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Da Vinci's Tiger

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,485 ratings  ·  385 reviews
For fans of rich and complex historical novels like Girl with a Pearl Earring or Code Name Verity, Laura Malone Elliott delivers the stunning tale of real-life Renaissance woman Ginevra de' Benci, the inspiration for one of Leonardo da Vinci's earliest masterpieces.

The young and beautiful daughter of a wealthy family, Ginevra longs to share her poetry and participate in th
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Popular Answered Questions
Seregon b/c nowadays there has to be gay crap in order to be good? Gimmie a break

and yes I know de vinci was gay. Who does'n know?…more
b/c nowadays there has to be gay crap in order to be good? Gimmie a break

and yes I know de vinci was gay. Who does'n know?(less)
Ančka I'm at 73% and so far the romance has been a very subdued aspect. I feel like this book is more about the main character's emotional journey and perso…moreI'm at 73% and so far the romance has been a very subdued aspect. I feel like this book is more about the main character's emotional journey and personal growth, about her finding her agency <spoiler>and finding the confidence to dedicate herself to her intellectual pursuits</spoiler> While love is explored, I wouldn't classify this book as a "romance", as I can't see any traditional ships. (less)

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Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

"I beg your pardon, I am a mountain tiger."

This story was a little different to what I’d normally read, but it was interesting that it was based on a real painting.

Ginevra was quite a spirited girl, and obviously passionate about art and her own purity, even though she was in an arranged marriage.

The storyline in this was about Ginevra meeting Leonardo Da Vinci, and the
Stephanie (Bookfever)
First of all I should say I'm pretty much obsessed with anything involving Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. So I'm really glad I can say that Da Vinci's Tiger was a really good read. I immensely enjoyed it and is now one of my favorite reads of the year.

I actually haven't read any books that feature da Vinci or Renaissance Florence so this book was really one I needed. And can I just mention how much I love the fact that someone decided to write about Ginevra de' Benci. Though at times a b
Kayla Rayne
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"I, who had the chance to make men listen-and see-what women has in their hearts and minds. As a bird in a gilded cage, singing? No, too limiting. A house cat watching a bird? No, too domesticated. I wanted a different, larger metaphor for myself."

I decided to pick this book up as my first read of the 2016 year. Initially, I thought this book was going to be a quick read, as it comes in under three hundred pages. However, this has quite the deceptive packaging. While there isn't much to the pa
Based on the muse for one of Leonardo DaVinci's early paintings, DaVinci's Tiger is a historical fiction book with with a feminist twist. In a time when woman were seen as property of their fathers and husbands, Ginevra de Benci Niccolini yearns to be more than a pretty face. Encouraged by her father and the nuns at her boarding school to learn Latin, literature, and philosophy, she is able to discuss artwork with her social circle, which includes the Medicis who control the banks and the artist ...more
I beg your pardon, I am TERRIBLY DISAPPOINTED.

Argh, this is my first read of the year, is a tough one to rate, and left me feeling completely dissatisfied.

Yes. As you can imagine, I'm a bit angry.

Because..let's look at the big picture, shall we? I picked up dVT because it's has two things: art and history. I am an artist. I am, more specifically, a painter. Da Vinci isn't my favorite artist (that honor goes to Monet), but I like him nonetheless. I also love the Renaissance, and, consequently,
Jan 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
I'm marking this as DNF. I don't think I'm gonna go back & pick it up bc tbh, I really don't want to.

I didn't find it interesting, plot wise. The history was nice but the storyline was not. What was it?

I was constantly tired of being reminded in every chapter what the era & what role woman had. I get it. No need to keep telling me. Stop telling me things, and SHOW me things. The writing is what almost killed me :/

Two DNF's in a row?!!! How can this be??!!


Novels about artists and their muses/subjects of famous paintings is pretty fascinating, to say the least. From The Girl with the Pearl Earring to The Passion of Artemisia, the ideals, social etiquettes, and political/financial motivations that often were the driving force behind the paintings and how they were portrayed can make for gripping reads. This book deals with Ginevra de'Benci, muse of Leonardo da Vinci and subject of one of his earli
The strength of this book is its history accuracy, its beautiful descriptions and love for art. It's clear reading it that Elliott is a lover of history (or at least of Italian Renaissance) by her through research of the facts and possible facts, I know this is fiction but there is something magical when reading a historical book and seeing that this stories could actually have happened. The descriptions of Florence were breath taking, everything felt really vivid and oh, how I wish I could go t ...more
Tigress (Warrior Elf)
What's this? A book about Da Vinci's muse? And she's a poet? And he calls her his tiger? I'm intrigued. Please be good. Please please please please please be good.

UPDATE: Gah! They changed the cover! Why did they do that? The other one was so much better--the one with the silhouette of a tiger with a girl's face inside. See?

This new cover just looks so generic and boring. I mean, it's pretty, but... it looks like it could be the cover for any other YA historical fiction novel.

(sighs) Well... At
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it

I loved the writing style of this book! Though something about it made me not completely love this!
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it
THE DETAIL. I don't think I've ever seen such attention paid to historical detail in a YA novel, especially not one set in Italy. I've been burned a few too many times on historical Italy-set YA.

Lush, accurate, and focused on an oft-overlooked portion of Italian history in that oh so uninteresting (wink wink) pre-Borgia era. (In case you didn't get the wink wink, I'm 100% kidding since the mid-15th century is my favorite and the Borgias are overdone now.)

My issues came with the characterization
Sarah Amelia
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very good! I read it on and off but awesome! I loved the art aspect of it!
May 20, 2018 added it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 88 pages.

EUUUGHHH I tried. I was just bored by this book which is such a shame. It's obvious that the author has done a hell of a lot of research when building the world- there's a lot of depth to the characters and all the historical elements like the political circles were cool but eugh. I felt intrigued but I wasn't a huge fan of the main character and although things were interesting with the politics, the plot hadn't really moved forward at all by the 80 page mark so I decided to giv
Mar 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, harpercollins, 2015
Hmm this is a tough one. While the history and details are finely tuned, this book had few pay-offs. I appreciated the writing but I'm not sure how much I actually enjoyed the story.
4 stars

I love art, historical fiction, and Renaissance Italy - so how could I possibly resist Da Vinci's Tiger? With a premise that evoked loving memories of Sharon Biggs Waller's A Mad, Wicked Folly - arguably my favorite historical fiction title to date - this book shot up to the top of my to read list. And I am very, very pleased with it.

Right away, what struck me upon reading Da Vinci's Tiger is how well-written and well-researched it is. This makes all the difference in historical fiction t
I'm normally not a big reader of historical fiction. It has to be something that truly interests me or grabs my attention. So when "Da Vinci's Tiger" by L.M. Elliott arrived with December's Owlcrate box, I was skeptical.
And it took me a few pages to get into the writing style and story as it was so widely different from what I normally did. But once I got hooked, I got lost in Florence at the time of the Renaissance, mingling with the Medici family as well as Leonardo DaVinci and I absolutely l
Sep 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-on-blog, own
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs:**

Da Vinci’s Tiger is a beautiful story, full of rich historical details that left me breathless for more. Da Vinci’s Tiger takes place in Renaissance Florence, and it tells the story of Ginevra de’ Benci, how she met Da Vinci and how he came to paint a picture of her (which happened to be his first portrait ever painted). I am a history major, and Renaissance Italy is some of my favorite, so all of the art, history, po
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm kind of torn about this book. It had amazing descriptions of Florence and the art. I'm not an art person, and I know nothing about art but I still immensely enjoyed all of these descriptions. Plus I always have serious respect for an author when it's clear that they put a lot of thought and research into a book. But if we're talking about the story and the characters, these two things definitely lacked. Nothing exciting happened. The characters were flat and didn't really have any depth to t ...more
Oh the history. This book shines with all of the glory of the Italian Renaissance. I've never read another book my L.M. Elliott, but she is a deft master of scene setting and description. And I learned things about history that I hadn't known before, which is part of the reason why I love historical fiction so much.

The book itself is an imagining of the real relationship between a young Leonardo Da Vinci and the teenage poet Ginevra de' Benci, whom I had never heard of before.

I thought it was
Nicole Wang
veey historically accurate but also quite boring. review to come
Aug 28, 2015 rated it liked it
I love the historical accuracies and detailed descriptions in this. downside was getting confused about who side characters were. as I feel some didn't get explained well when introduced
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this a lot! But it was at times difficult to follow especially at the beginning and I do think it sometimes reads a little cheesy. Sometimes the dialogue sounded silly. But I did like Ginevra as a character and appreciated how historically accurate this book seemed. It was nice reading about a real person, although fictional does give a possible insight into the real Ginevra de’ Benci. I did take an art history class in which I learned a great deal about the Medici so it was easier to ...more
Title: Da Vinci's Tiger

Author: L.M. Elliott

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Historical Fiction

Series: N/A

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

This book was given to me by the publisher, Katherine Tegen Books, through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review--thank you so much!

I don't know if you guys know this about me, but one of the things I love dearly is history, and one of my favorite periods in history is the Renaissance. It was just such a fruitful time for cultural growth--art, culture, liter
Trish at Between My Lines
This review was originally posted on [Between My Lines]I was ridiculously excited to be approved for this book!  The setting of Renaissance Florence and the thoughts of all the artisty and creativity of the time just hyped me up.  Maybe too much so because sadly I didn’t fall in love with this book.

 First Line of Da Vinci’s Tiger by Laura Malone Elliott
“ I beg your pardon, I am a mountain tiger.“
My Thoughts on of Da Vinci’s Tiger by Laura Malone Elliott
So before I get in to the nitty gri
Marie Clarisse
3.5 Stars

"Virtutem Forma Decorat. (She adorns her virtue with beauty.)"

Historical fiction books set in Renaissance Italy are right up my alley. Everything about the flourishing of this era just fascinates me – the culture, the arts, the politics, and even the beauty and mystery of Florence, the legendary art capital itself.

This was a quick and easy read, for from the moment I started reading, I was hooked. In this story, I loved just how vividly and accurately described the setting i
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was ok

Da Vinci’s Tiger was Owlcrate’s December book of last year. I was beyond excited to read it and the synopsis sounded very promising! When I finally got around to reading the book, it was not what I expected at all.

What I appreciate about this book is that the author took her time to research her history! It was obvious that the author wanted to make her novel as accurate as possible. I really liked what I learned about that time! It was a bit tough reading some part
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-didn-t-like-it
If I were to describe how I felt after reading this book in one word it would be: relieved. A book is pretty bad at least for me when it makes me tried while reading it as reading is the past time that I do for enjoyment so it should not feel like work. I pushed through it because: 

I needed another book to complete my GoodReads and Beat the Backlist challenge. This one was short, only 281 pages, so I figured that I could knock it out quickly. 
I owned it. 
Relating to #2, I started reading and was
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I probably wouldn't have picked this book to read myself--I'm probably unusual for a history teacher in that I'm not super into the Renaissance. It came with my OwlCrate subscription last month, which is actually great, because part of why I signed up for OwlCrate was so I would read books I might not chose to read on my own.

When I read middle grade and YA, part of me is reading for what my 6th graders would like--and for what would be appropriate for them. I'm finding 6th grade to be a tough g
Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤
"Most importantly, you make the choice of songs you sing within the case. With your mind and gifts, it can be an exquisite litany. Sing of us. Sing of yourself. Sing of what treasure lies inside women's hearts and minds if men but look beyond their preconceived notions. We think, we feel, we bleed when hurt. We have courage when tested. Someday men may laud rather than fear that. That is my hope.
So sing, Ginevra. Make them listen."

Italy. 1400s. Renaissance. This is a time where artists are tryin
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A romantic tale about Leonardo Da Vinci, his life, and his muse.

Opening Sentence: I beg your pardon, I am a mountain tiger.

The Review:

L.M. Elliot’s Da Vinci’s Tiger is about Leonardo Da Vinci, his life, and his muse. I love historical fiction, so when I was asked to review Da Vinci’s Tiger, it was almost a win-win situation. The synopsis had me intrigued, promising me a romance revolving around a great artist and some of the reasons behind his b
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Crazy for Young A...: Pair 13: Sara and Catherine (January 2018) 3 8 Jan 03, 2018 11:06AM  
The Book Crafters: Review 1 2 Feb 04, 2016 06:25AM  
The Book Crafters: I'm finished 1 2 Feb 04, 2016 06:25AM  
We The Book Dragons: Da Vinci's Tiger: Chapter 25 - Afterword 3 54 Feb 01, 2016 02:42PM  
We The Book Dragons: Da Vinci's Tiger: Chapter 18 - 24 2 36 Feb 01, 2016 10:17AM  
We The Book Dragons: Da Vinci's Tiger: Chapter 9 - 17 2 41 Feb 01, 2016 10:08AM  
We The Book Dragons: Da Vinci's Tiger: Prologue - Chapter 8 3 59 Feb 01, 2016 09:59AM  

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also published under the name Laura Malone Elliott

HAMILTON AND PEGGY!: A REVOLUTIONARY FRIENDSHIP is the latest YA historical novel by New York Times bestselling author L.M. Elliott ( She is the author of DA VINCI'S TIGER, a bio-pic style study of the young poet portrayed in the only work by Leonardo permanently displayed in the USA. Elliott is best known for UNDER A WAR-TORN SK

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