The Malice of Fortune

By Michael Ennis

Against a teeming canvas of Borgia politics, Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci come jointly to unmask an enigmatic serial killer, as we study the key background at the back of probably the most debatable works within the western canon, The Prince...
When Pope Alexander dispatches a Vatican courtesan, Damiata, to the distant fort urban of Imola to benefit the reality at the back of the homicide of Juan, his such a lot liked illegitimate son, she can't fail, for the scheming Borgia pope holds her personal younger son hostage. as soon as there, Damiata turns into a pawn within the political intrigues of the pope’s surviving son, the charismatic Duke Valentino, whose personal lifestyles is threatened by means of the condottieri, a robust cabal of mercenary warlords. Damiata suspects that the killer she seeks is without doubt one of the brutal condottierri, and because the murders multiply, her quest grows extra pressing. She enlists assistance from an imprecise Florentine diplomat, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Valentino’s eccentric army engineer, Leonardo da Vinci, who jointly needs to fight to decipher the killer’s taunting riddles: Leonardo together with his groundbreaking “science of remark” and Machiavelli together with his new “science of men.” touring throughout an Italy torn aside via battle, they're going to input a labyrinth of historical superstition and erotic obsession to find at its center a new face of evil—and a fact that might shake the rules of western civilization. 

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Sooner than i may even open my mouth, she pressed hers to my lips. bankruptcy 12 How chuffed the fellow is, as someone can see, who's born silly and believes every thing. Who may well describe that kiss? It was once one kiss that counted for as many because the grains of sand among Libya and Cyrene, as Catullus as soon as acknowledged; a kiss that made me “all sulfur and tinder, my center aflame,” as Petrarch had it; a kiss that melted the flesh and incinerated the soul. It was once each kiss i'd ever have with each girl i'd ever love, the kiss that takes a demise man’s final breath, the kiss that brings stone to lifestyles. “God’s pass. ” Damiata pressed her brow to mine and caressed my face with gloved fingers. “My darling Niccolò. ” The whiteness of her epidermis appeared virtually blinding and that i believed her odor of rose water and lilies may suffocate me. My brain used to be a Greek refrain, each sentiment shouting right away, in a unique pitch: astonishment, pleasure, reduction. And anger, suspicion, even jealousy. “Where …? ” i couldn't even end the query. “I acquired clear of them and concealed within the geographical region. within the houses of farmers and huts of tenants. They secure me, Niccolò. Such solid humans. humans of the airborne dirt and dust, like me. ” She started to hide my face along with her searing kisses. “The Virgin additionally stored you alive, as I prayed one thousand occasions. ” I struggled to discover a speck of cause in my humming head. I knew I had extra questions. Too many questions. “How did you get away? ” “That wizard with the leather-based nostril placed his knife to my throat and dragged me out of there. He simply kicked aside the again of the hut, it was once so flimsy. ” If she have been taken out the again, she couldn't have noticeable me mendacity insensible on the front to the hut. “The little ones went out with us. We ran for 2, 3 miles sooner than i'll get away from him. by means of then i didn't even understand which path I should still pass. finally i discovered a farmhouse, the place they took me in. Niccolò, how did you break out? ” “On the again of a goat. once I went open air i used to be struck at the head—by a guy in a Devil’s masks, with this little goat beard, simply as Giacomo defined it. I woke up in one other hut someplace at the pianura, smeared in every single place with Hecate’s foul unguent. the 2 streghe additionally took the goat journey that evening. yet they ended it in Leonardo’s cellar. ” Damiata crossed herself two times. “I shouldn't ever have taken you in the market. i will be able to merely beg on your pardon, one thousand instances. ” She took my palms and held them, blinking at her tears till i may now not examine her, simply because no matter if I had believed her sentiment was once completely feigned, her remorseful face might have grew to become me right into a jellyfish. If simply to maintain from sobbing, I pressured myself to assert, “The e-book. What did you spot within the publication? ” She wiped her eyes and regarded round. in basic terms the monk used to be attracted to us. “It is not anything yet a college textual content. Euclid’s parts, translated within the Latin. ” discovering her in contract with Valentino’s description, I stated, “So those ‘all of them’ that you simply stated are in it. They have been names of the condottieri?

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