The Stars Compel
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The Stars Compel

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  63 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Tommaso Arista is the son of two of the most prestigious families of chefs to the household of Cosimo Ruggerio, noble astrologer to the Pope, and a powerful political figure in Florence and Rome. His mother is a Befanini -- the hereditary cooks of the de' Medici family, bound to the Dukes of Florence by centuries of both service and blood, family in all but the name.Cather...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Tor Books (first published 1999)
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This is probably never going to get finished, which is such a shame, because it has everything I want in a fantasy: an interesting magic system, strong characters (most of them female), a loveable primary character (Tommasso broke my heart, I had no idea, I just want him to be happy), and most importantly: GOOD FOOD.

I find it that the fantasy books I love best talk about food a lot. Reading the Harry Potter series makes me hungry. And I knew when I picked this series up that main characters work...more
I didn't know before I started reading The Stars Dispose that there was a sequel, but I managed to find The Stars Compel and read it fairly quickly. It was still pretty good, but I didn't enjoy it as much, largely because it focused more on political intrigue than on the kitchen and hearth magic which I thought was such a strong feature of the first book. Apparently, Roessner planned a third book, which hasn't yet materialized; I wish it would, because like the first book, The Stars Compel doesn...more
Does anyone know what has happened to the planned third book in this trilogy? The ending of this is kind of a cliffhanger, with Caterina arriving in France. I'm a bit baffled by how the author planned to move forward with this story, as Caterina is the heroine of the first two books. How will she end up as the conniving poisoner of historical legend and the authoress of one of the worst massacres in history? Or not? Was the author so confounded by the historical Caterina that she found herself u...more
The Stars Compel continues the story of Tommaso and Catherine de Medici (known as Caterina here), though in this book the location moves from Florence to Rome. My view is that it is essential to read the first book, The Stars Dispose, before this one, as it places the relationship between Caterina and her servant and confidante, Tommaso in context.
Read my full review here.
I've waited years to read this sequel. I was given its predecessor as a birthday gift quite a long time ago. I was a bit rusty on some of the finer details, but I enjoyed this retelling of Catherine de Medici's early life. This volume covers the two years just before her marriage to Henri, the Duke of Orleans. It's amazing to think of the high level of statecraft she was involved in at just twelve years old!
Found this somewhat less compelling than the first book in this series. I particularly like stories about learning a craft or trade; there's a bit less of that in this book, and more of a focus on Caterina's politicking. Nevertheless, though I have little hope that the third book will ever see the light of day (given it's been eight years since this was published), I will say that I wish I could read it.
Historical novel with supernatural elements. Apparently this is part of a series of novels but this is the only one I've read so far. The blending of a true historical figure (Catherine de Medici) and fictional characters was very nicely told, and the author threw in some shape-shifting werewolves just to keep things interesting. Will probably pick this up again once I finish "Dance of Dragons."
Beware, if you read this book you will be hungry all the time! The protagonist is an apprentice cook in Renaissance Italy for the Medici family. The feasts, foods and descriptions had me salivating.
Oh, the story's pretty good, too.
it was a pretty good book, many different perspectives of renaissance italy, wish it ended differently
Not quite as good as the first book, but only slightly less so. Wondering what ever became of book #3?
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From Wikipedia:
Born in San Francisco, Michaela Roessner was raised in (successively) California, New York, Pennsylvania, Thailand, and Oregon. Trained as a visual artist, she holds a BFA in Ceramics from the California College of Arts and Crafts and an MFA in Painting from Lone Mountain College, and exhibits under the name M. M. Roessner-Herman. In 1989, she won the John W. Campbell Award for Best...more
More about Michaela Roessner...
Vanishing Point The Stars Dispose Walkabout Woman Tails of Wonder and Imagination The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November/December 2010

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