The Malice of Fortune

Front Cover
Century, 2012 - Courtesans - 396 pages
13 Reviews

When Pope Alexander Borgia dispatches Damiata, a beautiful courtesan, to the remote fortress city of Imola in Northern Italy to learn the truth behind the murder of his beloved son, she knows she cannot fail, for the Pope holds her own son hostage.

Once there, Damiata falls under the spell of the charismatic Duke Valentino Borgia, whose own life is threatened by the condottieri, a powerful cabal of mercenary warlords.

As the murders multiply, Damiata's search for the killer grows more urgent. And so she enlists the help of an obscure Florentine diplomat, Niccolò Machiavelli, and an eccentric military engineer, Leonardo da Vinci. Together they begin to decipher the killer's taunting riddles: Leonardo with his groundbreaking "science of observation" and Machiavelli with his new "science of men."

Traveling across a land torn apart by war, Damiata and Machiavelli enter a labyrinth of ancient superstition and erotic obsession to discover at its center a new face of evil and a terrible secret - a secret is still to be found within the lines of Machiavelli's most controversial book, The Prince.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dham340 - LibraryThing

Very good historical mystery with most of the characters based in real people. Great theme of "science" (represented by di Vinci) vs psychology (represented by Machiavelli). Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - retropelocin - LibraryThing

Damiata, courtesan to the murdered Juan Borgia, favorite son of Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI) is being forced by the Pope, who is holding her 5-year-old son hostage at the Vatican, to find who ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

MICHAEL ENNIS taught art history at the University of Texas, developed museum programs as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, and works as an independent curator and consultant. He has won several awards for art criticism, and written for such magazines as "Esquire "and "Architectural Digest," on topics as diverse as business, national defense, and politics. But when people ask him what he does, he only claims to be a writer of historical fiction. His first historical novel, Byzantium, was the true story of a Viking prince exiled to the court of the Byzantine Emperor; his second, The Duchess of Milan, was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, History Book Club featured selection, had a six-figure mass market sale, and was a bestseller in Italy, where it is still selling. Michael lives in Dallas with his wife, Ellen, a television producer, and their Australian Shepherd, Zoe.

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