Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The King's Agent” as Want to Read:
The King's Agent
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The King's Agent

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  10,088 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
"Russo Morin skillfully blends historical fiction and fantasy in surprising ways. She draws effortlessly upon influences ranging from Dante to Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the authority of her presentation makes the world she’s created come alive. A wonderfully action-packed ride through the lush landscape of Renaissance Italy." Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

The King’s
Paperback, 411 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The King's Agent, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Asteropê Check it out at a library or borrow it from someone.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I give the author credit for putting a lot of heart, soul and energy into this story. It has a lot of authentic-feeling details, although I had trouble with the initially slow-moving narrative. I really liked the intricate infusion of The Divine Comedy into the story. I would like to rate this higher, but it was just too hard for me to get into the story initially, and I didn't love the conclusion overall.

For that reason, I'd have to rate it 3.25/5.0 stars. It's hard when you don't love somethi
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Blending fact and fantasy, this fast-paced novel–which can only be described as an articulate historical adventure–Donna Russo Morin brings to life a real historical figure, Battista della Palla. Serving his beloved Florence’s political interests, Battista works as an art dealer for France’s King Francois I. He readily bargains and bribes to collect sought after pieces, but is not above thievery if necessary. The ultimate task the King sets him to—unearthing a secret and powerful triptych—proves ...more
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lady Aurelia is a noblewoman under the care of the Marquess of Mantua. Being under watchful eye night and day, she is desperate for freedom and for some adventure. Battista della Paglia is an agent working for King François I of France. He attains what the King asks of him, legally or illegally if need be. He is the King's agent. Battista is now in search of a mysterious sculpture for the King.

When she finds Battista pillaging her home, Aurelia helps him escape and partners up with him in
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Florence, Michelangelo, art, THAT COVER! What is not to like about this book at first blush? Nothing! And after reading it my initial opinion stands and then some. I don't know about you but I am first attracted to a book's cover and then drawn in by the synopsis; this one had me two for two.

Our hero, Battista was a real person. In this novel he is an "acquirer" for Francois I. Of art. Great art, beautiful art. And with his latest assignment - art that hasn't been seen in a VERY long time. Franc
Copperfield Review
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book I’ve read by Donna Russo Morin, and I’ve already downloaded her other books onto my kindle and I can’t wait to read them. Morin has everything I love about historical fiction in this book, from enriching descriptions about what life was life in 16th century Europe to romance to adventure and real life characters. I felt like I was drawn into the time period, and it’s a meaty story, long enough to give a lot of details to keep you enraptured and yet the plot never dragged ...more
☕ Kimberly
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
The King’s Agent is a historical fiction set in Renaissance Italy with a fantastic twist. The tale is filled with suspense, secret societies, hidden artifacts, romance and political intrigue. Based loosely on the life of Battista della Palla a patriotic plunder and friend to Michelangelo in the sixteenth century this tale captivated me.

The tale begins when we meet Lady Aurelia, the ward of the Marquess of Mantua. Her life is completely sheltered, guarded, and boring. She longs for adventure, to
Kathleen Kelly
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I do not know a lot about the Italian Renaissance so I was very eager to read this book. I can say I was not disappointed although it took me a bit to get past the names and places mentioned in this time period of 1500's Italy but that did not deter me at all. Based on real life art collector/thief Battista della Paglia, this novel tells the story of the search for a relic wanted by François, the King of France.

The clues to this relic are to be found in a tryptich and while Battista is on the se
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
This is a romp of a novel. The story literally bounces along, bops happily through Florence and Italy in search of mysterious piece of sculpture of immense importance, following clues from Dante's Divina Commedia, following clues in paintings that may or may not indicate UFOs. And yet, while it sounds a bit laughable and weird, it all kind of fits together and was, in the end, a great deal of fun.

Set in 1500s Florence, the story follows Battista della Palla, a Florentine patriot who steals art t
Battista della Palla is an art collector, or a thief, for the king of France. His job is to collect valuable paintings and sculptures for the king. He is in a mission to find a mysterious sculpture which is believed to have special powers when he meets mysterious woman named Aurelia. Aurelia has been living as a ward of Marquess of Mantua and her life has been very sheltered but she is a woman with secrets.

Before I started this book I thought this would be straight-forward historical fiction and
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
What starts out as a seemingly standard historical fiction novel quickly turns into more of an adventure novel in a historical setting. This was a new sort of twist in the HF genre and certainly for Morin’s novels in general – and it was an amazingly fun ride! Our hero and heroine set out on an epic adventure to find a relic of some extraordinary power for the king of France. To ultimately get to this relic they will have to face tests of strength, speed, power, stamina, emotions and many more c ...more
Jenny Q
Aug 15, 2011 rated it liked it
The King's Agent is an ambitious story, combining elements of theology, literature, thematic art, secret societies, and even ancient aliens, to form this swashbuckling adventure, and the adventure starts on page one. As Battista and Aurelia work together to find a mysterious sculpture that the King of France thinks will give him the power to defeat his enemy, Spain, once and for all, they stumble on to a road map of instructions hidden in Dante's Divine Comedy and in the works of Renaissance pai ...more
May 02, 2012 rated it it was ok

Battista is a man who loves a challenges. He plans each of his thefts in meticulous detail, not afraid to take the chances he needs to take in order to met his goal, but also not prepared to put his men, and his own life at any greater risk than he needs to. His interest is piqud when he receives a cryptic clue which he assumes is a message from his patron, the French King Francois

To read more:
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I received this book directly from Donna Russo Morin, a wonderful lady, at the RT Booklovers Convention Book Fair. Thanks so much for signing it for me!
I absolutely loved this book! The setting, Renaissance Florence, was described beautifully and I completely fell in love with the characters. Battista isn't a normal art collector; yes, he steals for his patron, the King of France, to support the rebellion against the Medici family that has taken over Italy. He is skillful at his trade and is sel
Nov 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
I really admire anybody who has the will and the imagination to put a book together, so I'm usually pretty generous in my reviews, but this time I really can't. So during the first third of the book, which is set in early 16th century Italy, this art dealer/thief hero starts the quest for a relic. Nothing out of the ordinary here. But, in early 16th century our hero has an art library. The library is big enough to keep him and his 4 or 5 partners in crime busy looking for clues in the books for ...more
Nov 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012-reads
The Three Reasons Review is a simple way to get your thoughts out there about a book. The reasons are as follows complete with fancy button:

1.) Reasons you chose this book
Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres of all to read. I thought the book sounded interesting and the time period is one that I know very little about!

2.) Reasons you liked or disliked this book
I had a really hard time getting interested in the story that the author was trying to tell. It had nothing at all to do with
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was thrilled when contacted by the author and asked to review this book. In no way does this influence my opinion of The King's Agent. I knew nothing of what this book was about, but judging from the cover I was expecting something other than what I received, and I mean that in a good way.

As posted at

This book is a wonderful mix of mystery, history, romance and a tad of supernatural elements plus lots of adventure. I was captivated with this story right
Blodeuedd Finland
What went wrong? Well in a way that is easy to explain; frankly I was bored. I wanted to skim, I wanted to get it over with. I just could not connect. I did like one part of the book though..after page 300 it grew interested and there was a new mystery that caught my attention. But even if that was good in the end I just did not get one thing, which I can't tell you about.

The book was a bit heavy and it's not straight up historical fiction. It has a bit of "paranormal" in it that shows up later.
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
No, I'm sorry. I mean, I *finished* it. I didn't throw it against the wall. But only because I spent cash money on it. If it had been from the library...well, I wouldn't have thrown it against the wall, because... library. But I wouldn't have finished it.

This book was utterly ridiculous, and I love video games as much as the next person, but when I'm reading a book and I can barely keep my mind on it because all I'm thinking is, "Wow, this is JUST LIKE a video game," then it's too much.

I have a
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dante's Divine Comedy holds the key to the quest to one of the greatest and most powerful works of art - and it is this piece that Battista della Palla is commissioned by the King of France to acquire, any means necessary. To succeed he must break into palazzos, run through secret doors and passages, and decipher clues that are found in famous works of art. Along his way he meets Lady Aurelia, an intelligent and feisty woman who longs for freedom, adventure and love. This is a brilliant combinat ...more
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
I liked the whole historical fiction aspect of this book. I enjoyed reading about the different art and the adventures of the main characters as they searched for clues to find the paintings, but the fantasy parts of this book really didn't do much for me. The author should have just kept it a straight historical fiction novel. Also, I don't recall the description on the back cover saying anything about this book being a fantasy novel.
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-won
What a refreshing read! For anyone looking for something different and like historical ficiton. The author describe the art pieces masterfully, I could picture they clearly. The characters are likeable and rememberable. The beinning is a bit slow but that is my only complaint.
Thank you for the free copy really enjoyed it.
Natalie Williams
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. Ms. Morin does indeed bring the times of Michelangelo alive and the adventures are worth the trip! If you crave a little history mixed in with your fiction, I highly recommend this romp. When you get to the end, read about her inspiration for writing this book . . . you might be surprised!
Sara Smith
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is not just another romance. Battista and Aurelia fall in love while trying to navigate the 3 stages of Dante's Inferno to claim artwork for the king of France. Some historical liberties have been taken in this book, but others sound quite convincing.
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Most definitely Ms Russo Morin's best book to date. An amazingly complex and fascinating tale with a little bit of everything...adventure, fascinating history, renaissance art, Dante, and so much more.
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this divine novel. Terrific detail to the era - costume, terrain, persona, etc. Great character development - and a surprise or two! I felt drawn to the period, throughly enjoyed every page (I quickly flipped).
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a fun read with a little romance, lots of adventure, and Renaissance art history.
Holly P
Sep 21, 2011 rated it liked it

The King's Agent by Donna Russo Morin takes the reader on a captivating adventure through the streets of Renaissance Florence and Rome. The beautiful Lady Aurelia is a mystery-a woman who has been kept in the care of the Marquess of Mantua all of her life and who longs to get out and see the world. Battista della Palla is a handsome art dealer who steals his priceless merchandise when he can't come by it honestly. The fates of these two collide and become inseparable when Aurelia comes to Bat
Michelle (True Book Addict) Miller
How to sum up a book such as The King's Agent with mere words? The book has all the elements of what I consider to be great fiction. Adventure, mystery, love, and mysticism. And to speak of my opinions without giving the story away will be quite a feat in itself, but I shall attempt to do it justice without revealing too much.

Set in the 16th cenury, in the twilight of the Renaissance, The King's Agent tells the story of a quest for an object of power that would be at the heart of the demise of m
I won a free copy of this book through the First Reads program and was excited to dive into the story; not only is the cover art exceptionally beautiful, but the description sounded terrific. Set in Italy during the Renaissance, Battista is an art collector for the King of France, determined to obtain art requested by any means necessary, resorting to thievery if negotiations fail. After being tasked with acquiring a specific, mysterious object, he runs into Aurelia, a lady of a higher class who ...more
I haven’t read many books that take place during the Italian Renaissance and I was delighted to receive this book from Donna Russo Morin for review. I believe this period of time the arts were at its strongest and most sought after. Great artist come from this period. Donna does a brilliant job showing this. This story takes place in Florence. Battista an “art collector,” is really an agent for King François of France. Battista is collecting sought after pieces of art for François that leads him ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 09, 2015 10:46AM  
Sir Read-A-Lot's ...: Review - The King's Agent by Donna Russo Morin 1 7 Jan 19, 2013 04:52AM  
  • By the King's Design
  • The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: 14 Amazing Authors Tell the Tales
  • His Last Duchess
  • The Sister Queens
  • The Last Nude
  • Four Sisters, All Queens
  • The Queen's Pleasure
  • Extra Yarn
  • The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile
  • Keeper of the King's Secrets  (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, #2)
  • The Lost Painting
  • The Sumerton Women (Tudor Court #3)
  • The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt
  • The Turning of Anne Merrick
  • The Queen's Secret (Lucy Morgan, #1)
  • At the Mercy of the Queen
  • It Chooses You
  • Betrayal
Donna Russo Morin is the award winning of author of historical fiction. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, she lives near the ocean, her greatest muse. Her two sons, Devon and Dylan--an opera singer and chef--are still her greatest works in progress.

Donna enjoys meeting with book groups in person and via Skype chat. Visit her website at;
friend her on Facebook at
“Her own fearless audacity had surprised her, though she knew she had been born for more than her life had asked of her thus far.” 10 likes
More quotes…