Signed Michaela Roessner The Stars Dispose

ISBN 13: 9780312857547

The Stars Dispose

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9780312857547: The Stars Dispose

Catherine de Medici, a member of the powerful Medici family of Florence, finds herself and Befanini, a servant linked to her by destiny and magic, caught up in a war for the possession of Florence. By the author of Walkabout Woman.

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Review:

The Befanini family rules the kitchens of the de Medici and their allies, serving well by fortifying their patrons' reputations and influence with all the power that a brilliant meal can supply. Young Ginevra Befanini serves more directly as companion and confidante to Caterina de Medici, while Ginevra's brother Tommaso is learning his family's craft and enhancing it with his own ideas and talents. The political forces of Renaissance Florence pull and push at them; plague stalks them; and other alien forces move through the kitchens and the city, menacing Caterina and her friends.

Historically precise, culinarily evocative (at the very least, have some pan di campagna and olives on hand as you read), and fantastically inventive, Michaela Roessner's writing will sweep you into the mazelike streets of Florence and the ominous tension of sorcerous conflict.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Renaissance fantasy set in Florence in the late 1520s, from the author of Vanishing Point (1993). The narrative revolves around young Tommaso Arista, apprentice chef and sculptor, who's the son of master chef Gentile and occultist Piera; by tradition the Aristas are servants of the Ruggieros, a family of magicians who in turn serve the ruling Medicis. Food and its preparation frequently dominate the proceedings. While the plot follows the major historical events of the times--the deposing of the Medicis in favor of a republic, and their eventual restoration; the advent of the Black Death; and the intrusion of the armies of the Holy Roman Empire--Roessner represents these events as stages in an arcane struggle on the astral plane, where forces and creatures from other realities and dimensions attempt to influence matters in this world. These occult conflicts, in which the Ruggieros and Piera Arista figure prominently, are intricate, abstruse, and almost impossible to follow. Somehow, Confessions of a Florentine Foodie collided with The Young Sorcerer's Guide to the Occult, producing a rich but indigestible stew. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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