The long-awaited explosive fourth novel in the Star-Cross’d series! Verona has won its war with Padua, but lost its war with the stars. The young prodigy Cesco now turns his troubled brilliance to darker purposes, embracing a riotous life and challenging not only the lord of Verona and the Church, but the stars themselves. Trying desperately to salvage what’s left of his spirit, for once Pietro Alaghieri welcomes the plots and intrigues of the Veronese court, hoping they will shake the young man out of his torpor. But when the first body falls, it becomes clear that this new game is deadly, one that will doom them all.
Praise for David Blixt
‘For anyone who has yet to read David’s novels, you are about to hit the literary lottery. Yes, he’s that good.’ –Sharon Kay Penman, The Sunne In Splendour
‘David Blixt is a master of historical fiction. Dramatic, vivid, superbly researched, this series captures Renaissance Italy in all its heady glamour and lethal intrigue.’ –C.W. Gortner, The Tudor Conspiracy
‘This is one of the most exciting, and satisfying, reads that I have immersed myself in for a long time. David Blixt is a gem of a writer.’ –Helen Hollick, The Pendragon Chronicles
The Star Cross’d Series
Based on the plays of William Shakespeare, the poetry of Dante, and the history of Italy, the Star-Cross’d Series is a tale of wars won, friendships lost, and conspiracies both mortal and stellar, an epic journey into the birth of the Renaissance that recalls the best of Bernard Cornwell and Dorothy Dunnett.
Titles in the Star Cross’d Series
Book One: Master of Verona
Book Two: Voice of the Falconer
Book Three: Fortune’s Fool
Book Four: The Prince’s Doom
Detto was pacing Cesco’s chamber when the master of the house returned. He heard his cousin’s voice on the stairs and, when the door opened, Detto punched him full in the face. “You go too far!”
“Che cazzo!” Cesco launched himself at Detto, and the two pummeled at each other with such fury that Maddelena wept and Antonia ordered the servants to fetch buckets of water to douse the pair. Before cold water could be thrown over them, however, Detto had bolted himself in his room, leaving Cesco bleeding in two places and nursing a twisted wrist.
“Fut,” said Cesco thickly. Opening the window, he broke off an icicle and pressed it to his swollen lip. “Welcome to the asylum.”
“What was that about?” demanded Antonia.
“I thought it would help.”
“What?” Antonia’s tone was edged as she straightened up the wreckage of the room.
“Detto and Lord Nogarola. I tried to effect a little reconciliation. Obviously I failed.”
From stern, Antonia’s heart swelled. He was not lost – not yet.
Seeing her expression, Cesco snorted and turned away to stare out the window at the lowering sky. “I wonder if it wouldn’t be better that the della Scala and Nogarola families had left their friendship down at the bottom of the well in the volto dei Centurioni. Friendship’s Tomb, they could call it, and…”
Antonia set down the chair she was righting. “What is it?”
“I know where she is,” he said simply.
Cesco shook his head and refused to say more.
About the Author
Author and playwright David Blixt’s work is consistently described as “intricate,” “taut,” and “breathtaking.” A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS’D series, including THE MASTER OF VERONA, VOICE OF THE FALCONER, FORTUNE’S FOOL, and THE PRINCE’S DOOM) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY’S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history. As the Historical Novel Society said, “Be prepared to burn the midnight oil. It’s well worth it.” Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, David describes himself as “actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order.”