Synopses & Reviews
From the internationally best-selling author of Brunelleschi's Dome
is a Rabelaisian journey into the hurly-burly world of 1770s London. From the drawing rooms of the city's finest to their country manors, from the garret room of George Cautley, a hapless young artist adrift in the gilded world he wants to conquer, to the magnificent opera houses of Milan with their dark secrets, Ross King does more than paint a portrait of a time long gone, but brings it to life with an immediacy that only the finest historical writers can achieve.
Domino is the story of the mysterious and beautiful Lady Beauclair, the castrato singer Tristano, the naive Cautley, and Eleanora, mistress and muse. Suspenseful, menacing and laced with black humor, this picaresque tale of art, artists, patrons, and ne'er-do-wells is filled with surprises, victories, and tragedies, told with the pace of a thriller and the richness of a restored old painting.
"King's masterful command of historical detail; superb ability to weave a rich, varied, and mesmerizing tale; and evocative descriptions of the sights, sounds, smells, and society of eighteenth-century London make this an exceptional and thoroughly pleasurable read." Emily Melton, Booklist (Starred Review)
"King's craft is uneven: at times his writing has a lush, impressionistic glow, but many of the book's clambering sentences require tremendous navigation to finish, with no reward....There are some memorable scenes, but in its stabs at something higher than simple entertainment, the book falls short." Publishers Weekly
"With its elaborate plot and lavish period detail, [Domino] matches the sleight-of-hand technique of Ex-Libris and in subject matter it presses deeper....The book's density of detail and leisurely perusal of its milieus sometimes means that narrative momentum is sacrificed to an immersion in the worlds being conjured....[T]he book transports readers well away from the plainer prose and less ornate sartorial styles of our own times." Michael Upchurch, The New York Times Book Review
"King effortlessly evokes a lively age of deception and disguise....Replete with mystery and suspense and immersed in vivid historical details, this work is also a sharp, philosophical musing on the disguises of the world and the search for the truth that lies beneath. Fans of Iain Pears's An Instance of the Fingerpost and other literary historical mysteries will enjoy." Library Journal
"In his latest novel, King again displays an easy familiarity with his historical setting, using minimalist descriptions and concentrating on the actions of his characters to set the scenes. Brimming with exotic locations, duplicitous villains, ladies of questionable morality and quite a few surprises, Domino is a reader's delight that confirms Ross' reputation as a classic storyteller." James Neal Webb, BookPage
About the Author
Born and raised in Canada, Ross King has lived in England since 1992. In 200203, two books of his will be published in the United States: Domino, about the world of masquerades and opera in 18th century London, and Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling. Kings highly acclaimed book Brunelleschis Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture, was an instant hit in the U.S., landing on the New York Times, Boston Globe, and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller lists and becoming a handselling favorite among booksellers. Brunelleschis Dome was chosen "The 2000 BookSense Nonfiction Book of the Year" and a BookSense 76 top ten selection. King earned his Ph.D. in English Literature and moving to England to assume a research position at the University of London. He lives near Oxford, England, in the historic town of Woodstock, the site of Blenheim Palace.