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The Enchantress of Florence by Salman…

The Enchantress of Florence (2008)

by Salman Rushdie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,6571232,250 (3.6)192
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English (120)  German (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All (1)  All (125)
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
Heady mixture of history and fantasy--a tale of two 16th century cities: [Sikri in the Mughal Empire of the emperor Akbar, and Florence], three Florentine friends, a mysterious Mughal princess, Lady Dark Eyes, who becomes the "Enchantress of Florence". For much of the novel the story was confusing, until about halfway through, where all fell into place; the last half was much better than the first. Many other historical characters float through the story, such as the admiral Andria Doria. Interesting concept of melding the two histories. ( )
  janerawoof | May 17, 2017 |

Lushly written, deep and profound.

Not for those looking for an easy read or easy answers. A book that invites and rewards analysis and contemplation. ( )
  JackMassa | Nov 23, 2016 |
This is just a bit too much. It goes around too much without it ever becoming clear what the point is. The women are too beautiful. The men too good at whatever it is they do.

Oh, yes. Lorenzo II dies a few decades before tomatoes first came to Italy, so they would not have decorated the tables at his feast. This makes me distrust all the historical details. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Oct 17, 2016 |
By the first chapter you feel the strong hand of a master writer. The prose and mental journeys are well worth the purchase. But, a good editor would have reigned in Rushdie's wordiness. And I so wanted to give this five stars. ( )
  zoegreenfeld | Sep 20, 2016 |
The Enchantress of Florence is the story of a mysterious woman, a great beauty believed to possess the powers of enchantment and sorcery, attempting to command her own destiny in a man’s world. It is the story of two cities at the height of their powers–the hedonistic Mughal capital, in which the brilliant emperor Akbar the Great wrestles daily with questions of belief, desire, and the treachery of his sons, and the equally sensual city of Florence during the High Renaissance, where Niccolò Machiavelli takes a starring role as he learns, the hard way, about the true brutality of power. Profoundly moving and completely absorbing, The Enchantress of Florence is a dazzling book full of wonders by one of the world’s most important living writers. ( )
  camtb | Sep 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
“The Enchantress of Florence” is so pious — especially in its impiety — so pleased with itself and so besotted with the sound of its own voice that even the tritest fancies get a free pass.
Salman Rushdie’s new novel, “The Enchantress of Florence,” reads less like a novel by the author of such magical works as “Midnight’s Children” and “The Moor’s Last Sigh” than a weary, predictable parody of something by John Barth.
The essential compatibility of the realistic and the fantastic imagination may explain the success of Rushdie's sumptuous, impetuous mixture of history with fable. But in the end, of course, it is the hand of the master artist, past all explanation, that gives this book its glamour and power, its humour and shock, its verve, its glory. It is a wonderful tale, full of follies and enchantments.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Guardian, Ursula K Le Guin (Mar 29, 2008)

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rushdie, Salmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Häilä, ArtoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Her way of moving was no mortal thing/ but of angelic form: and her speech/ rang higher than a mere human voice.// A celestial spirit, a living sun/ was what I saw..." ~ Francesco Petrarca translated by A.S. Kline
"If there is a knower of tongues here, fetch him;/ There's a stranger in the city/ And he has many things to say." ~ Mirza Ghilab translated by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi
A few liberties have been taken with the historical record in the interests of the truth. (colophon on copyright/publication data page)
To Bill Buford
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In the day's last light the glowing lake below the palace-city looked like a sea of molten gold.
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Started in Florence
Then to Muslim India
In the Renaissance

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679640517, Paperback)

Amazon Best of the Month, June 2008: Trying to describe a Salman Rushdie novel is like trying to describe music to someone who has never heard it--you can fumble with a plot summary but you won't be able to convey the wonder of his dazzling prose or the imaginative complexity of his vision. At its heart, The Enchantress of Florence is about the power of story--whether it is the imagined life of a Mughal queen, or the devastating secret held by a silver-tongued Florentine. Make no mistake, it is Rushdie who is the true "enchanter" of this story, conjuring readers into his gilded fairy tale from the very first sentence: "In the day's last light the glowing lake below the palace-city looked like a sea of molten gold." At once bawdy, gorgeous, gory, and hilarious, The Enchantress of Florence is a study in contradiction, highlighted in its barbarian philosopher-king who detests his bloodthirsty heritage even while he carries it out. Full of rich sentences running nearly the length of a page, Rushdie's 10th novel blends fact and fable into a challenging but satisfying read. --Daphne Durham

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:05 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A tall, yellow-haired young European traveller calling himself "Mogor dell'Amore," the Mughal of Love, arrives at the court of the real Grand Mughal, the Emperor Akbar, with a tale to tell that begins to obsess the whole imperial capital. The stranger claims to be the child of a lost Mughal princess, the youngest sister of Akbar's grandfather Babar: Qara K?oz, 'Lady Black Eyes', a great beauty believed to possess powers of enchantment and sorcery, who is taken captive first by an Uzbeg warlord, then by the Shah of Persia, and finally becomes the lover of a certain Argalia, a Florentine soldier of fortune, commander of the armies of the Ottoman Sultan. When Argalia returns home with his Mughal mistress the city is mesmerized by her presence, and much trouble ensues. But is Mogor's story true? And if so, then what happened to the lost princess? And if he's a liar, must he die?… (more)

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