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A Thing Done Paperback – Nov 1 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Fireship Press (Oct. 30 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611792452
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611792454
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,469,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Kindle Edition
A Thing Done is a fictionalized accounting of the broken betrothal that sparked the long-standing war between the Ghibelline and Guelphs families of medieval Florence. At the heart of the story is a court jester who is intimidated into performing a prank at a celebration. The prank sets off a vendetta which is appeased by a betrothal between two families. However, the betrothal is broken and murder becomes the only way to settle the vendetta.

Author Tinney Heath has really created a compelling story – one that gripped me and captured my interest from the opening lines of the book to the very end. Of course, I love any novel with an Italian setting and this book definitely does not disappoint. Strong writing, rich details, and undeniably compelling characters made this book truly stand out. I loved the hero and the way he was unavoidably drawn into the vendetta. I loved how the author weaved fiction with fact to make a fabulous story. I highly recommend this book!
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Format: Kindle Edition
“A Thing Done” will take the reader back to 13th-century Florence, when an annoying prank snowballs into a vendetta among Florence’s noble families. The narrator is the jester ordered to pull the prank, whom we today would describe as working class. The jester is a wry and unwilling observer caught up in the situation. The novel is based on historical events, and it is apparent the author has done her research down to the details of daily life. She provides us with real medieval characters and doesn’t shirk from the harshness of their lives. All the characters, even the ones the author invented, come across as real people and are three-dimensional. Highly recommended.

Kim Rendfeld, author of The Cross and the Dragon
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa526f9a8) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
HASH(0xa6327a44) out of 5 stars Bravissima! A tour de force Aug. 7 2013
By Anna B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Taking as her starting point a series of real life events in medieval Florence, Ms Heath has succeeded in breathing life into a lost time. Rarely have I read a book where the historical setting is so well portrayed, from the wooden rails on which to hang cloaks to the bread trenchers (at times flying through the air, trailing gravy behind them), the clothes, the torches that illuminated the halls, the smoky tallow candles, the wax tablets and their leather envelopes (which made me think of iPads in their leather cases). This book heaves with historical detail such as the description of the celebration of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, days when the church bells hung silent, or of the rowdy and boisterous Florentine markets, complete with rag-sellers and mercers. What makes this so impressive, is that all this historical information is imparted in passing: a hand grabs a bread trencher, someone sticks a wax candle onto the candle prick, a man collects his cloak from the wooden bar, someone tries to peer through the half open shutters , notes are scribbled on torn pieces of parchment, people munch hot chick-pea fritters...

The story itself is something of a rollercoaster ride. Despite knowing how things will end (because, sadly, I did, having read about the Guelfs and the Ghibellines), I am totally submerged in Corrado's spiritual conflict, his attempts to somehow stop things from spiralling out of control. Corrado himself is a person just like most of us, not all good, not all bad, open to earning the extra coin or so by performing services he will come to regret. He also has a very strong voice, and this is further helped along by the fact that Ms Heath has dispensed with attempting `period dialogue', no, her characters speak like we do, they say things like "Back off" and "Cheers, Windbag". Testament to Ms Heath's knowledge of her period, this modern dialogue never jars with her historical setting. For all that Corrado talks like us, he doesn't necessarily think like us - especially when it comes to matters related to faith and the need to safeguard your soul for the hereafter.

I was a bit hesitant at first to the fact that the author had chosen to use a first person narrative. In my experience, this leads to a potentially rather flat tale, as the reader is restricted to seeing through only one set of eyes. In the case of A Thing Done, the first person narrative is handled with such excellence that I spent as much time being amazed by this as I was by the story as such.

What I also liked about A Thing Done, is that Corrado is an observer rather than a participant in the events taking place, this allows him to be surprisingly fair in his assessment of the leading men and women in the drama. Yes, Corrado thinks Buondelmonte is a bit of a prat - but he obviously likes the man, at least now and then. Yes, Oddo is a bullying boor, but he is also a man in love with his wife, a caring pater familias that Corrado can't help but admire - a bit. Even Selvaggia, the woman who, in this version, orchestrates the whole chain of catastrophic events, is presented to the reader as having some saving graces. Not all that many, mind you, but still...

All in all, A Thing Done is a delicious dive into the past. Ms Heath's writing allows us to taste, smell, even touch that distant age, to feel we are walking side by side with Corrado through the alleys of Florence. It is with some regret that I close the book once I'm done, but I hope Ms Heath is already working diligently on a next book - I for one will definitely buy it!
HASH(0xa52d6f84) out of 5 stars Feel yourself in Florence March 1 2013
By Monette L. Bebow Reinhard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
“Cosa fatta, capo ha” – A Thing Done has an end. In her interview with Elizabeth Felt [...] she tells about the famous event in 1216 that tore Florence, Italy apart. But in this novel she brings this history alive, in a way that only a Renaissance reenactor and Florence aficionado can. While the history is accurate, she had to create the characters, and these characters will live on for you after reading this book. The detail of the history is vivid and the story compelling. You will find yourself caring deeply about the man continually referred to as “fool,” which you might become incensed by except that she doesn’t ever let you forget you’re in Florence in 1216. Sadly, historians cannot alter the outcome of history, but at times you’ll find yourself hoping with the jester that things can be undone. In this first person account, he continues to try and make amends for that foolish jest that may have started everything or may only have sped up the inevitable. I couldn’t give it five stars because I felt that the writing at times held back the passion that the event demanded, and I did not get enough of a feel for what made these two families so powerful. But this is a historical writer worth reading, and hoping for more of in the future.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa52d6ad4) out of 5 stars Well researched and enjoyable Jan. 1 2013
By Kim Rendfeld - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
"A Thing Done" will take the reader back to 13th-century Florence, when an annoying prank snowballs into a vendetta among Florence's noble families. The narrator is the jester ordered to pull the prank, whom we today would describe as working class. The jester is a wry and unwilling observer caught up in the situation. The novel is based on historical events, and it is apparent the author has done her research down to the details of daily life. She provides us with real medieval characters and doesn't shirk from the harshness of their lives. All the characters, even the ones the author invented, come across as real people and are three-dimensional. Highly recommended.

Kim Rendfeld, author of The Cross and the Dragon
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa53098a0) out of 5 stars Very engrossing! Dec 7 2012
By l vaughn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this story from start to finish. It drew me in immediately, and kept up just the right amount of tension/expectation/suspense. And even though I am not all that familiar with many of the medieval Italian terms, the context was enough to get the meaning and make this very readable. Excellent work!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa53094b0) out of 5 stars Modern urban hipster vibe Nov. 10 2013
By Marina J. Neary - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Even though the novel is set in 13th century Florence, it has a very modern, or perhaps I should say, timeless vibe. The image of a struggling 20-something entertainer in a big city is compellingly universal. Picture a DJ in modern day New York or Boston, picking up random gigs, crashing with his best friend and his girlfriend, getting caught in a conflict between two corporate hot shots. The protagonist is a low-key, self-deprecating hipster with that downbeat sense of humor. This would be a perfect role for someone like John Cusack. The author doe a great job recreating pre-Renaissance Italy, but the same story could take place in any country during any era. It's a story about "little people" getting caught in the schemes of "people with surnames". Imagine a delivery guy pulled into a war between two executives. You get the idea.


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