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A Thing Done

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Juggling is easy – until you’re juggling two sides of a lethal vendetta.

Florence, 1216: Corrado the Fool’s prank-for-hire began it, but where is it going to end? Florence’s noble families are up in arms, and Corrado is pressed into service by both sides against his will. A peacemaking marriage could still quiet the outraged factions, but that fragile alliance may crumble
Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published December 14th 2019 (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  58 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

3.5 out of 5

Venturing into the fertile field of medieval Italy, Tinney Sue Heath's novel is a careful and detailed look at one of the most famous feuds and vendettas, hailing from the city of Florence. For my taste, I thought A Thing Done could be a little too focused on minor details, like clothes or the set up of a nobleman's room, and occasionally came off a bit flat in the narration. However, overall, this was a solid historical fiction effort
Anna Belfrage
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Taking as her starting point a series of real life events in medieval Florence, Ms Heath has succeeded in breathing life into a lost time. Rarely have I read a book where the historical setting is so well portrayed, from the wooden rails on which to hang cloaks to the bread trenchers (at times flying through the air, trailing gravy behind them), the clothes, the torches that illuminated the halls, the smoky tallow candles, the wax tablets and their leather envelopes (which made me think of iPads ...more
Judith Starkston
Do you love the internecine, flamboyant world of Dante’s Florence? Knightly honor manipulated by a deadly woman sound like a great starting place for a plot? Then you’ll enjoy Tinney Sue Heath’s A Thing Done.

She’s narrated her tale of family feuding, jealousy and betrayal through the eyes of Corrado, a Jester-for-hire. He’s an outsider to the political machinations and maneuvering of the nobility. In fact, his personal history, as the reader finds out, makes him want to avoid the “people with
Alana White
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Particularly to Readers of HF Set in Florence
This novel set in the 13th century shines a bright light on rival families in medieval Florence, Italy. It is January 1216, and Corrado, an amiable jester, is entertaining at a feast when, much to his dismay, he becomes the catalyst in an event that brings to a boil the already hot tensions between a collection of powerful knights and their attendant factions. As Corrado tells his story, we see him relentlessly pulled back and forth between these “pompous blowhards,” as he calls them, an pawn ...more
Erin Al-Mehairi
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so pleased to read Tinney Sue Heath’s medieval tale, A Thing Done! From the start I was enthusiastic about her 13th century story told by a jester’s point of view (a ‘fool’ as he was referred). Always the entertaining part of most shows and stories, these actors actually garner little actual “showtime,” so I was delighted to read her original story (based on historical families) that weaved her protagonist, a fool named Corrado, into the social class and family intrigue and power struggle ...more
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction readers

I've just completed my read of A Thing Done and have closed it with a sigh of satisfaction. Corrado is the most engaging protagonist I have read for some time. There is nothing brash, foolish or ugly about his persona and I found I very quickly wanted to protect his back. He is such a creature of the time - a lower class individual at the mercy of the Macchiavellian nobility. The easy brutality and questionable morality of the times is salty, frequently horrifying. Under those circumstances,
Julie Rose
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely inhaled this book. The setting (early 13c Florence) was what compelled me to pick up the book, but from the first page, I was hooked. The narrative voice is wonderful, perfectly suited to a wry performer like the Fool, and more than once I laughed out loud.

But the subject matter is grim, and the eye-for-an-eye (or maybe, death-for-an-eye) world of warring families and vendettas was wonderfully rendered. The historical detail was just right, enough to bring you into the world and
Holly Stuart
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am currently re-reading this book for the sheer pleasure of it. It is one I am likely to visit again and again. The characters are very real, the action and interactions are skillfully portrayed, and medieval Florence comes vividly alive, from a simple meal of hearth-roasted onions to the towers and politics of the city. I heartily recommend this book, and have already given several copies as gifts.
Jenny Q
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Giveaway now through January 21, 2013 @ Let Them Read Books!

3.5 Stars. I'm drawn to stories about the historical dealings of powerful figures from the point of view of the everyday people who had to live through their antics, and who had to live with the consequences of their actions, and I think Corrado's is one of the most interesting points of view I've read. As a poor entertainer in a small troop of acrobats and musicians, in a city rife with violent rivalry, he finds himself in the
Seymour Hamilton
A Thing Done by Tinney Sue Heath

This historic novel takes us back to Florence in 1216, to a real event sparked by a bad joke that led to a vendetta. The joker in question was a hired professional Fool doing his employer’s bidding. The urgency of the Fool’s attempt to prevent murder while still staying alive himself makes Tinney Sue Heath’s story a page-turner.

The Fool’s hand-to-mouth existence as an entertainer contrasts with the pomp and pageantry in the knights’ castles, giving a balanced view
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written book evoking the sights and sounds of medieval Italy. I found this one very hard to put down. Definitely an author to watch.
Bry Jensen
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this review and more at Romancing the Laser Pistol

My name is Bry, and I am a glutton for Florence. Seriously, I could never get tired of reading about Italian history, and this city just absolutely captivates my passionate heart.I tend to focus on the Renaissance period and the Medici family as is my academic specialty, but on the rare occasion where I find a book that promises a 'new' take on my beloved city, I might just get a little excited. Juuust a little.

This is what A Thing Donedid
Meg - A Bookish Affair
3.5 stars. In the beginning of the 13th century, Florence was ruled by a couple of super powerful families who took their rivalries to a whole other level. Each family wants to be on top and the slightest issue can turn the balance of the city entirely on its head. The stakes are very high and it seems like just about any little thing could set either family off! "A Thing Done" explores in great historical detail what happens when these families fight over a slight by one onto the other. It is ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book takes you back to 13th century Florence. Florence before she was the city of the Medici, the city of Michelangelo. Before she had consolidation her power; when the powerful families were vying for control. (Actually has that REALLY stopped anywhere? But I digress.)

The book starts at a party, has major denouements at parties and ends at a party. Why is this of note? Because our main characters are players; jugglers, muscians - performers struggling to make a living from the nobility.
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating time and place--13th century Florence--a loose retelling of the Guelph/Ghibelline conflict. I enjoyed this novel very much. It started slowly, maybe partly because of the unfamiliar names and my not knowing who was aligned with whom, but it gained momentum as the novel progressed. The first line is a classic worthy of Sabatini!

"It was a fool that began it, but it took a woman to turn it murderous."

So begins this tale of duplicity and vengeance, set in Renaissance Florence. The
Andrea Guy
This book was a step out of my usual historical fiction comfort zone, however it was well worth it.

Its intrigue pure and simple with a fool in the thick of things. For me the story started off a little slow, but that really had more to do with my getting used to a different type of story than I'm used to.

Once I became acclimated to world of Florence in 1216 the book took off for me. Tinney Sue Heath has definitely done her research here and she shows that in her great attention to detail.

Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Thing Done is a fictionalized accounting of the broken betrothal that sparked the long-standing war between the Ghibelline and Guelphs families of medieval Florence. At the heart of the story is a court jester who is intimidated into performing a prank at a celebration. The prank sets off a vendetta which is appeased by a betrothal between two families. However, the betrothal is broken and murder becomes the only way to settle the vendetta.

Author Tinney Heath has really created a compelling
Ginger Myrick
A Thing Done is an atmospheric tale of 13th century Florence with all of the intrigue and subterfuge the setting infers. The main character, Corrado, is a fool by profession and an unwilling participant in the scheming of the nobles who employ him. He unwittingly sets off a vendetta that will eventually affect the entire population around him and hit much closer to home than he can imagine.

Heath’s fluid writing style keeps the book moving at an enjoyable pace, allowing the story to unfold in its
Kim Rendfeld
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“A Thing Done” will take the reader back to 13th-century Florence, when an annoying prank snowballs into a vendetta among Florence’s noble families. The narrator is the jester ordered to pull the prank, whom we today would describe as working class. The jester is a wry and unwilling observer caught up in the situation.

The novel is based on historical events, and it is apparent the author has done her research down to the details of daily life. She provides us with real medieval characters and
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't know much about this history before I picked up this book but this compelling story made the history interesting and made me want to learn more about it. From what I've read, the historical part of this book is accurate and the fictional part woven in to it makes it an interesting story. It is not as cumbersome as many historical books are. It is a fairly quick read and helps you learn something while having an enjoyable read.
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
A wonderful introduction to a time and place I knew nothing about. After reading the book I felt as if I had actually visited 13th century Florence. I also enjoyed seeing the story through the eyes of the Fool, who has his own thoughts about the wealthy and powerful who control the city, as well as his own life. Anyone who yearns for good historical fiction that is not the same old same old should read this.
Eileen Iciek
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This wonderfully written book tells the story of the beginnings of an infamous feud begun in Florence in 1215 from the POV of a jester. The writing was excellent, the characters memorable, and the historic research blended in seamlessly to the story. I felt like I was there. A truly enjoyable read!
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An engrossing read with a likeable protagonist set in 13th century Florence. Well-reasearched and readable without the History and the times intruding as lectures.
Nov 14, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
True rating: 1.5*

What can I say... I read 4 books in between reading this one, just to keep me going.

The first page was the best page, it showed so much promise.
The story was not eventful enough to require 300+ pages.
The book was overly descriptive. It somewhat had an 'allow-me-to-show-off' undertone to it.
The characters flat-lined. All of them. I had no care or hate for any of them.

TSH shows an obvious affection and academic interest for the location and time period. It was well written but I
Story of revenge and vendetta in 12th century Florence as told by the main protagonist, a jester, Conado, whose actions at a feast set in motion a tragic chain of events.

Two warring families employ the Jester - hired by one family to prank a member of the other, inciting violence which requires satisfaction. A marriage is brokered to ensure peace - whilst another will ensure violence.

Is it the men who are in control of the situation or the women. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Apr 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
They say it started with a fool's jest. That's what they say, anyway, about the centuries' long feud between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. Tinney Heath takes us back to the murky origins of the feud in A Thing Done.

Read the rest at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review consideration.
Jean Gobel
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cleverly written story in first person narrative by Corrado, a jester caught between hostile noble families of eleventh century Florence.
Elizabeth Felt
rated it it was amazing
Mar 17, 2013
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May 22, 2013
Robert Weisz
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May 29, 2017
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Tinney Sue Heath's background is in journalism, but it was very nearly in music instead. When she is not writing about medieval Italy, you will probably find her playing medieval and Renaissance Italian music on a variety of peculiar early instruments. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband but spends as much time in Italy as possible, for research and other pleasures.

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