Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Thing Done Blog Tour and Review

A Thing Done by Tinney Sue Heath
review copy provided by author and Fireship Press via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Florence, 1216: The noble families of Florence hold great power, but they do not share it easily. Tensions simmer just below the surface. When Corrado the Jester's prank-for-hire goes wrong, a brawl erupts between two rival factions. Florence reels on the brink of civil war. One side makes the traditional offer of a marriage to restore peace, but that fragile peace crumbles under the pressure of a woman's interference, an unforgivable insult, and an outraged cry for revenge.

Corrado is pressed into unwilling service as messenger by both sides. Sworn to secrecy, he watches in horror as the headstrong knight Buondelmonte violates every code of honor to possess the woman he wants, while another woman, rejected and enraged, schemes to destroy him.

Corrado already knows too much for his own safety. Will Buondelmonte's reckless act trigger a full-scale vendetta? And if it does, will even the Jester's famous wit and ingenuity be enough to keep himself alive and protect those dear to him?

This is Corrado's story, but it is also the story of three fiercely determined women in a society that allows them little initiative: Selvaggia, the spurned bride; Gualdrada, the noblewoman who both tempts Buondelmonte and goads him; and Ghisola, Corrado's great-hearted friend. From behind the scenes they will do what they must to achieve their goals—to avenge, to prevail, to survive.

My Take:

Corrado is the fool, or jester, in a small team of performers. He is paid by one of the nobles to play a prank on a knight of another family during a party and the resulting events make up the plot of A Thing Done.  It sounds simple enough, but becomes very complicated and dangerous very quickly.

 Corrado, is mostly just called “Fool” by the many and various wealthy nobles who hire him to run errands and messages between their various factions. His position becomes very precarious as these wealthy families of Florence run around causing mayhem and violence seemingly however they like, regardless of the fates of the common people.

I really liked the unusual protagonist – I don’t believe I have ever read a book where the main character is a jester – or fool.  This was a very fun and interesting way to tell the story. I learned so much about the position of the common people within society in Florence as well as just how powerful the noble families were.

Corrado is a likable character and tries to do the right thing even though he is required by his circumstances to be involved in some pretty shady dealings. He is forced to follow orders but he tries to set things right and is consistently thwarted. I was intrigued by woman who takes everything to the next level, Selvaggia, the rejected bride. She is not likable, but so strong and unwilling to be the dutiful, quiet woman so many wanted her to be. I didn't really like her, but I was impressed by her strength and felt sympathy for her situation. 

I think that Tinney Sue Heath did a wonderful job of supplying the historical information necessary to understand the time and place without bogging down the story at all. I found myself unable to put the book down for very long stretches because I just had to find out what would happen next.

Because I enjoyed this book so much, and I think everyone should get to find out exactly how it all unfolds for themselves, I don’t want to discuss the plot too much. I would highly recommend this book to anyone – but especially anyone who enjoys historical fiction. It has been a while since I learned so much while being entertained. 

About the Author

Tinney Sue Heath has loved music and history all her life. Born near Chicago, she started college in Boston at the New England Conservatory with the intention of becoming a professional flutist, but after a rather abrupt change of direction she wound up with a degree in journalism from Antioch College. She worked as a staff reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education and later provided editorial assistance to University of Wisconsin-based editors of two professional journals. 

Her musical and historical interests eventually merged, and she discovered the pleasures of playing late medieval and early Renaissance music on a great variety of instruments. Her historical focus is currently on Dante's Florence, so she and her husband spend a lot of time in Florence and elsewhere in Tuscany. They live in Madison, Wisconsin, where they enjoy playing music and surrounding themselves with native wild plants. 


1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for this review, and for being part of my book tour! I appreciate your insights.


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