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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  796 ratings  ·  116 reviews
In an age of wonderous beauty and terrible secrets,
one man searches for his destiny...

In the majestic heart of Florence, a beautiful golden-haired boy is abandoned and subjected to cruelty beyond words. But Luca Bastardo is anything but an ordinary boy. Across two centuries of passion and intrigue, Luca will discover an astonishing gift—one that will lead him to embrace th
Paperback, 515 pages
Published January 29th 2008 by Delta (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  796 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Feb 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans, those who love all things having to do with the Italian renaissance
I love historical fiction because I'm always fascinated by different times and places. Yet, it's surprisingly hard to find a historical novel with just the right mix of period detail, character development and plot intensity. I picked up Immortal and from the first page I thought "this is what I've been waiting for".

The only life Luca Bastardo has known is life on the cruel streets of Florence. He doesn't yet know that he possesses an incredible gift that gives him great longevity and eternal be
Marcia Leben
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book will go straight to my list of 'favorites'. It has the exact right mix of historical fiction, magic and mystery.

The concept of being able to live for centuries is intriguing. When everyone you've ever known and loved is destined to age and die before you, it really isn't such a blessing. You can never truly settle anywhere and live in peace, because your eternal youth will always attract attention.

I love that Luca's life is intertwined with Florence and the Renaissance. He meets many
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Set in 14th and 15th century Italy, Immortal is the story of Luca Bastardo, a striking child who grew up orphaned on the streets of Florence. Telling his story from his current predicament - in a cell, freshly tortured and awaiting execution for being a witch and an abomination - Luca recalls the last 180 years or so of his life with vivid detail. He has lived that long, and barely looks to be in his mid-twenties. Growing up without knowledge of who he is or why he ages as he does has left Luca ...more
Jun 27, 2010 rated it did not like it
Hated it. You have to be immortal just to read it.
Emma Iadanza
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was not at all what I expected it to be. Here are some points which I would like to make for when you're thinking about reading it.

1) There are lots of good Dante references near the beginning.
2) There are lots of good Petrarch references near the beginning.
3) There are lots of good Boccaccio references near the beginning.
4) Giotto's cool
5) Nobody calls him 'Alessandro di Mariano Filpepi'; everyone called him Botticelli
6) Lorenzo was not that idiotic
7) Savonarola was eviller
8) Ludovico is n
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Savannah by: Nobody
This book was shaped like a U: In other words, a great beginning and a stirring ending (when everything FINALLY gets revealed and tied together), but a sagging middle.

I picked up this book on a scan of the first couple of chapters, expecting a neat story of a homeless ragamuffin sold into slavery who eventually discovers alchemy and becomes, as the title suggests, Immortal.

However, I was shocked to find this a dull read, the literary equivalent of slogging uphill through mud. It was a Da Vinci C
Mar 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up on impulse, mostly becuase I liked the cover, and I'm so glad I did. This was an interesting read, full of compelling characters, both good and bad. There were times I could hardly put it down. The plot and characters are well-rounded and well developed.

The story of one man's journey of personal discovery and the quest for what is really important in life. There were some interesting points on morality, and what cost and individual is willing to pay for what they hold most
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Florence, 1330: Luca the Bastard is nine years old. He is homeless, but he has a thirst for learning, and remembers whatever he hears.

What gives him even more strength are stranger’s words. “We Florentines have great souls. We’re imaginative, creative, spirited; we make the best artists and merchants. That’s why we’re famous for our sharp wit and intelligence, our ingegno. You have it, too, or you wouldn’t survive on the streets! (…) When you’re faced with superior strength and numbers, when yo
Clay Kallam
Jul 01, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live to be 180 years old? If given the chance to experience such longevity, would your ambitions, goals and pursuits change or would your priorities remain the same? Does a long life necessarily mean it will be richer, happier and more fulfilling?
These questions and more are addressed in the historical novel, 'Immortal,' by first-time author Traci L. Slatton as she explores the city of Florence in the 14th and 15th centuries through the eyes and v
Julie Lovisa
Feb 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing debut novel! The story of Luca Bastardo who is born of parents he can't remember and sold into prostitution by his best friend, takes place in renaissance Italy. Luca inexplicably discovers that he has a much longer than average life span and wanders through the years searching for the woman he has seen in a vision and who will be his soul's mate. Along the way, he befriends Giotto and DaVinci, works for the de'Medici family, becomes a physician, and learns of his Cathar herit ...more
Dec 23, 2008 rated it liked it
I found this book a little hard to get into in the beginning. However, once I reached the middle I was starting to become intrigued by what would happen next and the struggles that the main character faced while being faced with a "freakish" condition that was very misunderstood among his peers. All he longs for is his one true love, but he seems to lose just about everything else along the way. I don't want to spoil it for anyone else who may want to read this, but this books seems to really ma ...more
Nov 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
The same person who referred me to The Help and Cutting for Stone told me I HAD to read this book. She warned that I would hate it at first, but that it would get better and better. I kept waiting for it to get better, and it never did. I didn't care about the main character, Luca, a decendent from Seth who inheriets an extra-long life span. Despite living for almost 2 centuries, he never seems to learn anything. He has special powers and yet he hardly ever uses them for anything other than kill ...more
Meredith Galman
May 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Dull, episodic travelogue through Renaissance Florence complete with name-dropping and heavy doses of theology and Neoplatonic philosophy, with a light dusting of unsatisfying fantasy on top. Leonardo da Vinci comes across as a kid with ADD; Lorenzo de' Medici is an inexplicable choice of antagonist; and our hero Luca, despite his strange longevity and unearthly beauty, lacks wisdom and charm. When at the end he asks whether he brought his tragedy on himself, it's impossible not to scream: "Well ...more
Mar 03, 2008 rated it did not like it
The start of this book had potential, but the author dropped the ball about 150 pages into the story. The middle part of this novel is the portion of the story where Statton introduces Florentine artists and philsophers to the story, and it's ridiculous. Her portrayal of the great Renaissance artists and thinkers was embarassingly dull and elementary. How could someone portray Da Vinci, Botticelli, Lorenzo Medici, and Boccaccio in such a trivial manner? ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Florence - 13th century - beautiful setting, but I think the author got tired of writing. The main character lives for over a hundred years and part of the story is that he doesn't age and is often accused of sorcery. But the author would skip entire decades of his life as if nothing ever happened, so that he's always recalling the same two or three people from his past. What's the point of an immortal character if you're going to write on only a few years and not even use the others for backgro ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
We follow the story of Luca Bastardo through his extremely long and unbelievably fascinating life. He lived for over one hundred and eighty years. He was a homeless thief, a slave in a pleasure house, a gravedigger. He lived through plagues and wars, was taught secrets of the alchemy, worked as a doctor and was a captain of the pirate ship. He met and befriended the most amazing people, was a teacher (albeit a reluctant one) of Leonardo da Vinci, provided help for the Medici household.
He endure
Cindy Williams
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book had so much potential and just got lost. The author was strangely detailed about things that didn't matter and then just flew right by important historical events and characters. A lot of this feels like the author picked up an annotated art history book and threw in whatever facts were highlighted. The paragraph on Donatellos David is the perfect example. This story should have been so interesting, but it took me 4 times to read. ...more
Williamaye Jones
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A sad tale full of wonderful wisdom and beautiful prose, spanning two decades of the most glorious time in Italy's history--il Rinascimento. Following along with young Luca as he met some of Italy's most renowned artists and rulers in his quest to find his parents was fascinating as well as intriguing. My only pause was that I found it a bit heavy on philosophy and religion. ...more
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
The tale contradicts itself in an insipid manner - a man born to Immortals professes to want only love and peace and lives his life committing every sin he despises in others. He knows every famous person of the centuries he occupies but learns from none of them.

Joe Whitney
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't actually finish this one . Somewhere in the middle of the book the story got bogged down. I put it down and never got back to it. I might go back to it at a later time. ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The second time, it's better than at first ! Amazing span of history painted through pages of enjoyment, balming my hart!
Thanks Laszlo
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not my favorite historical fiction. The first third of the book was riveting and then things started to drag to much for me.
The ending was pretty much a given.
Jul 20, 2019 marked it as dnf
I attempted to read this book twice and failed. I just can't. Too boring and too depressing. ...more
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Immortal" is the story of Luca Bastardo, or Luca the bastard, a man living in the 14th-15th century. Takes place in Florence, Italy. Luca tells the story himself, writing his memoirs as he prepares to die. What he produces is a pleasant, if protracted, trip into an important era in Western civilization. Filled with the art, philosophy, and political intrigue of the day.

Luca's reminiscences begin when he is nine years old and a homeless orphan scrambling to live on the streets. "I never know wh
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Niama L. Williams
Copyright 2008
508 words

It is a good book, Father Mine, earthly father and Heavenly Originator, that makes one want to knock the author a good one halfway through for delaying the love story almost past this indulgent reader’s patience. And then, when the beloved finally reappears, she is in a state further forbidding consummation of what we as readers have known as a one-sided passion. I nearly summoned my earthly father from the next room to tell him, “Papa, see whom you
Oct 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Immortal is a historical fiction novel that is rich in language and detail. It takes place in Florence during the Italian Renaissance. Throughout the novel we encounter actual historical people like Leonardo da Vinci, the Medicis and so on. In addition we are taken through historical events such as The Inquisition and The Black Death.

This isn't an easy book to read-it is quite dark really. In the beginning we are introduced to the main character, Luca Bastardo, who had been abandoned as a young
Jul 24, 2014 rated it liked it
I will say first that I don't usually read historical fiction, but the setting seemed really interesting. Come on, art, alchemy and Italy? Score! Plus the whole immortality thing was a neat premise - I could dig the whole Forrest Gump in Italy rump. For that, I think it was interesting.

As for the main character, I didn't care for him. I suspect a lot of that is just from bad writing. The story was interesting, but the execution was lacking. Near the middle, the story felt a little dry. First th
I went into Immortal thinking it was going to be pretty straight-forward historical fiction. It is so much more than that (which should have been obvious from the title.) There is a mystical, supernatural element to Traci Slatton's debut novel and it flirts with time travel, too. While both require a certain suspension of belief on the part of the reader, I enjoyed the extra dimension they added to the story.

Luca, the 'immortal' main character was extremely well-developed. He was forgiveably fla
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Traci L. Slatton, author of FALLEN and COLD LIGHT, is a graduate of Yale and Columbia. She lives in Manhattan, and her love for Renaissance Italy inspired her historical novel IMMORTAL and her contemporary vampire art history mystery THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR. FALLEN is the first in a romantic trilogy set during the end times; COLD LIGHT and FAR SHORE further the dystopian tale. DANCING IN THE TABERNA ...more

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