

    1. I've only recently gotten into historical fiction (some of my fellow bloggers turned me on to it). Before that, I usually only read straight historical fiction.


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