The Principessa

by Christie Dickason

Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on The Principessa

A sweeping, glorious evocation of Jacobean London and Renaissance Italy incorporating real historical figures alongside fictional creations in a dramatic tale of high politics, rivalry and conspiracy, all that a good historical novel should be.

Comparison: Philippa Gregory, Jude Morgan, Suzannah Dunn.

Sarah Broadhurst

The Principessa Synopsis

Robert Cecil, Secretary of State to James I, has a problem. He owes a vast and secret debt to the Prince of La Spada, who is dying and has called in the loan – and Cecil cannot pay. Even worse, he has staked as security, without royal authority, the King's Great Pearl. To Cecil's surprise, the Prince will agree to a hostage but he wants Cecil's firemaster: Francis Quoynt, the best in his dangerous business. Cecil immediately seizes the chance, for Quoynt also serves as his spy.

La Spada is a wealthy, beautiful Italian city-state – the gateway of Europe. Whoever controls the mountain passes of La Spada also controls the flow of intelligence and much of the trade from the Middle East. As his mind disintegrates into fantastic obsessions, the Prince makes his treacherous illegitimate son his heir. Which thwarts the deadly ambition of his daughter, Sofia – the Principessa.

Sofia is young, seductive, wily and recently widowed. Already a blooded player of politics, she could outdo Lucretia Borgia in the lethal game of survival. Which she must now play to save herself and her beloved state. As unpredictable as gunpowder, will she choose to seek Francis's heart, or his life? Or both?

The Principessa Press Reviews

‘A tour de force on many levels. Primarily a love story set against the backdrop of 17th-century terrorism, this relates a tragedy that puts you on the rack in its literary quest for truth about November 5.’ Oxford Times

‘A rich mix of romance, suspense, adventure and lightly-worn knowledge. Gunpowder, treason and plot have never been so entertaining.’ Kate Saunders, The Times

‘Marries conspiracy theory to Jacobean high-jinks…a racy read…reveals the principal actors to be models of conspirators everywhere: single-minded, ideologically driven, careless of their own and others lives, believers for the wrong reasons in the efficacy of a single violent blow to change the course of history …so strangely does it resonate with our own times…sometimes one is momentarily unsure whether one is in 1605 or 2005 as one reads.’ A.C. Grayling, Financial Times

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780007230396
Publication date: 01/10/2007
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780007230396
Publication date: 1st October 2007
Author: Christie Dickason
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Genres: Historical Fiction,
Categories:

About Christie Dickason

Christie Dickason was born in the USA in the state of Indiana, but grew up in homes all over the world, including Mexico, Thailand (where she received formal dance instruction with a princess in the royal court of Bangkok), and Switzerland. Though she has written since the age of five, she began to take it seriously when she found herself seriously ill in hospital. In the following nine months of convalescence, she wrote her first, but unacknowledged, novel, which is composting quietly somewhere in a file drawer but led to a commission for the first published novel. Her first two ...

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