PORTRAIT Of CONSPIRACY:
Da Vinci's Disciples Book One
One murder ignites the powder-keg that threatens to consume a city. Amidst the chaos, five women and one legendary artist weave together a plot that could bring peace, or get them all killed.
Seeking to wrest power from the Medici family in 15th Century Florence, members of the Pazzi family draw their blades in a church and slay Giuliano de' Medici. But his brother Lorenzo de’ Medici survives, and seeks revenge on everyone involved, plunging the city into a murderous chaos that takes dozens of lives. Bodies are dragged through the streets, no one is safe.
Five women steal away to a church to ply their craft in secret. Viviana, Fiammetta, Isabetta, Natasia, and Mattea are painters, forced to hide their talent from the world, but freed from the restrictions in their lives by their art. When a sixth member of their group, Lapaccia, goes missing, and is rumored to have stolen a much sought after painting as she vanished, the women must venture out into the dangerous streets to find their friend and see her safe. They will have help from one of the most renowned painters of their era—the peaceful and kind Leonardo Da Vinci. It is under his tutelage that they will flourish as artists, and with his access that they will infiltrate some of the highest, most secretive places in Florence, unraveling one conspiracy as they build another in its place.
Historical fiction at its finest, Donna Russo Morin begins the series, Da Vinci’s Disciples with a novel both vibrant and absorbing, perfect for the readers of Sarah Dunant.
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"Russo Morin’s elegant command of language and composition left me breathless, but the story itself, with its flawless depiction of power, corruption, defiance, intrigue and retribution makes Portrait of a Conspiracy an absolute must read."
"The action is fierce and the stillness is resplendent with intensity of being. The suspense is thrilling and intelligent. The writing is masterful."
-Open Book Society
"Excites and intrigues...a real keeper!"
-Red Carpet Crash
In PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY, Russo Morin's rich detailing transports the reader to the heart of Renaissance Italy from the first page. Readers will find themselves engrossed in a tale of the power-hungry Medici and Pazzi families, and the five brave women who pursue their passion for painting at all cost. Art, corruption, and passion fuse in this thrilling historical adventure.
-Heather Webb, author of Becoming Josephine and Rodin's Lover
Donna Russo Morin takes us on an irresistible headlong adventure in PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY. When a ruthless assassination rocks Renaissance Florence to its core, a secret sisterhood of women artists band together to save one of their own from the bloody reprisals. Illicit plots, mysterious paintings, and a young Leonardo da Vinci all have their part to play in this delicious, heart-pounding tale.
-Kate Quinn, author of The Empress of Rome Saga and The Borgia Chronicles
With elegant and atmospheric prose, Russo Morin paints a vivid portrait of beautiful but dangerous Renaissance Italy. This riveting book is filled with art, assassinations, retribution, and a sisterhood of fascinating women who inspire as well as entertain.
-Stephanie Dray, author of America's First Daughter and Daughters of the Nile
In Portrait of a Conspiracy, Russo Morin's prose is as sharp as a Medici dagger. Renaissance Florence is in the grip of chaos in this thrilling historical. One circle of vibrant women risk every thing to keep art and beauty alive, until one of their own is implicated in a vicious Medici murder. On pages that rip with life, these women must race to uncover the dangerous conspiracy behind a valued painting. Thwarting danger, finding love, and creating masterpieces, they remind us just how powerful the bonds of womanhood can be.
-Marci Jefferson, author of The Enchantress of Paris and The Girl on the Golden Coin
A 15th century Florence of exquisite art, sensual passion and sudden, remorseless violence comes vividly to life in Donna Russo Morin's new novel. Famous people from history such as Leonardo da Vinci are made dimensional and human in this suspenseful story, but the characters who are the most unforgettable are a group of women artists, driven by their own longings, who find courage they never knew they had as they struggle to survive one of the city's most harrowing periods.
-Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown
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