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The Daughter of Siena: A Novel by Marina…

The Daughter of Siena: A Novel (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Marina Fiorato (Author)

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1902492,660 (3.46)11
Title:The Daughter of Siena: A Novel
Authors:Marina Fiorato (Author)
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2011), Edition: First, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Daughter of Siena by Marina Fiorato (2011)

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    The Conquest by Elizabeth Chadwick (lollypop917)
    lollypop917: Although this book is set during the Norman conquest of England, it has strong female characters and also an equine theme.

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This book takes you back to 18th-century Italy, in the town of Siena where Pia, a young woman "sold" by her father from the Owl district to the father from the Eagle district to marry is oldest son who is a cruel and evil young man. During the Palio, the breathtaking horse race, she wishes her soon to be husband to die.
It's 1729, and Siena is made up of several disticts that compete in the Palio, a white-knuckle horse race. Each ward, represented by an animal symbol, puts forth a rider to claim the winner’s banner, but the contest turns citizens into tribes and men into beasts—and beautiful, headstrong, young Pia Tolomei is in love with a rider of an opposing ward, an outsider who threatens the shaky balance of intrigue and influence that rules the land. The reader is soon drawn into the misery that is Pia's life and feel the love that she and Riccardo have for each other. You also get a little angry how women are no more than merchandise for men back then.

There is some brutality, homosexuality and intrigue. I enjoyed this book. I feel like I've read this before as I have read a more modern book a few years ago about this city, it's districts and the Palio. I would recommend this book if you like Italy and the 18th-century. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
Set in a world of political and personal intrigue in early 18th century Siena, the story follows the fortunes of Pia of the Tolomei, forced into an arranged marriage within the Eagle contrada, and Duchess Violante de Medici, whose enemies are plotting her downfall. Riccardo Bruni, a horseman of the Tower contrada, becomes a confidante of the duchess, and of course falls in love with Pia
Overall, I enjoyed the pace and the intrigue of the story, and the descriptions of Siena and the Palio, although there seem to be some editorial slips in my edition. Pia is of course exquisitely beautiful, and Riccardo the most handsome man alive! I found the villainous Caprimulgo family too black by far, and felt faintly uneasy with the portrayal of Pia's husband Nello, whose albinism is used to mark him as a freak of nature. The story tends to slip into melodrama and it does feel like an archetypal fairy story at times - beautiful heroine rescued from a horrible fate by her dashing horseman, with Duchess Violante as the fairy godmother (but then, Pia herself is an enthusiastic consumer of tales of knights and fair ladies, and sees herself reliving the fate of her murdered namesake who appears in Dante's Divine Comedy) ( )
  DauntlessGirl | Jan 3, 2014 |
I wanted to like this book and I really thought I would. It has a strong plot, but it just never came together. It was a little too predictable and formulaic.
There were also a few things that struck me that I had a problem with.
The heroine is described as the most beautiful woman in the city (like she is actually known as such and is subsequently, basically locked away until she marries so no one can touch her), the hero is the most beautiful man ever and all the villains looks like fairytale villains. It was so extreme and fairytale-like that it lost some realism.
The other big thing that bothered me was the fact that the heroine apparently had reconciled herself and become immune to being abused after only a day. Not only did it seem unrealistic, but I found that a little disturbing.
I ended up skimming parts just so I could get to the end and be done with it.
I did like the setting though and learned a lot about Siena that I didn't know before.
( )
  emmytuck | Sep 27, 2013 |
A quick and enjoyable read: a chaste bodice-ripper of historical fiction. Eminently suitable for YA audience. 12+ ( )
  celerydog | May 28, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed the premise for this book, the setting is interesting and one I hadn't come upon before. The horse race is exciting and building town life around it really puts its importance into perspective. The characters are all in some way affected by it, which after finishing the book, i see the importance of more so than i did while reading. I enjoyed the book, though I will say I never loved the characters. I wasn't as invested in them as I would have liked to have been. It was enjoyable, but i never got really hooked. Some of the plot points were easy to figure out, the secrets were good, but not difficult to discern. I would recommend it as a fun read, a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
  pheanila | Nov 7, 2011 |
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Book description
It’s 1729, and the Palio, a white-knuckle horse race, is soon to be held in the heart of the peerless Tuscan city of Siena. But the beauty and pageantry masks the deadly rivalry that exists among the city’s districts. Each ward, represented by an animal symbol, puts forth a rider to claim the winner’s banner, but the contest turns citizens into tribes and men into beasts—and beautiful, headstrong, young Pia Tolomei is in love with a rider of an opposing ward, an outsider who threatens the shaky balance of intrigue and influence that rules the land.
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Amid the intrigue and danger of 18th-century Italy, a young woman becomes embroiled in romance and treachery with a rider in the Palio, the breathtaking horse race set in Siena.

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