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“A stunning work of historical fiction, and equally a page-turning murder mystery. The depth of research, the compelling characterizations, and the addictively readable storytelling all combine to produce a novel of the highest accomplishment.”
—Vincent Lam, award-winning author of Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures and The Headmaster’s Wager
“Intricate… rewarding… The Malice of Fortune is reminiscent of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose in that the intrigue is rich and is inextricably entwined in its world. . . . A finely wrought history but because the characters are of their time while transcending it.”
—The Denver Post
“In this epic novel, Ennis gives ample evidence that political and religious corruption in early-16th-century Italy makes anything vaguely analogous look like Sunnybrook Farm. . . . Permeated by the sights, sounds and smells of Renaissance Italy . . . [it] can stand shoulder to shoulder with Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose, with which it is sure to be compared.”
—Kirkus (starred review)
“A thrilling whodunit—and a pretty good primer on da Vinci’s ‘science of observation’ as well as Machiavelli’s ‘science of man.’”
“Ennis is an uncommonly graceful writer and a conscientious researcher… his story zips along, a pleasure.”
“Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli join their considerable forces in this teeming historical thriller… They make an exceptional team.”
—New York Daily News
“Ennis bring[s] multiple layers of authenticity to his epic novel. It’s a heady mix of “The Da Vinci Code,” Borgia politics and “The Silence of the Lambs.” Think of it as CSI: Italy circa 1502, with Machiavelli as a detective and psychological profiler and da Vinci as history’s first forensic pathologist.”
“A novel that ranks among the best with the Italian Renaissance setting.”
—San Antonio Express
“Ennis brilliantly recreates the complex politics of early 16th-century Italy in this absorbing and intelligent thriller. . . Fans of superior historical mystery writers . . . will be enthralled.”
"A TRUE MASTERPIECE… Michael Ennis has poured the knowledge and wisdom of many lifetimes into the exquisite form of a mystery so dark, so labyrinthine. The Malice of Fortune is stunning, terrifying, and utterly mesmerizing. I can honestly say I never fully appreciated the genius of Machiavelli, or the savagery of the Borgias, until now."
—Ann Fortier, author of Juliet
“Michael Ennis bring the Renaissance alive in this tour-de-force: The Malice of Fortune dishes out a simmering stew, thick with chicanery, bloodshed, dastardly deeds, code-breaking, puzzle-solving, and a cast of characters that includes Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolò Machiavelli, Francesco Guicciardini, Cesare Borgia—and Damiata, the real-life courtesan whose brassiness, brains, and beauty dazzle even her employer and nemesis: the Pope.”
—Katherine Neville, author of The Eight and The Fire
“For readers who've been waiting all these years for the next The Name of the Rose—here it is. Michael Ennis brings a scholar’s mind and a writer’s heart to this beautifully crafted work of Renaissance intrigue that has a rare quality of feeling ancient and modern at the same time. A powerful thinking-man’s thriller.”
—Glenn Cooper, author of Library of the Dead and Book of Souls
“This is a fascinating novel, filled with extraordinary, well-realized historical characters and a plot that is engrossing and wickedly clever. The Malice of Fortune is an excellent, beautifully researched, and well-written novel that has a fine, fine sense of place. It captured my attention up front and kept me turning the pages to the very end."
—Douglas Preston, co-author of The Monster of Florence
“With its vivid, well-defined array of characters, The Malice of Fortune captures the glorious and gritty details of Renaissance Italy in a propulsive story. Ennis has achieved a great accomplishment, historical fiction that places us right into the characters' present.”
—Matthew Pearl, author of The Monster of Florence and The Technologists
MICHAEL ENNIS taught art history at the University of Texas, developed museum programs as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, and works as an independent curator and consultant. He has won several awards for art criticism, and written for such magazines as Esquire and Architectural Digest, on topics as diverse as business, national defense, and politics. But when people ask him what he does, he only claims to be a writer of historical fiction. His first historical novel, Byzantium, was the true story of a Viking prince exiled to the court of the Byzantine Emperor; his second, The Duchess of Milan, was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, History Book Club featured selection, had a six-figure mass market sale, and was a bestseller in Italy, where it is still selling. Michael lives in Dallas with his wife, Ellen, a television producer, and their Australian Shepherd, Zoë.See all Product Description