A Book With A Quest…

My Thoughts
This book is quite a bit different from the books that I usually read but at the same time and in rather odd ways…unusually similar.
It is a bit fantastic. It takes place in the year 1498.  Lots of people are starving and hungry while living in Venice…one of the wealthiest cities in the world at that time. When I began reading this book…I had doubts about my interest in it and whether or not I could even finish it. Now here comes the but…but I did and it was quite an adventure.
You have to understand that I had just finished all of the books in The Hunger Games…I was so involved in those books and so caught up in the mad adventure that I actually did not read anything for an entire day. And then I remembered that I needed to review this book. Once I began reading it…it was impossible to not be caught up in it and the misery and trials of Luciano…a poor impoverished orphan who roams the city of Venice hunting for food. In a very odd way…this book reminded me of Katniss and her trials in The Hunger Games…there were lots of serious similarities and not so serious ones…this book even has a cat…Bernardo…but he is much loved by Luciano.
The Story
This book involves a quest. Everyone at that time is looking for a rather mysterious book that holds the secret to many things but most of all the secret to immortality. Luciano is seen stealing a pomegranate from a fruit vendor by the very important chef of a very important minister…or doge…as he is referred to in the book. The chef takes him to the doge’s villa where he is given orders to take a bath, put on fresh clothes and eat…a meal of cheese and bread. Luciano then begins his role as sort of a helper/servant within the kitchen of the doge’s villa.
Luciano is the narrator of this story and it is told from his view. He is happy to be working with the chef who has many mysteries of his own…one which is a locked cabinet full of odd potions and herbs. The chef also has the ability to manage appetites through some of the amazing food that he cooks. Luciano becomes more and more curious about what the chef does with his gardens and recipes and cannot leave the chef alone about any of this and is adamant that the chef tell him about this mysterious book. In addition to all of this Luciano sees many depraved and illegal things happen in the dining room of the villa. This is all because the doge is dying and is desperate to find the book. People are imprisoned and murdered and tortured…all because of this book.
This incident occurs at the time of the Renaissance and there are fascinating stories told within the book itself. Tales of sailing to the New World and all of its dangers were exciting and almost unbelievable. The food talk alone was mesmerizing…the descriptions of the vendors and the foods were so interesting…how tomatoes were thought to be poisonous and only certain chefs knew how to use them and people were afraid to eat them. The stories of the street orphans and their hunger…and how they had to fend for themselves and how mean people were to them…sad and distressing…I mean there were orphans everywhere and people thought nothing of just tossing their babies out if they couldn’t care for them…
My Thoughts Again
I am not sure if I would have chosen this book on my own but I am very glad to have read it. It made me think about another time, it was a totally fascinating story, and it held my interest until the last page. Elle Newmark  amazed me with her knowledge of this time and place. Her research was very thorough. She managed to make these characters very real to me and I was caught up in their story.

This book was sent to me by Tracee from Pump Up Your Books!!!
Thank you again, Tracee!!!

2 thoughts on “A Book With A Quest…

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