In the Company of the Courtesan
by Sarah Dunant

Saturday, June 9, 2007

 

“My lady, Fiammetta Bianchini, was plucking her eyebrows and biting color into her lips when the unthinkable happened and the Holy Roman Emperor’s army blew a hole into the wall of God’s eternal city, letting in a flood of half-starved, half-crazed troops bent on pillage and punishment.”

Thus is the reader catapulted into Sarah Dunant’s second historical novel, In the Company of the Courtesan, on the heels of her bestselling The Birth of Venus. Setting a pace that never subsides, her latest story, told by Bucino, dwarf and faithful servant to Roman courtesan Fiammetta, chronicles trials endured following the brutal 1527 sack of Rome. The duo flee the destroyed city with little more than their lives and several hastily swallowed jewels, making their way to Fiammetta’s native Venice. Here they will recover, then attempt to reclaim their livelihood and fortunes.

 

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