KV Taylor's Reviews > April Blood: Florence and the Plot Against the Medici

April Blood by Lauro Martines
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's review
Apr 11, 2012

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bookshelves: history
Read from April 11 to 15, 2012

Martines's thesis is that the Pazzi Conspiracy was a turning point, or perhaps the point of no return, for the Medici. The do-or-die moment, handled brilliantly by a young Lorenzo the Magnificent, though perhaps not in Florence's best interest, depending on your views on renaissance republics and princely states. I thought this point well made, and it'd be hard not to grab my attention with such fascinating historical subject matter. A great read, and not just because I'm on vacation in the city in question and read it over my first few days here.
There is a pretty big weakness in the telling of the story, however. While I found the profiles of various players both extraneous and central to the lynchpin plot excellent, the tendency of the author to go off on tangents out of chronological order otherwise was distracting. I wasn't so much the fact of getting things out of order that was off-putting, but more that it meant when we actually came to the event, it had already been recounted or at least hinted at several times. This may have been an attempt to save a reader who doesn't know much about florentine history confusion, but I'm no expert myself and had zero trouble keeping up. It served only to distract and ended up feeling like much of the book was rehashing at best or repetitive filler at worst.
Still, a very easy and interesting read for the casually interested, while the massive amounts of great primary source material will be acceptable to the academic. Worth it!

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