The Master of Verona is a historical epic. Set in medieval Italy; it combines characters from Shakespeare's Italian plays (most notably Romeo and Juliet) with real life people of the time. The action centres around Pietro Alaghieri, son of the poet Dante, who is a likeable and interesting character in the book. 17 years old, and made to feel inadequate by his overbearing celebrity father he falls in with Veronese nobles and changes his life.
I have to admit that I haven't finished this book, I got about 40% of the way through (thank you Kindle!) and although I was enjoying it, decided to give it a rest for a while. I am a fast reader, an average book will usually take me about a day, maybe two, of commuting to finish, but I had been reading this for a week and I found that it dragged. I'm not sure how long this book is, because I'm reading it on my Kindle, but it felt long. It was also quite confusing in some places due to the Italian names (that is really my fault rather than the book's), and the explanations of who was who. The author also uses Italian language seemingly at random and anglicises some names and not others, which I found irritating.
Having said this, I did find myself very interested in the characters and I think that this book is something I will definitely come back to in the summer when I have more time. As I mentioned, Pietro is a likeable character, and I find both his sister Antonia and his benefactor Cangrande della Scala compelling as well. The descriptions of the battle were very visceral, and I love Italy, so I was delighted to be transported there by the descriptions of the landscape. I find myself desiring to visit Verona and Florence.
Book: The Master of Verona
Author: David Blixt
Score 6/10 (so far)