Florentine silk merchant Giovanni Pietro d'Angelo and his wife want nothing more than to marry their daughters to wealthy men of distinction. But when their son is implicated in a tragic accident, it is their eldest daughter, Bianca, who must pay the price--by marrying the powerful and debauched Sebastiano Rovere in exchange for his silence. Bianca flees the cruel union and seeks shelter in a seaside villa where she discovers the possibility of love at last. But Florentine society will never approve of the man she's chosen: Prince Amir, grandson of Mehmet the Conqueror. Two passionate lovers. Two different worlds determined to keep them apart.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-27
- Reviewer: Staff
Renaissance Florence and Ottoman Turkey collide in the overwrought first Silk Merchant’s Daughters historical. Bianca Maria Rose Pietro d’Angelo, the 15-year old jewel of Florentine society, is bewildered when her father marries her to Sebastiano Rovere, a prominent lawyer two decades her senior, to save the family’s reputation. Sebastiano rapes Bianca on her wedding night and displays other shocking depravities. She eventually escapes, staying hidden while demanding an annulment and becomes friends with Amir ibn Jem, an antiques merchant and the grandson of the Ottoman sultan. After Sebastiano’s death, Bianca and Amir want to marry, but the Pietro d’Angelos can’t accept a Christian woman marrying a “heathen” and separate them. The lovers run away to Constantinople, where Bianca adjusts (with superhuman speed) to harem life and Turkish politics. Exquisite historical detail brings every moment vividly to life. Small describes violence as intimately as passion, and readers may hurry past the scenes of brutality while lingering over Bianca and Amir’s tender love scenes. Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, the Ethan Ellenberg Agency. (Oct.)