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A Thing Done

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  23 reviews
In 1216 the noble families of Florence hold great power, but they do not share it easily. Tensions simmer just below the surface. When a Jester's prank-for-hire sets off a brawl, those tensions erupt violently, dividing Florence into hostile factions. A marriage is brokered to make peace, but that fragile alliance crumbles under the pressure of a woman's interference, a sc ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published 2012 by Fireship Press
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Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

3.5 out of 5

Venturing into the fertile field of medieval Italy, Tinney Sue Heath's novel is a careful and detailed look at one of the most famous feuds and vendettas, hailing from the city of Florence. For my taste, I thought A Thing Done could be a little too focused on minor details, like clothes or the set up of a nobleman's room, and occasionally came off a bit flat in the narration. However, overall, this was a solid historical fiction effort t
Judith Starkston
Do you love the internecine, flamboyant world of Dante’s Florence? Knightly honor manipulated by a deadly woman sound like a great starting place for a plot? Then you’ll enjoy Tinney Sue Heath’s A Thing Done.

She’s narrated her tale of family feuding, jealousy and betrayal through the eyes of Corrado, a Jester-for-hire. He’s an outsider to the political machinations and maneuvering of the nobility. In fact, his personal history, as the reader finds out, makes him want to avoid the “people with s
Anna Belfrage
Taking as her starting point a series of real life events in medieval Florence, Ms Heath has succeeded in breathing life into a lost time. Rarely have I read a book where the historical setting is so well portrayed, from the wooden rails on which to hang cloaks to the bread trenchers (at times flying through the air, trailing gravy behind them), the clothes, the torches that illuminated the halls, the smoky tallow candles, the wax tablets and their leather envelopes (which made me think of iPads ...more
Alana White
Jun 27, 2013 Alana White rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Particularly to Readers of HF Set in Florence
This novel set in the 13th century shines a bright light on rival families in medieval Florence, Italy. It is January 1216, and Corrado, an amiable jester, is entertaining at a feast when, much to his dismay, he becomes the catalyst in an event that brings to a boil the already hot tensions between a collection of powerful knights and their attendant factions. As Corrado tells his story, we see him relentlessly pulled back and forth between these “pompous blowhards,” as he calls them, an pawn wh ...more
Jan 31, 2013 Prue rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction readers
*Rider: Dorothy Dunnett is my five star benchmark. I'd like to have given this book a 4.5*

I've just completed my read of A Thing Done and have closed it with a sigh of satisfaction. Corrado is the most engaging protagonist I have read for some time. There is nothing brash, foolish or ugly about his persona and I found I very quickly wanted to protect his back. He is such a creature of the time - a lower class individual at the mercy of the Macchiavellian nobility. The easy brutality and question
Erin Al-Mehairi
I was so pleased to read Tinney Sue Heath’s medieval tale, A Thing Done! From the start I was enthusiastic about her 13th century story told by a jester’s point of view (a ‘fool’ as he was referred). Always the entertaining part of most shows and stories, these actors actually garner little actual “showtime,” so I was delighted to read her original story (based on historical families) that weaved her protagonist, a fool named Corrado, into the social class and family intrigue and power struggle ...more
Julie Rose
I absolutely inhaled this book. The setting (early 13c Florence) was what compelled me to pick up the book, but from the first page, I was hooked. The narrative voice is wonderful, perfectly suited to a wry performer like the Fool, and more than once I laughed out loud.

But the subject matter is grim, and the eye-for-an-eye (or maybe, death-for-an-eye) world of warring families and vendettas was wonderfully rendered. The historical detail was just right, enough to bring you into the world and ma
Holly Stuart
I am currently re-reading this book for the sheer pleasure of it. It is one I am likely to visit again and again. The characters are very real, the action and interactions are skillfully portrayed, and medieval Florence comes vividly alive, from a simple meal of hearth-roasted onions to the towers and politics of the city. I heartily recommend this book, and have already given several copies as gifts.
Jenny Q
Giveaway now through January 21, 2013 @ Let Them Read Books!

3.5 Stars. I'm drawn to stories about the historical dealings of powerful figures from the point of view of the everyday people who had to live through their antics, and who had to live with the consequences of their actions, and I think Corrado's is one of the most interesting points of view I've read. As a poor entertainer in a small troop of acrobats and musicians, in a city rife with violent rivalry, he finds himself in the precario
Ginger Myrick
A Thing Done is an atmospheric tale of 13th century Florence with all of the intrigue and subterfuge the setting infers. The main character, Corrado, is a fool by profession and an unwilling participant in the scheming of the nobles who employ him. He unwittingly sets off a vendetta that will eventually affect the entire population around him and hit much closer to home than he can imagine.

Heath’s fluid writing style keeps the book moving at an enjoyable pace, allowing the story to unfold in its
Bry Jensen
Read this review and more at Romancing the Laser Pistol

My name is Bry, and I am a glutton for Florence. Seriously, I could never get tired of reading about Italian history, and this city just absolutely captivates my passionate heart.I tend to focus on the Renaissance period and the Medici family as is my academic specialty, but on the rare occasion where I find a book that promises a 'new' take on my beloved city, I might just get a little excited. Juuust a little.

This is what A Thing Donedid f
Andrea Guy
This book was a step out of my usual historical fiction comfort zone, however it was well worth it.

Its intrigue pure and simple with a fool in the thick of things. For me the story started off a little slow, but that really had more to do with my getting used to a different type of story than I'm used to.

Once I became acclimated to world of Florence in 1216 the book took off for me. Tinney Sue Heath has definitely done her research here and she shows that in her great attention to detail.

The sto
This book takes you back to 13th century Florence. Florence before she was the city of the Medici, the city of Michelangelo. Before she had consolidation her power; when the powerful families were vying for control. (Actually has that REALLY stopped anywhere? But I digress.)

The book starts at a party, has major denouements at parties and ends at a party. Why is this of note? Because our main characters are players; jugglers, muscians - performers struggling to make a living from the nobility. Ou
Meg - A Bookish Affair
3.5 stars. In the beginning of the 13th century, Florence was ruled by a couple of super powerful families who took their rivalries to a whole other level. Each family wants to be on top and the slightest issue can turn the balance of the city entirely on its head. The stakes are very high and it seems like just about any little thing could set either family off! "A Thing Done" explores in great historical detail what happens when these families fight over a slight by one onto the other. It is m ...more
Fascinating time and place--13th century Florence--a loose retelling of the Guelph/Ghibelline conflict. I enjoyed this novel very much. It started slowly, maybe partly because of the unfamiliar names and my not knowing who was aligned with whom, but it gained momentum as the novel progressed. The first line is a classic worthy of Sabatini!

"It was a fool that began it, but it took a woman to turn it murderous."

So begins this tale of duplicity and vengeance, set in Renaissance Florence. The jester
A Thing Done is a fictionalized accounting of the broken betrothal that sparked the long-standing war between the Ghibelline and Guelphs families of medieval Florence. At the heart of the story is a court jester who is intimidated into performing a prank at a celebration. The prank sets off a vendetta which is appeased by a betrothal between two families. However, the betrothal is broken and murder becomes the only way to settle the vendetta.

Author Tinney Heath has really created a compelling s
Sophia duBay
Tinney Sue Heath's A Thing Done is a precisely researched novel of medieval Italy which incorporates minute details to add to a dazzling setting of intrigue, drama, and fast-paced plotting. Heath's writing is so engaging that I was able to easily visualize the setting, the characters, and the plot; from cover to cover, not a page went by which didn't thoroughly capture my attention. I look forward to reading more from this gem of an author. ...more
Kim Rendfeld
“A Thing Done” will take the reader back to 13th-century Florence, when an annoying prank snowballs into a vendetta among Florence’s noble families. The narrator is the jester ordered to pull the prank, whom we today would describe as working class. The jester is a wry and unwilling observer caught up in the situation.

The novel is based on historical events, and it is apparent the author has done her research down to the details of daily life. She provides us with real medieval characters and d
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't know much about this history before I picked up this book but this compelling story made the history interesting and made me want to learn more about it. From what I've read, the historical part of this book is accurate and the fictional part woven in to it makes it an interesting story. It is not as cumbersome as many historical books are. It is a fairly quick read and helps you learn something while having an enjoyable read.
A wonderful introduction to a time and place I knew nothing about. After reading the book I felt as if I had actually visited 13th century Florence. I also enjoyed seeing the story through the eyes of the Fool, who has his own thoughts about the wealthy and powerful who control the city, as well as his own life. Anyone who yearns for good historical fiction that is not the same old same old should read this.
Eileen Iciek
This wonderfully written book tells the story of the beginnings of an infamous feud begun in Florence in 1215 from the POV of a jester. The writing was excellent, the characters memorable, and the historic research blended in seamlessly to the story. I felt like I was there. A truly enjoyable read!
An engrossing read with a likeable protagonist set in 13th century Florence. Well-reasearched and readable without the History and the times intruding as lectures.
They say it started with a fool's jest. That's what they say, anyway, about the centuries' long feud between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. Tinney Heath takes us back to the murky origins of the feud in A Thing Done.

Read the rest at Summer Reading Project.
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Tinney Sue Heath is the author of A Thing Done, a historical novel set in 13th century Florence and published by Fireship Press. She started college in Boston at the New England Conservatory with the intention of becoming a professional flutist, but after a rather abrupt change of direction she wound up with a degree in journalism from Antioch College. In time, the traditional “who, what, when, wh ...more
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