Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wings of the Falcon” as Want to Read:
Wings of the Falcon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wings of the Falcon

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,419 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
The death of her English father left Francesca alone and unprotected, with nowhere to turn but to the noble Italian family of her late mother. Adrift in a strange land, surrounded by cold and suspicious relatives who had disowned her mother on her wedding day, Francesca is determined to make the best of a bad situation. But nothing could have prepared her for the nest of d ...more
Unknown Binding, 304 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by HarperTorch (first published 1977)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wings of the Falcon, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Jean I liked it -- there's a lot of history/action, a scoop of suspense, and about as much romantic longing as I would expect in a Mary Stewart book.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,219)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
A story in the middle of the events leading to a united Italy is a very appealing idea, and seldom used in comparison to the frequent books using the French revolution. However, the novel would have benefited from more deep descriptions of these events, because people not familiar with them can have a hard time catching on. It isn't the most important part of the book, but I would have preferred to learn about it more.

When Francesca's father dies, she is introduced to a new life with her mother'
Jan 11, 2012 Vin9 rated it it was amazing
Politics, War, Gothic, Humor, Romance = Perfect Blend

This has to be one of the best thriller/historical novel I've read so far. The suspense of this novel is great. This novel can make an epic Movie.

The story is set in 1860. The narrator Francesa who lives in England is a recent orphan and alone in the world when her mother's rich royal family from Italy comes to her rescue. Italy is in middle of a revolution by peasants against the tyrant rulers. A disguised hero named Falcon is helping peasan
Larissa Reinhart
Oct 28, 2011 Larissa Reinhart rated it it was amazing
Wings of the Falcon today would make a great YA Historical Romance, and I am recommending it for my friends' teenage daughters. Wonderfully romantic with great action and suspense, Wings was written in 1st person from the point of view of seventeen year old Francesca. It's filled with the teenage wistfulness, angst, and naivete that marks any great YA book.

What's also nice about passing Barbara Michael's books to impressionable daughters is the romance is heart rendering without explicit sex sc
Jul 07, 2008 Caitie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I'm pretty sure B Mike woke up one day and thought to herself: "Hey, Italian revolutionaries are hot. I will write a book about hot Italian revolutionaries, thinly disguised as a mystery with an irrelevant tangent about Etruscan tombs!" Not that I am complaining. It was a fun time, even if the implications of a lot of the stuff about social justice were kinda offensive. I'm so sure it was aaaall thanks to idealistic rich people that Italians overthrew the Pope and feudalism and all of those king ...more
Lynn Spencer
The combination of Italian history (this one is set during the Italian Unification) and old-school gothic was just irresistible for me. And since it's Barbara Michaels, she may use some of the traditional gothic touches, such as dashing men, creepy old houses and the like, but she's very smart about it and at times, there's a bit of a twist. This isn't my very favorite of her books, but it's definitely on the shortlist.
Christina Baehr
Apr 20, 2015 Christina Baehr rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I'm grateful that Michaels included an actual bodice-ripping scene on page 1 of this book. This meant that I didn't have to waste my time investing any further in it. (Incidentally, do these authors not know that it would take the better part of an hour to get anywhere with an 1850s bodice if you were ripping it? They had bones in them, for heaven's sake.)
Christy B
Jul 09, 2013 Christy B rated it really liked it
I just loved this book so much that I had to write something about it.

The book is told from the point-of-view of Francesca, the daughter of an English father and an Italian mother. Francesca's mother died in childbirth, and she grew up in England not knowing her mother's family, for she was disowned when she ran away with Francesca's father and defied her own father.

When Francesca's father dies when she is 17, her mother's family suddenly pops up, when her grandfather sends her cousin Andrea to
Emily Crow
Oct 26, 2013 Emily Crow rated it liked it
A good story, and I liked the setting, in Italy at 1860, a time of political unrest and rebellion. My expectations weren't that high, just for a fun read. My only real quibble was with some of the characters. Francesca, the heroine, was from the too-stupid-to-live category, and her middle-aged companion, Miss Perkins, was as annoyingly perfect as Francesca was ditzy. The scope of Miss Perkins' talents was so great, and her inclusion in the story was unnecessary to the plot (if Francesca were a b ...more
Mar 23, 2013 Christy rated it liked it
Zorro rides again, in Italy. He’s Il Falcone, the falcon, coming to the aid of the poor and the distressed, and dazzling the ladies. Right now he’s tied up in a revolution. Our heroine, a sweet young thing from England, gets caught up in the intrigue. She thinks she knows his real identity, and she thinks she’s in love with him. And she’s so clueless. Of course it’s obvious to the reader who he is. Luckily most of us have more brains than your standard British gothic romance heroine.
Lisa Greer
May 25, 2008 Lisa Greer rated it really liked it
Shelves: gothic-mystery
Okay, I've picked this one up again, and it's an entertaining romp so far with an Italian setting. The heroine has handsome twin cousins, etc. Standard Michaels fare. But I have decided this one is in my top five so far for the history of the Etruscans and of Italy alone. I always love how Michaels injects social justice issues in so many of her books as well as archaeology and history. I am nearing the end of this one, and I still haven't figured it all out. Good novel.
Angela Alcorn
Jun 18, 2010 Angela Alcorn marked it as to-read
We own this as part of an anthology, Gothic Treasure Trove:

Gothic Treasure Trove by Reader's Digest
Laura Guill
May 23, 2013 Laura Guill rated it really liked it
An early book of hers to be sure, and a little predictable, but I enjoyed the voice of the first-person POV.
While this one was written after the first Amelia Peabody, there was a Amelia-type character, which made it feel more related with the Elizabeth Peters stories, rather then the Barbara Michaels.
Jun 03, 2009 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This is another one of my favorite Michaels books. It takes place in Italy and is a very traditional heroic journey, although you don't think it will be at the beginning. I really loved this book; I was surprised at how good it was.
Laura Baugh
Jun 17, 2012 Laura Baugh added it
Shelves: fiction
Perfectly readable potboiler, typical of the author's work (archeology, language barriers, a couple of handsome young men) but enjoyable. At least I always learn something historically interesting from her!
Nov 29, 2013 Shelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great fun. Very predictable, as Gothics are, but that made it no less enjoyable. I see shades of later characters in these earlier works. It is interesting to look at how the writer develops.
May 15, 2013 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book by Barbara Michaels. I have her books since I was a teenager and they still are great when I find one I haven't read. Starts out with a bang and ends the same way...
Rebecca Cuti
Jun 14, 2012 Rebecca Cuti rated it it was amazing
My mother loved this book when she was my age and she passed it down to me and I absolutely LOVE IT!! I would recomend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and adventurous novels. :)
Oct 07, 2015 Loriann rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read
I was pleasantly surprised to find the identity of the myterious hero in the book was not who the author was leading me to believe it was. Very good adventure story.
Oct 25, 2007 Christie rated it really liked it
A great little romantic adventure of Francesca -- the grandaughter of an Italian Prince and her enounters with The Falcon -- an Italian revolutionary.
Oct 17, 2008 Becky rated it really liked it
so good i read it in a week. Brooke let me borrow it and she likes it so much that she would not let be bend the book.
Jun 07, 2014 Ashley rated it liked it
I really wish the level of insanity had stayed consistently high throughout. Somehow. Ahh well. It's decent.
Nov 01, 2009 Amalia rated it it was amazing
My sister recommended this book when I was still in high school, and it's still one of my favorites.
Apr 08, 2008 Stefanie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: women.
I love this book! I can read it over and over. It's feel good, but with some suspense, romance, and surprise.
May 31, 2013 Darla rated it it was amazing
Seriously one of the best books I've ever read...Perfection from start to finish.
Feb 04, 2011 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, engaging, a little slow to build, but nice indeed. Four out of five.
Jul 09, 2010 Kristin rated it really liked it
Kept me spellbound as a 12 year old. Wonder if I should re -read it...
Jun 12, 2010 Pamela rated it really liked it
this was great! I liked it alot. I almost guessed right on a few things. :)
Lisa Mills
Jan 18, 2010 Lisa Mills rated it really liked it
For some reason my little romantic heart likes this mindless little tale.
Apr 08, 2009 Valerie rated it really liked it
a total indulgence! quickest read every because it a no brainer...
Mar 09, 2009 Arwen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
Shelves: four-star
A gothic mystery set in eighteenth century Italy. I enjoyed it!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 73 74 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Summer of the Dragon
  • Wildfire at Midnight
  • Window on the Square
  • Moonraker's Bride
Barbara Michaels was a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also wrote as Elizabeth Peters, as well as under her own name.

She was born in Canton, Illinois and has written over fifty books including some in Egyptology. Dr. Mertz also holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Egyptology.
More about Barbara Michaels...

Share This Book

“... I [glanced] at his soldiers with a curling lip. I had learned this gesture from watching Stefano. Apparently it was just as annoying on my face....” 5 likes
More quotes…