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The Venetian Bargain

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  1,215 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
Venice, 1576. Five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, a ship steals unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man, more dead than alive, disembarks and staggers into Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from Constantinople. Within days the city is infected with bubonic plague—and the Turkish Sultan has his revenge.

But the s
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2012)
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Amy Bruno
There's always a bit of trepidation when starting a book by an author that you've never read before, but sometimes the risk pays off in spades. Case in point THE VENETIAN BARGAIN by Marina Fiorato. Holy moly, how in the world I haven't read her yet I can't say, I'm just glad that I took the plunge because this novel was ah-ma-zing!

16th century Constantinople and Venice explode off the pages in The Venetian Bargain! You see the sights and smell the smells of these two exotic locales vividly under
Zeynep Derya (Zeynep's Library)
*2,5 stars*

İlk 100 sayfanın nasıl geçip gittiğini anlamadım, çünkü okuması çok keyifliydi ve çabucak bitti. Son 200 sayfada ne kafalar yaşadım onu bile hatırlamıyorum çünkü sürüne sürüne okudum sanırım. İronilerle dolu bi kitaptı benim için. İlk başta çok sevip, kitabın son sayfasını çevirirken "bittiiiiiaaaağğ" diye sevindim. 2364890 farklı duygu yaşattı kitap bana. Sonuç: it was ok'tan hallice 2,5 yıldız.
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: 1576 Venice
Steam factor: Mild-Hot
3 1/2 Stars

When a very vengeful Turkish Sultan sends a man riddled with plague to ravage Venice, the Doge's distrust of medicine compels him to seek God's favour by hiring one of Venice's greatest architects Andrea Palladio, to design a church. On the same ship that brought the illness is a skilled physician named Feyra who is fleeing from the Sultan. Feyra is then quickly thrust into the city's now fight for survival. And the lives then of the Doge, the
Jenny Q
Giveaway thru May 11th @ Let Them Read Books!

4.5 Stars. Marina Fiorato can bring medieval Italy to life like no one else! Though I have all of her novels sitting on my shelves, I've only had the chance to read one other, The Daughter of Siena, and I was so impressed with how she was able to transport me so completely to the time period. She's done it again in The Venetian Bargain. There's one particular scene that stands out in my memory, where Feyra finds herself lost upon her arrival in Veni
Jan 17, 2014 KOMET rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About 4 years ago, I visited Venice purely by chance because it was a short distance from Trieste on the Adriatic (a city that attracted my interest, in part, because of its Habsburg past). Ever since, it has been Venice that has held me in thrall. So, when one of my fellow booklovers recently gave me "The Venetian Contract" as a gift, I was curious to see what this book had to offer.

The story begins in Venice during 1576. Plague has descended upon the city-state and its leader, the Doge (who, i
Requires Too Much Suspension of Disbelief

I was excited about this novel, I'd never read a book by this author before but the set up for the story intrigued me and I liked that it sounded somewhat unusual. I was eager to read a story about the plague in Venice with a protagonist, who happens to be a female doctor. The premise of the story sounded interesting; Feyra, a doctor who tended the women of the Sultan's harem in Constantinople, flees to Venice on the same ship as a victim of the plague. T
May 05, 2013 Aoi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hf-italy
3.5 stars

Picking the Venetian Contract up, I did not know what to expect looking at the rather unimaginative title. In spite of my misgivings, I was quickly drawn into the exotic and opulent world of 16th century Istanbul and Venice- the two great empires at war across an ocean.

Feyra, the daughter of a ship captain in the Ottoman empire, is also the extremely skilled doctor of the Sultan's harem. Her idyllic life abruptly comes to an end, when the dying Valide Sultan commands her to leave all th
Excuse me while I fangirl for a moment...

This book was absolutely beautiful. I don't usually manage to finish Historical Fiction novels, because they always seem to have the same storyline and outcome, and after a while my (extremely short) attention span gets in the way, and I end up doing ANYTHING except actually reading. But for some reason, I couldn't put The Venetian Contract down.

I don't know why. Really I don't. It didn't have vampires, or werewolves, or sexy aliens (yes, I am still hooke
Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Family, religion, Venice, medicine, plague.

I loved this book. I love this author. I need more.

Marina Fiorato manages to weave a feminist tale while still sticking fiercely to the constraints of the historical era in which the story is set. Everything is plausible. She writes passionately, with sublime descriptions and strong characters. I could see every vista, smell the tang of smoke and smouldering herbs, almost feel the heat of a fire or cool water upon my skin. The writing is incred
Jul 01, 2012 Mitch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star-favorites
A great book for anyone interested in historical fiction or Venice. I really liked The Venetian Contract because Fiorato's seamlessly weaved well researched historical details with a very likable heroine and a really good plot, resulting in a thoroughly satisfying read that just got more and more engrossing as the book unfurled. Sixteenth century Venice really came alive in all its glory and faults. But more importantly, Feyra is just such an interesting character, I didn't even know there were ...more
Suzanne Keetch
Oct 04, 2016 Suzanne Keetch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. The writing brought vivid pictures to my mind as the story wove its way along a path I didn't want to end. This historical novel takes place in Venice and Turkey during the Ottoman Empire, a time period I didn't know much about. This book definitely goes on my "favorites" list.
Oh what a wonderful introduction to Marina Fiorato! I especially enjoyed her attention to historical detail and how vibrant her settings were. The canals of Renaissance Venice, the crowded bazaars of old Constantinople, the opulence of its Sultan’s harem halls, and the sad dorm rooms of plague hospitals all come to incredible life in this woman’s hands. I’d rank her right up there with such greats as Stephanie Thornton and Elizabeth Chadwick. She makes her readers experience the world, not just ...more
Dec 11, 2012 Nura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Venetian Contract is a historical fiction book written by Marina Fiorato. It contained a well-researched historical detail from the sixteenth century Venice. The main character of the book is Feyra- a half Turk half Venetian harem doctor who manages to sneak into Venice from the Ottoman lands. The Ottomans and Venice were rivals at that time and that caused a lot of conflict between each other especially towards Christianity and Islam (which made the book even more interesting!). This book r ...more
Rachael McDiarmid
As my friends know, two of my loves are Venice and reading historical fiction. Combine the two and it can be glorious! There's something truly wonderful reading a work of fiction set in Venice - particularly if you know the city and it's history rather well. I've had my eye on Marina Fiorato for a while, reading several of her books. With this latest book (read prior to publication as an advance reading copy) I'm pleased she has continued to develop her style and storytelling abilities. This boo ...more
A story of Renaissance Venice, the Ottoman Empire, a Turkish woman and a Venetian doctor who join their forces to battle a horrifying plague epidemic amidst signs of apocalypse, while an old architect is building a magnificent church to appease God. The story is wonderfully written with a luxury of details that made the Renaissance Venice spring to life before my eyes, transporting me to another place and time so wonderfully I forgot everything else. I loved the choices of characters and subject ...more
Lauren K
Jul 14, 2012 Lauren K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
A well-researched historical fiction novel set in 1576, spanning across Turkey and Venice. Freya, a twenty-one year old harem doctor has worked for the Turkish Sultan most of her life, providing medical aid to his concubines. When her mistress (the Sultan’s mother) is poisoned and reveals on her death-bed that she is Feyra’s biological mother she sets her on a mission to speak to the Doge in Venice. When the Sultan’s men turn up on her door-step advising she is to wed the Sultan (her half-brothe ...more
3.5 stars. I enjoyed this novel set in Venice during the plague of 1576, which wiped out a third of the Venetian population. It was particularly interesting to read of the 'birdmen' of Venice--the doctors with their beaked masks. The male protagonist, Annibale, was one such doctor and the author portrayed him as a young man with modern ideas that were looked down upon by the other doctors of the district. He therefore finds himself alone with an idea for an isolation island. One such island did ...more
May 12, 2014 Melinda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, arc
Venice, 1576. Five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, a ship steals unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man, more dead than alive, disembarks and staggers into Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from Constantinople. Within days the city is infected with bubonic plagueand the Turkish Sultan has his revenge.

But the ship also holds a secret stowawayFeyra, a young and beautiful harem doctor fleeing a future as the Sultans concubine. Only her
Jul 23, 2012 Alana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considering how romantic this book is it could totally benefit from a better title. When I say romantic, I don't just mean that it has a great love story. I mean that it is written in a way that brings to life 16th century Venice and Istanbul in a way that is poetic, vibrant and utterly captivating. The story begins in Istanbul with Feyra, the daughter of a Turkish sea captain and doctor to the Sultan's ailing mother. She uncovers a terrible plot to bring the Black Death to Venice via her father ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
4.5 stars. "The Venetian Bargain" is a fascinating story of Constantinople and Venice. Feyra is a doctor who comes to Venice from her home in the Ottoman Empire to discover the answer to a mystery that she was told right before a loved one passed away. Feyra doesn't know what awaits her in Venice and she goes to the brand new city with a lot of trepidation. This book has a little bit of something for everyone.

I love visiting some place new through my reading and this book gave me an opportunity
Siobhan Daiko
Feb 13, 2013 Siobhan Daiko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Marina Fiorato novel and I wasn’t disappointed. Venice is one of my favourite Italian cities and I wanted to read a novel set there in Renaissance times, which is why I chose “The Venetian Contract”. I found it un-put-down-able right from the start. The prologue introduces us to Andrea Palladio, the great Venetian architect (1508-1580), the Doge Sebastiano Venier (1496-1578), and the arrival of a terrible plague in the city. In Constantinople, the heroine Feyra discovers that t ...more
Mar 31, 2015 Faith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, publisher
When the author of this book described not one, but two, characters as being so overwhelmingly attractive that they must wear masks or disguises to avoid inflaming the passions of strangers, I feared that I had fallen into cheesy romance novel territory. Fortunately, the romance is a pretty small portion of the book and it doesn't again sink to the ridiculous level of the masks. My one other quibble about the book is that, for a woman whose skin is repeatedly described as the color of cinnamon, ...more
Jul 22, 2016 Ruth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
c2012: FWFTB: plague, doctor, harem, Doge, Palladio. A very light read with an improbable plot (I know that's rich seeing that I adore fantasy - but if I read a book classified as a historical novel - that's what I am expecting.) The cover is the now ubiquitous lady on the front minus the head or part thereof which already made me kind of *meh*. Which really just exposes how shallow I am. The cover is attributed to Larry Rostant who has done some wonderful work in the past. I can only think that ...more
Michela Marie Mifsud
Historical fiction at its best...Fiorato weaves the historical thread wonderfully with the themes of ancient medicine, love, war and plague. Not so much intricate historical detail is given as to bore, but enough to plunge the reader well into 16th century Constantinople and Venice. The strength and perseverance of the main female protagonist is admirable, giving the novel a Lesley Pearse twist. 4.5 stars.
Jan 24, 2013 Nicki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely story and I wish I hadn't been so distracted from it. There were some good twists and turns in it to keep me reading. I enjoyed the descriptions of Feyra's Turkish life and how she struggled in Venice. I'd definitely like to read more by this author, as I liked the historical setting.
May 14, 2014 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't believe I've read this author before, but will look for more. I love historical fiction, and go pesto excels in transporting the reader to the sights, sounds and smells of Constantinople and Venice. Loved that the plot had the leading role and the romance so central to historical fiction was given a minor role.
Gizella Tóth
Jan 29, 2014 Gizella Tóth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nos, ha ennek a Fioratónak a többi könyve csak fele ilyen jó, máris megnyert magának. Biztos a Méreg teszi, de külön élveztem, hogy a történet Velencében játszódik. Csuda jó volt az ismerős helyekkel találkozni. :)
Harish Puvvula
May 26, 2013 Harish Puvvula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have read all Marina Fiorato's previous books. I love them.

I feel the title is not very apt. However, the plot and the narration are wonderful.

The book has everything I look for in a Medieval Historical fiction.

Will try this later on ebook. The audiobook narrator, Pamela Garelick, reads at the pace of a snail on Diprivan.
Veronica Barbara
Lovely! The heroine was especially interesting - her bravery and intellect outstanding. She shines throughout the whole book.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 09:30AM  
  • The Venetian Mask
  • The Scarlet Contessa
  • The Lion and the Rose (The Borgias, #2)
  • The Second Duchess
  • The Courtesan's Lover
  • The Borgia Mistress (The Poisoner Mysteries, #3)
  • The Secret of the Glass
  • Interrupted Aria (Tito Amato, #1)
  • Wolves in Winter
  • The Queen's Sorrow
  • The Painted Lady
  • The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice
  • Catherine de Medici 1-3: Madame Serpent/The Italian Woman/Queen Jezebel
  • The Remedy
  • The Girl in the Mirror
  • The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
  • Appetite
  • A Venetian Affair: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in the 18th Century
Marina Fiorato is half-Venetian. She was born in Manchester and raised in the Yorkshire Dales.

She is a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialized in the study of Shakespeare’s plays as an historical source.

After University she studied art and since worked as an illustrator, actress and film reviewer.

She also designed tour visuals for rock bands includ
More about Marina Fiorato...

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“It took Feyra some time to realise that she was not delirious: the citizens were wearing painted masks.From childhood she had heard the legend that the Venetians were half human, half beast.She knew that this could not be true, but in the swirling fog of this hellish city she almost believed it. The creatures seemed to stare at her down their warped noses from their blank and hollow eyes. And overlord of all was the winged lion - he was everywhere, watching from every plaque or pennant, ubiquitous and threatening.” 1 likes
“In the Ottoman Empire,’ she began, ‘the camel traders have stopping places along their trade routes called caravanserai. Sometimes they are hundreds of miles apart, over desert or mountain range, but they travel safe in the knowledge that there will be a place where they can shelter and find succour at the end of their journey. Even if they have never been that way before, they are sure that there will be such a place; that sooner or later, they will find a caravanserai.’ Annibale sat forward, interested. ‘ How do they know?’ ‘They do not know. They have faith. ’He sat back again. ‘I think Annibale did too. That is why my mother named me so.’ She could see that it cost him to talk of her. ‘She liked the story. She said no one could know what lay beyond today, but you had to hope, and be brave, and trust that all would be well.” 0 likes
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