Available inHC EB TP BuyFormatHardcoverLength416 pagesPublisherMcClelland & StewartPublishedSeptember 11, 2012List Price$29.99 CADISBN9780771030758Category
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The Malice of Fortune
A sweeping, intense historical thriller starring two of the great minds of Renaissance Italy: Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci. Based on a real historical mystery, and involving serial murder and a gruesome cat and mouse game at the highest levels of the Church -- it was the era of the infamous Borgias -- The Malice of Fortune is a delicious treat for fans of Umberto Eco, Sarah Dunant, and Elizabeth Kostova.
This brilliant novel is an epic tale exploring the backdrop of the most controversial work of the Italian Renaissance, The Prince. Here, Niccolò Machiavelli, the great "scientist" of human behaviour becomes, in effect, the first criminal profiler, while his contemporary and sometime colleague, the erratic genius Leonardo da Vinci, brings his observational powers to the increasingly desperate hunt for a brilliant, terrifying serial murderer. Their foil and partner is the exquisite Damiata, scholar and courtesan. All three know their quarry is someone who holds enormous power, both to tear Italy apart, and destroy each of their most beloved dreams. And every thrilling step is based on historical fact.
“A stunning work of historical fiction, and equally a page-turning murder mystery. The depth of research, the compelling characterizations, and the addictively readable storytelling all combine to produce a novel of the highest accomplishment.”
—Vincent Lam, award-winning author of Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures and The Headmaster’s Wager
“Intricate… rewarding… The Malice of Fortune is reminiscent of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose in that the intrigue is rich and is inextricably entwined in its world. . . . A finely wrought history but because the characters are of their time while transcending it.”
—The Denver Post
“In this epic novel, Ennis gives ample evidence that political and religious corruption in early-16th-century Italy makes anything vaguely analogous look like Sunnybrook Farm. . . . Permeated by the sights, sounds and smells of Renaissance Italy . . . [it] can stand shoulder to shoulder with Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose, with which it is sure to be compared.”
—Kirkus (starred review)
“A thrilling whodunit—and a pretty good primer on da Vinci’s ‘science of observation’ as well as Machiavelli’s ‘science of man.’”
“Ennis is an uncommonly graceful writer and a conscientious researcher… his story zips along, a pleasure.”
“Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli join their considerable forces in this teeming historical thriller… They make an exceptional team.”
—New York Daily News
“Ennis bring[s] multiple layers of authenticity to his epic novel. It’s a heady mix of “The Da Vinci Code,” Borgia politics and “The Silence of the Lambs.” Think of it as CSI: Italy circa 1502, with Machiavelli as a detective and psychological profiler and da Vinci as history’s first forensic pathologist.”
“A novel that ranks among the best with the Italian Renaissance setting.”
—San Antonio Express
“Ennis brilliantly recreates the complex politics of early 16th-century Italy in this absorbing and intelligent thriller. . . Fans of superior historical mystery writers . . . will be enthralled.”
"A TRUE MASTERPIECE… Michael Ennis has poured the knowledge and wisdom of many lifetimes into the exquisite form of a mystery so dark, so labyrinthine. The Malice of Fortune is stunning, terrifying, and utterly mesmerizing. I can honestly say I never fully appreciated the genius of Machiavelli, or the savagery of the Borgias, until now."
—Ann Fortier, author of Juliet
“Michael Ennis bring the Renaissance alive in this tour-de-force: The Malice of Fortune dishes out a simmering stew, thick with chicanery, bloodshed, dastardly deeds, code-breaking, puzzle-solving, and a cast of characters that includes Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolò Machiavelli, Francesco Guicciardini, Cesare Borgia—and Damiata, the real-life courtesan whose brassiness, brains, and beauty dazzle even her employer and nemesis: the Pope.”
—Katherine Neville, author of The Eight and The Fire
“For readers who've been waiting all these years for the next The Name of the Rose—here it is. Michael Ennis brings a scholar’s mind and a writer’s heart to this beautifully crafted work of Renaissance intrigue that has a rare quality of feeling ancient and modern at the same time. A powerful thinking-man’s thriller.”
—Glenn Cooper, author of Library of the Dead and Book of Souls
“This is a fascinating novel, filled with extraordinary, well-realized historical characters and a plot that is engrossing and wickedly clever. The Malice of Fortune is an excellent, beautifully researched, and well-written novel that has a fine, fine sense of place. It captured my attention up front and kept me turning the pages to the very end."
—Douglas Preston, co-author of The Monster of Florence
“With its vivid, well-defined array of characters, The Malice of Fortune captures the glorious and gritty details of Renaissance Italy in a propulsive story. Ennis has achieved a great accomplishment, historical fiction that places us right into the characters' present.”
—Matthew Pearl, author of The Monster of Florence and The Technologists