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The Medusa Amulet

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,655 Ratings  ·  204 Reviews
Benvenuto Cellini, master artisan of Renaissance Italy, once crafted a beautiful amulet prized for its unimaginable power—and untold menace. Now the quest to recover this legendary artifact depends upon one man: David Franco, a brilliant but skeptical young scholar at Chicago’s world-renowned Newberry Library. What begins as a simple investigation spirals into a tale of da ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Bantam (first published April 26th 2011)
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I was not sure I was going to make it through this one, but by about the 7th chapter it really hit its stride and then it was off to the races. It slips back and forth between the past and present. A very prominent jeweler who made jewelry for kings and queens created a very special amulet for himself that he used in his secret connections to the occult. It could supposedly give everlasting life if used correctly. When a present day archeologists is approached by a beautiful woman who will pay h ...more
May 17, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First, I won this as a First-Reads giveaway and appreciated the opportunity to get an early look! Reading makes up about 90% of my job, but every script or novel I pick up is still exciting; books that arrive in the mail at random are an extra delight.

There is a tremendous idea in this book, and the core of the story itself is clever and interesting. Truly, an excellent beginning.

That said, the writing leaves something to be desired. So much of the book is dependent the reader investing in the m
Jul 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
Diciamo 2,5, dato che la trama nella seconda parte diventa meno melensa e un po' piu' accattivante. Ma e' inaccettabile che qualsiasi libro, di qualsiasi genere, tratti cosi' alla leggera l'uso delle citazioni di una lingua straniera, probabilmente con l'idea che tanto nessuno si rendera' conto che quelle citazioni non hanno alcun senso o sono completamente sgrammaticate.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-2017
It took me a few chapters to get into the story, but by Chapter 7 I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I was fully immersed in this adventure.

Robert Masello did his research quite well and while reading this book, I couldn’t help but feel as if I’m reading a Dan Brown novel. It had all the elements and intrigue of a Dan Brown novel. My favorite was the chapters on the characters in the past. I was particularly impressed by his rendering of Marie Antoinette’s execution.

There are a few good twis
May 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this first-reads copy so a big thanks to Goodreads for that!

I took a while to read this book because there was so much information to absorb and I didn't want to miss out on anything, hence my review being so late.

To start, I will say that I loved the history in this book. The historical references to Rome and Florance simply fascinated me as does anything pertaining to Italy. The fact that there was a medieval, renaissance undercurrent kept me reading! I also liked the settings in France
I Love Kirkus Reviews. They're generally the bad guy of the review world so if they like something, odds are it'll be good. They loved this and I only thought it was okay.

A librarian at the prestigious Newberry Library in Chicago is asked by a wealthy patron to locate an item created by an idol of his, Benvenuto Cellini, an Italian Renaissance artist and sculpter. In return, she will pay his expenses to Italy and assist him in prolonging his sick (with cancer) sister's life.

Here begins his whi
Rick Fisher
Excellent follow up to "Blood and Ice".
This novel has to be broken down into two parts. Past and present. The historical sections dealing with Benvenuto Cellini are excellent. Four star ratings. I did not enjoy the present day scenarios as well, until the ending.
Still, a nice read. I thoroughly enjoyed historical Italy and reading about some of the masters of the art world.
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good. Really liked the twists. Can't wait for the movie.
T.W. Fendley
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining adventure story blending alternative history, art and a bit of romance ... gets off to an unsettling start.
Ashley Brown
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Colosseum, the fountain, the wine, the food, the drink, the passion...there's something about Italy and Rome that you can't help but love. It was actually by coincidence that I had this book in my 'to-read' list as I went for a weekend break to Rome, but it added so, so much to the reading experience as some of the book is based around the area.

This piece of work stands up there as an example of how to write an engaging, well-researched and yet easy to read novel. I'm use to reading slightly
The Medusa Amulet was created by Benvenuto Cellini, a Florentine artist of some renown in the 1500's. In this book, David Franco, a young curator at a Chicago Museum, is engaged by a rich donor to find it. The amulet has the ability, under the right conditions, to make a person immortal. The donor promises David $1,000,000 and that his cancer-striken sister will live a long life if he finds and secures the amulet for him.

The book bounces between the current day and the past. In the past, Cellin
eric veltri
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Excellent Novel

The pace of the story telling and development of the characters made me feel as if all was believable. I usually prefer science fiction to fantasy however if the storyline is smooth and believable, characters are well developed and likeable, and the author does his homework and teaches me things I never would have researched on my own, as Masello has done here than I'm a happy camper.
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love authors who take the present and mix it with the past. In this story you have a magical work of art created by the artist Cellini that not only travels through many hands, but many pieces of history. I thought it was well written, and not something I could speed read through for fear of missing something. In the end good always trumps evil.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was excited to red this book after having enjoyed Masello`s Romanov Cross. While the Medusa was a very interesting and well created story mixing history and present I found it moved slower than the earlier work. There are many interesting twists and historic hypotheses guaranteed to make you stop and ponder. A very good to pick up if you enjoy historical fiction and I several more of his works on my list to reads. ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A totally fun read reminiscent of the Dan Brown style. Loved the fantasy elements mixed with history throughout different periods. Some of the historical periods explored were some of my favourites, which made it even more enjoyable. Honestly didn't know what to expect going in and was very pleasantly surprised.
Martine Spann
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I completely got pulled into the story. It has the adventure and history of a Dan Brown novel.
It was a nice and fast read. I enjoyed it most for Cellini and Caterina, yeah even more for them as for David and Olivia.

*** german review ***

Inhalt: David Franco restauriert alte Manuskripte und ist ein Bewunderer des florentinischen KĂĽnstlers Cellini. Er bekommt von einer reichen Frau den Auftrag, ein Artefakt zu suchen, das angeblich von Cellini, der nicht nur KĂĽnstler, sondern auch bewandert in den dunklen KĂĽnsten war, geschaffen worden sein soll, um ewiges Leben zu schenken. David ist skept
Nov 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book involving some ancient legends of Perseus and the Medusa leading to an amulet that offers Immortality. The story is mainly broken into two distinct storylines that eventually weave themselves into eachother all at once.

In the first, present day, David Franco is a librarian at a museum in Chicago. He is tasked to find La Medusa, an amulet created by Benvenuto Cellini that offers its user immortality if operated in the correct method. In his search he meets Olivia Levy, a Jew living
Apr 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
First, I must say that I won this book through First Reads and I'm glad that I did.

I actually enjoyed this book and it brought me back to a genre that I used to read voraciously, but haven't done so for a while. It did remind me of the Da Vinci Code in that it combined history, mystery, a connection to the present day, and action. But, this book did have its own personality and allure for me. In this book, David Franco, a renaissance scholar at the Newberry Library in Chicago was approached by
Sep 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was okay. I expected more historical reality - a little too much fantasy for my taste.
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I savored this book, with all of its historic and artistic references. I was exposed to fictitious facts that caused me to go back and research some historical figures and works of art. I like a work that makes me seek more knowledge.

The slow development of the story was very good for me. I dislike having too many elements and characters introduced all at once. By the time I reached the final part of the narrative, the resolution of the story fairly flew along with me hanging on in the tailwind!
Apr 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book so I would like to thank Goodreads for an advance copy. I am happy to say I enjoyed this book quite a bit, it had some interesting and unexpected surprises and it was really well written. In The Medusa Amulet, Robert Masello, who also wrote Blood and Ice, brings us a thriller with an unusual mix of the supernatural. David Franco, a bright young renaissance scholar at Chicago’s Newberry Library, is in search of an artifact that could help save his sister’s life and earn him a prom ...more
The Medusa Amulet is of the archaeological-thriller genre of novel, with a magical/mystical bent (think Raiders of the Lost Ark). It is about the search for La Medusa: an amulet, created in renaissance Italy by artist Cellini. Cellini was a student of the dark arts and the amulet is said to have the power of immortality. Wealthy Kathryn Van Owen believes so, and she hires idealistic scholar David Franco to find it. The bad guys have also sent men after it. And David, meanwhile, has a personal mo ...more
Apr 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, mystery
I won this book through first reads, which was exciting!

I enjoyed this book, even though thrillers aren't my preferred genre, which is romance. My preferences in reading could have prejudiced this reading somewhat, so keep that in mind. I found the historical and international settings of Florence, Rome, and Paris truly fascinating. I also really appreciated the author's descriptions of archival research since I, too, am an academic.

However, I enjoyed the historical couple of Benvenuto Cellini
First of all I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway so Thank You Goodreads!!

3.5 stars...the last 100 pages might get 4 stars! It was good and I really enjoyed it. The blend of art, history, mythology, love, and the supernatural made for an interesting read. It was not a super fast read for me. There was a lot of history aspects and art that although I enjoyed made the story slow going in many parts. I wanted more ACTION!! The story felt like it was missing something most of the time and there were a
Apr 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book on goodreads giveaways!

So this is how i think this book was written. The author was just sitting around one day and wanted to write something but couldn't figure out what so he wrote a bunch of historical terms on slips of paper then pulled three at random out of a hat and wound up with: 15th century Florence, black magic and the Nazis. I say this because those are 3 pretty disparate themes that he managed to tie together in this book. I'm trying not to say this like its a bad th
Apr 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
How can a twenty-first century man meet a great renaissance master and battle one of the darkest historical figures of all time? That’s what you’ll find out in the Medusa Amulet.

Historical figures are given immortality in the books we read, but is it enough? For some, the guarantee of athanasia is something to be taken, achieved not in books and art or actions, but in purpose.

David, of Chicago’s Newberry library, is given the task of finding the Medusa Amulet, crafted by Renaissance artist Benv
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won a copy of this from the First Reads section and I have to say, I was really excited about it! Thanks GoodReads!

I loved all the travel, art, architecture and art history that was a major part of this book. I enjoyed the 2 intertwining stories of present day vs. Renaissance and how they were brought together in the end. I'm not a literary critic by any means; I just know a good story when I read one and this is it. My husband started reading it as I was about half way through and we had to f
Jonathan Tomes
I would not have purchased Robert Masello’s The Medusa Amulet based on the title or even the jacket blurb. The jacket blurb sounded interesting, but as my epublishing editor says, “So many books, so little time.” I probably would have passed on it except that I had read the author’s Blood and Ice about a year ago and thought that it was brilliant—somehow making a mix of vampires, cryogenics, and Antarctic explorers entirely believable with a thrilling, scary plot. So I bought his latest book bas ...more
I won this book through the Goodreads First Read Giveaway on 04/08/2011 and received it on 04/20/2011!

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time!!! I absolutely love how Masello wove fiction and history together to make this wonderfully mysterious and gripping story. Masello really grabs you by the collar and pulls you into the storyline quite quickly and then yanks you around a little. That sounds really horrible ... but it's amazing!! You really think that the story is going into
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Robert Masello is an award-winning journalist, TV writer, and the bestselling author of many novels and nonfiction books. His most recent thriller, entitled THE EINSTEIN PROPHECY (47 North), hit the # 1 spot in the Amazon Kindle store. Previous books include BLOOD AND ICE, THE MEDUSA AMULET, and THE ROMANOV CROSS, all published by Bantam/Random House.
He is also the author of two popular studies
More about Robert Masello...

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