The King's Agent

The King's Agent - Donna Russo Morin How to sum up a book such as The King's Agent with mere words? The book has all the elements of what I consider to be great fiction. Adventure, mystery, love, and mysticism. And to speak of my opinions without giving the story away will be quite a feat in itself, but I shall attempt to do it justice without revealing too much.Set in the 16th cenury, in the twilight of the Renaissance, The King's Agent tells the story of a quest for an object of power that would be at the heart of the demise of mankind. Battista, who is loyal to his benefactor, King Francois I of France, and also to his beloved home of Florence, embarks on this quest with a clear idea of the outcome. But he is soon to learn that there is no clear outcome and the circumstances surrounding the obtaining of this object are shrouded in danger and mystery. As I was reading the sections where dangerous obstacles had to be overcome for Battista to reach his goal, my mind kept going to the Indiana Jones films. That is the kind of adventure the reader experiences in The King's Agent. Talk about a thrill!To add to the mystery, we have the character of Aurelia who is an enigma, to be sure. Everyone who encounters her can feel that there is something different about her, but her mystery is kept secret, thankfully, until the very end. What is present in the character of Aurelia is a resolve to complete her destiny, a destiny not of her making. She is a brave woman who accepts her fate and ultimately sacrifices her own happiness for the good of all.Finally, I must touch on the historical aspects of this book. Wonderful was the introduction of the stories of Dante and the presence of Michelangelo himself in the story. The historical detail is so well researched and interesting. I found myself on Google several times while reading, wanting right then and there to learn more about the people and places I was reading about. I must say that Ms. Morin is a talent in the historical fiction genre. I have To Serve a King is on my review pile and so I must get to reading it soon, as well as her other titles. Her books will remain a sought after commodity for my home library.In conclusion, I must not forget the love story between Battista and Aurelia. Their love is inspiring and breathtaking. The sacrifice they have to make and their reconciliation to the fact speaks of a very true love indeed. So I leave you with a favorite passage from Dante which Battista whispers to Aurelia, " 'lady, you in whom my hope gains strength, you who, for my salvation, have allowed your footsteps to be left in Hell, in all the things that I have seen, I recognize the grace and benefit that I, depending upon your power and goodness, have received.' "