The Flames of Florence

Written by Donna Russo Morin
Review by Anna Bennett

As the 15th century draws to a close in Florence, danger lurks around every corner. Donna Russo Morin’s deft strokes illustrate the deep socioeconomic changes wrought by the fall of the Medici family and rise of Savonarola. In this historical fiction work, third in a series, Morin explores the relationships of women who are simultaneously celebrated and abhorred for their art under the loving tutelage of Maestro Da Vinci. As the rise of Savonarola induces a schism between the ladies of Da Vinci’s Disciples as surely as it does the city, our leading ladies must fight for their city, their art, and their friendships.

Morin’s depiction of history is so acute as to leave readers in no doubt of the strength of her research, though at times the effusion of history in this fiction can distract the reader. The Flames of Florence features too many references to the previous two for standalone reading, particularly with the fluid movement between a number of narrators. However, readers will delight in the breadth of perspectives at such a tumultuous time, giving a rounded approach that all fans of history can appreciate.