The Orphan of Florence by Jeanne Kalogridis

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Read The Orphan of Florence Online Free - In this irresistible historical novel set in the turbulent world of the Medicis, a young woman finds herself driven from pick-pocketing to espionage when she meets a mysterious man.

Giulia has been an orphan all her life. Raised in Florence's famous Ospedale degli Innocenti, her probing questions and insubordinate behavior made her an unwelcome presence, and at the age of fifteen, she was given an awful choice: become a nun, or be married off to a man she didn't love. She chose neither, and after refusing an elderly suitor, Guilia escaped onto the streets of Florence.

Now, after spending two years as a successful pickpocket, an old man catches her about to make off with his purse, and rather than having her carted off to prison he offers her a business proposition. The man claims to be a cabalist, a student of Jewish mysticism and ritual magic, who works for the most powerful families in Florence. But his identity is secret—he is known only as "the Magician of Florence"—and he is in need of an assistant. She accepts the job and begins smuggling his talismans throughout the city.

But the talismans are not what they seem, and neither is the Magician. When Giulia's involvement with him ends with his murder, she's drawn into a treacherous web of espionage and deceit involving the forces of Rome, Naples, and a man known as Lorenzo the Magnificent. Accused of the Magician's murder, Giulia is pursued by the handsome policeman Niccolo, Lorenzo's henchmen, and foreign spies, and in order to survive, she must not only solve the mystery of the mystery of the Magician's murder, but that of her own past.

Title : The Orphan of Florence
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 031267547X
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 pages


El rated it ★★★☆☆

February 10, 2018

Full review here. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. November 1478, only seven months after the Pazzi conspiracy which took the life of Lorenzo de' Medici's brother, Giuliano, in a brutal attempt to gain control of the Florentine government. Giulian...

Karen rated it ★★★☆☆

October 25, 2017

I received this from in exchange for a review. Giulia, a 15 yr old orphan, is told she will marry an elderly tanner or become a nun. She does neither and goes to the streets as Giuliano, a young man. She took with her 6 yr old Tommaso and together they survive as pick pockets. But,...

CoffeeandInk rated it ★★★★★

September 04, 2017

I am an absolute sucker for anything set in (Renaissance) Florence, but the author is a bit of a hit or miss for me, and I approached the novel with trepidation… And fell right into the consuming rabbit hole of the story. Wow! My other absolute sucker-ness is for stories with women getting by in th...

Crystal rated it ★★★★★

October 09, 2017

I admit, as a writer in the same genre, I'm a bit biased toward books set in Renaissance Italy. But it also means I'm probably a bit more critical as I know the era so well. And about The Orphan of Florence, I loved it. I adored the characters, cheered them on and railed against the bad guys. I l...

Maranda rated it ★★★☆☆

August 14, 2017

Ever since STARZ aired the series Da Vinci's Demons I have had a better understanding of this time period. But alas no Da Vinci appearance in this work. Lorenzo de' Medici ruler and wealthy leader of Florence is at war with the Pope and Rome. Florence is overflowing with poverty and homeless citi...

Robin rated it ★★★☆☆

September 03, 2017

This fast paced novel involving Jewish mysticism follows a foundling pickpocket who winds up apprenticing with a Jewish magician in Renaissance Florence, not realizing he holds the key to her past, or what kind of danger she's landed herself in when she gets involved in the war between Lorenzo de...

Jenny rated it ★★☆☆☆

August 10, 2017

I've read several of Jeanne Kalogridis's novels: The Borgia Bride; I, Mona Lisa; The Devil's Queen; The Inquisitor's Wife; The Scarlet Contessa. Basically anything that she's written sans the vampire books, I've read. This novel was, by far, my least favorite. Not only is the cover deceiving (the...

Leah rated it ★★★☆☆

September 29, 2017

I liked this one, though I'm not quiiiite sure what it was meant to be: historical fiction? historical fantasy (she does apprentice under the Magician of Florence, after all, though the talismans created seem to be more based in mysticism and religion than straight magic)? I also didn't get the r...

Melinda rated it ★★★☆☆

September 09, 2017

There are so many wonderful things to say about this book. It's very well written with many interesting characters and a tremendous sense of place. I love to read books set in Florence as it's like a trip back to one of my favorite cities. The author does an exquisite job of rendering Florence in...

Entrada rated it ★★★☆☆

September 01, 2017

The Orphan of Florence is set in Florence, Italy in 1478. The story follows Giulia’s life from her time as an orphan to pick pocket to something quite special. Through a series of events she becomes apprenticed to the great Magician of Florence, learning the tricks of his trade while trying to hi...

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