Louise Leetch's Reviews > The Master of Verona

The Master of Verona by David Blixt
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's review
Feb 02, 2010

it was amazing
Read from January 28 to February 01, 2010

A real rip roaring book. Almost impossible to put down. You wouldn't think a story set in 14th century Verona could be that exciting but this one sure is. The author says it's a story with roots in Romeo & Juliet. You'll find a thread of R&J for sure and there are references to MacBeth, Taming of the Shrew and I'm not sure how many others. I expected a great deal more about Dante but he's really only a player in this tale of Italian rivalries. It's much more about his son, Pietro Alighieri, and his relationship to "Cangrande". This history of Francesco Della Scala and the wars between the cities of Italy is fascinating. Enough so to set me on a search of more books on the subject. My word, but they were busy fighting their near neighbors; picture Manhattan going to war against Queens, then taking on Brooklyn! Blixt's descriptions of battles and duels are nothing short of riveting, and I don't even like that sort of thing. I would suggest you read the author's notes at the end first to really appreciate what a great oeuvre he has produced. I'm always impressed when the changes an author describes are so incidental as to do no harm to history. Not really giving anything away, he mentions that there is an anagram of another of Shakespeare's plays hidden in the text. much as I loved the book, I'm not about to go back and re-read it--well, not just yet.
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