Synopses & Reviews
The Master of Verona is a sweeping historical novel that takes place, primarily, in early 14th Century Verona. It is the story of Pietro Alaghieri - the eldest surving son of the poet Dante - who gets caught up in the sweep of history: the war between Padua and Verona; the rise of Verona's Captiano, Cangrande della Scala, Dante's increasing fame since the publication of The Inferno, an infernal plot against Cangrande's bastard son, and the rivalry of his two best friends over the affections of a girl, a rivalry that will severe a friendship, divide a city, and ultimately lead to the best-known tragic romance in history.
In 1312, the exiled poet Dante and his two sons, seventeen year old Pietro and fourteen year old Jacopo (“Poco”), travel to Verona at the invitation of Verona's leader, the legendary Franceso “Cangrande” della Scalla. While there, a sneak attack on Vincenza, Verona's client city, leads Pietro into his first battle, into the confidences of the charaismatic Cangrande, and into a tight friendship with Mariotto (“Mari”) Montecchi and Antonio (“Antony”) Capuletti. But hidden forces are at work against Cangrande - a series of attempts against a male baby, named Francesco and adopted by Cangrande's sister, widely believed to be his bastard son and possible heir.
Based on historical figures and the stories that formed the basis for some of Shakespeare's greatest plays, The Master of Verona is a compelling novel of politics, friendship, and conspiracy that recalls the best of Bernard Cornwell and Dorothy Dunnett.
"A novel of intricate plot, taut narrative, sharp period detail, and beautifully realized characters." --Publishers Weekly on The Master of Verona "A debut historical novel people by Dante and other Italian Renaissance figures, along with reimagined Montagues and Capulets...intricate plotting, well-staged scenes, and colorful descriptions...lively entertainment!" --Kirkus Reviews on Master of Verona
In 1314, seventeen year old Pietro Alighieri travels to Verona with his father, the infamous poet Dante, at the invitation of its leader, the legendary Francesco Cangrande della Scala. A sneak attack from Padua leads Pietro into his first battle, fighting alongside the charismatic Cangrande, and into a tight friendship with Mariotto Montecchio and Antonio Capulletto. Behind the scenes, repeated attempts are made against the life of a child believed to be Cangrande's illegitimate son and possible heir.
Pietro is drawn into the web of intrigue around the child and the tension building between Mariotto and Antonio over a woman betrothed to one and in love with the other - a situation that will sever a friendship, divide a city, and ultimately lead to the events of the best known tragic romance in the world.
Inspired by the plays of Shakespeare, the poetry of Dante, and the events of history, The Master of Verona is a compelling novel of politics, loyalty, conspiracy and star-crossed romance.
Set in the early days of the 14th century, the exiled Dante and his eldest surviving son Pietro are invited to Verona, where political intrigue rules the day. His best friends are the eldest sons of the Montague and Capulet family, whose bitter and fabled feud is about to break out over the love of a woman in love with one and betrothed to another.
About the Author
David Blixt, author of THE MASTER OF VERONA, is a Shakespearean actor who as appeared at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, CityLit, Northlight, and the First Folio Shakespeare Festival, as well as Lifeline, Griffin, the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, and the Stratford Festival Friends in Chicago. He lives in Chicago with his wife and son.