The Poet Prince
Bestselling author McGowan’s third installment in her “Magdalene Line” series is another exciting historical thriller. The novel slips effortlessly between modern day and Renaissance Italy and showcases McGowan’s talent for bringing the past to life. The novel begins with researcher Maureen Paschal investigating the Confraternity of Saint Mary Magdalen. Through her search she has also uncovered information about the Libro Rosso and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Maureen travels to Italy to confer with her beloved teacher Destino. While in Italy, Destino persuades Maureen to study the Poet Prince Lorenzo de’ Medici, a key figure in the shaping of the Renaissance. Maureen learns that Lorenzo de Medici secretly married Lucrezia Donati, one of master artist Botticelli’s primary models. Maureen discovers information about Lorenzo de Medici’s artist friends, including Botticelli, Michelangelo, and others, bringing the art and beauty of the Renaissance alive as she works to uncover clues hidden in the masterpieces of these prominent Renaissance artists. Together Maureen and Bérenger must race against time to unravel a threat that poses a risk to Maureen’s life.
McGowan’s novel is quite complex, so it is best that readers start with the previous two books in the series (The Expected One and The Book of Love) to fully understand the plot intricacies and relationships between characters. The Poet Prince is another fine achievement by McGowan that beautifully combines elements of mystery, religion, and history and is laced with conspiracy theories. From the ending, it looks like McGowan may be planning another book in this series, which I will anxiously await.