Da Vinci's Disciples Book Two
A commission to paint a fresco in the church of Santo Spirito is about to be announced and Florence’s countless artists each seek the fame and glory this lucrative job will provide. Viviana, a noblewoman freed from a terrible marriage, and now able to pursue her artistic passions, sees a potential life-altering opportunity for herself and her fellow artists. The women first speak to Lorenzo de’ Medici himself, and finally, they submit a bid for the right to paint it. And they win. The very public commission belongs to them.
But with the victory comes a powerful cost. The church will not stand for women painting, especially not in a house of worship. The city is not ready to consider women in positions of power, and in Florence, artists wield tremendous power. Even the women themselves are hesitant; the attention they will bring upon themselves will disrupt their families, and even put them in physical danger.
All the while, Viviana grows closer to Sansone, her soldier lover, who is bringing to her a joy that she never knew with her deceased husband. And fellow-artist Isabetta has a flame reignited, sparked by Lorenzo himself.
Power and passion collide in this sumptuous historical novel of shattering limitations, one brushstroke at a time.
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‘The plot and its subplots are riveting reading. Finally, a few of the women provide hints of future interest and, if one knows one’s history, potentially immense conflict. What is unique about these women is not only their loyalty as wives, daughters, and mothers, but also the fierceness of their artistic sensibilities, which must find satisfaction in producing works of phenomenal beauty. Superb historical fiction and a must read!’
-Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choice
"THE COMPETITION is a page-turning, provocative romp through a fascinating time and place―15th-century Florence. Donna Russo Morin has given us a novel for our time, a book featuring strong female characters fighting the odds to break the “glass ceiling,” and reminding us that this battle is not new: women have been waging it for centuries.
-Sherry Jones, author of The Sharp Hook of Love: A Novel of Heloise and Abelard
"In elegant prose, Morin paints a captivating tale of courageous women painters who battle against prejudices in Renaissance Florence. Featuring strong women characters, each with distinctive personalities, this is exactly the type of historical novel I enjoy. Exhilarating and compassionate, The Competition sings a beautiful tribute of women's talents and underscores Morin's masterful storytelling. Delightful!"
-Weina Dai Randel, author of The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon
“An inspiring tale of determined women, empowered by undeniable talent, in the male-dominated art world of Renaissance Florence. In The Competition, Ms. Morin delivers a captivating story rich with historical detail and beautifully woven through with atmosphere.”
-Diane Haeger, author of Courtesan
“This is one of my favorite series set in the Renaissance! Strong unapologetic women artists who don't back down from a challenge, and expand of knowledge and minds with each novel. Will make you want to do more, shout from the rooftops, and research the period for more inspiration.”
-5 Star Amazon Review
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