I took advantage of a Kindle special a few months ago to download this fantasy novel by Lois McMaster Bujold, and I finally got around to reading it this weekend.
Set in Renaissance Italy, this novel is an elegant combination of Machiavellian politics and church-sanctioned magic. White magic is monitored by the church officials, and is an accepted part of every day life, even for people who do not have any magical ability. Fiametta Benneforte is the daughter of a master mage and goldsmith. In secret, she has been teaching herself magic, but when her father is murdered and their city falls victim to black magic, Fiametta must choose between lawful magic and a dangerous path that could damn her soul. Aided by Thur Ochs, a northern metal worker, Fiametta attempts to save her city and her father's spirit.
Although the love story component of this novel was underdeveloped, the story is fun and the blending of fantasy and history made this a great book for me. Readers of historical fiction may find themselves pulled into the fantasy genre by this entertaining novel.
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