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The Venetian Contract by Marina Fiorato
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The Venetian Contract (edition 2012)

by Marina Fiorato

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353321,274 (3.57)3
Member:Roro8
Title:The Venetian Contract
Authors:Marina Fiorato
Info:John Murray Publishers Ltd (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:historical fiction, plague

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The Venetian Contract by Marina Fiorato

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I adore historical fiction and I adore science, especially the medical sciences, so this book was supposed to be a treat for me. Mix in a strong female protagonist and interesting descriptions of historical medical science and it's supposed to be a hit, right?

Unfortunately, the book is marred by stilted, unrealistic dialogue -- not just by Feyra but by nearly all of the characters. So much so that the uncomfortably unrealistic dialogue distracted me from the book and made it a chore to finish the book.

What I did enjoy were the descriptions of how medical science was handled in 1500s Italy. Just amazing how the doctors wore those costumes and that mask! (I Googled some images; wow!) ( )
  amandacb | Jul 10, 2014 |
Venice, 1576. Five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, a ship steals unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man, more dead than alive, disembarks and staggers into Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from Constantinople. Within days the city is infected with bubonic plagueÛÓand the Turkish Sultan has his revenge.

But the ship also holds a secret stowaway‰ÛÓFeyra, a young and beautiful harem doctor fleeing a future as the Sultan‰Ûªs concubine. Only her wits and medical knowledge keep her alive as the plague ravages Venice.

Fiorato does a wonderful job with the historical facts of the time: Constantinople, Venice, the ongoing conflict of Venetians vs. Ottoman Turks, religious issues, the plague, the architect Palladio, the great fire of Venice, medical and medicinal practices of the 16th century.

The main protagonist Feyra, a Turkish doctor torn between her heritage and loyalty not to mention her oath as a physician is a woman with a strong moral compass with humankind her focus. Great to see Feyra stand out as feminist during this period where women were ignored for their intellect and given talents due to their sex. Tirelessly she tends to the afflicted as well as attempts to desperately discover a cure to fend off the plague.

The narrative is exciting and well balanced combining the plague issues with a gentle love story. Lots of twists and turns as well as the Biblical reference of the Tribulation woven into the storyline very cleverly adding interest. The setting of Venice with all its wonderful references, Feyra a character ahead of her time, the battle of dealing with the plague all make for an enjoyable historical fiction read of the 16th century.

St. Martin's Griffin provided a copy in exchange for an honest review ( )
  Melinda_H | Apr 22, 2014 |
Venice, 1576. Five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, a ship steals unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man, more dead than alive, disembarks and staggers into Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from Constantinople. Within days the city is infected with bubonic plagueÛÓand the Turkish Sultan has his revenge.

But the ship also holds a secret stowaway‰ÛÓFeyra, a young and beautiful harem doctor fleeing a future as the Sultan‰Ûªs concubine. Only her wits and medical knowledge keep her alive as the plague ravages Venice.

Fiorato does a wonderful job with the historical facts of the time: Constantinople, Venice, the ongoing conflict of Venetians vs. Ottoman Turks, religious issues, the plague, the architect Palladio, the great fire of Venice, medical and medicinal practices of the 16th century.

The main protagonist Feyra, a Turkish doctor torn between her heritage and loyalty not to mention her oath as a physician is a woman with a strong moral compass with humankind her focus. Great to see Feyra stand out as feminist during this period where women were ignored for their intellect and given talents due to their sex. Tirelessly she tends to the afflicted as well as attempts to desperately discover a cure to fend off the plague.

The narrative is exciting and well balanced combining the plague issues with a gentle love story. Lots of twists and turns as well as the Biblical reference of the Tribulation woven into the storyline very cleverly adding interest. The setting of Venice with all its wonderful references, Feyra a character ahead of her time, the battle of dealing with the plague all make for an enjoyable historical fiction read of the 16th century.

St. Martin's Griffin provided a copy in exchange for an honest review ( )
  Melinda_H | Apr 22, 2014 |
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1576. Five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, a ship steals unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man more dead than alive, disembarks and staggers into Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from Constantinople. Within days the city is infected with bubonic plague - and the Turkish Sultan has his revenge.… (more)

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