The Shepherdess of Siena

The Shepherdess of Siena❰PDF / Epub❯ ☉ The Shepherdess of Siena Author Linda Lafferty – Raised by her aunt and uncle amidst the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside young orphan Virginia Tacci has always harbored a deep love for horses—though she knows she may never have the chance Raised by her aunt and uncle amidst the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside young orphan Virginia Tacci has always harbored a deep love for horses—though she knows she may never have the chance to ride As a shepherdess in sixteenth century Italy Virginia’s possibilities are doubly limited by her peasant class and her gender Yet while she tends her flock Virginia is captivated by the daring euestrian feats of the The Shepherdess ePUB ô high spirited Isabella de’ Medici who rides with the strength and courage of any man much to the horror of her brother the tyrannical Gran Duca Francesco de’ MediciInspired the young shepherdess keeps one dream close to her heart to race in Siena’s Palio Twenty six years after Florence captured Siena Virginia’s defiance will rally the broken spirit of the Senese people and threaten the pernicious reign of the Gran Duca Bringing alive the rich history of one of Tuscany’s most famed cities this lush captivating saga draws an illuminating portrait of one girl with an unbreakable spirit. Find this and other reviews at two attempts I think it safe to say I've a love hate relationship with Linda Ladderty The premise of her novels spark my curiosity but the realities don't sit well on my palate and may indicate a need for greater discretion in the future I don't mean to sound harsh I'm actually pretty disappointed but House of Bathory was hardly the story I'd envisioned when I picked it up and here again The Shepherdess of Siena failed to impress I pegged the book as a slow starter some forty pages in things weren't any better by sixty and I officially called code blue on the novel's pacing round about eighty There is no momentum to this piece and it centers on a bloody horse race Call me crazy but thundering hooves pounding round the piazza shouldn't leave one fighting off the sand manThe characters were eually uninspiring I liked Virginia Tacci's struggle against traditional gender roles but I didn't get much else from the character I thought Giorgio had potential but I lost patience with him as soon as he began teaching Virginia to ride and they were only the beginning How Lafferty made a de’ Medici boring I'll never know but I couldn't care less about Isabella and found her scenes some of the most mundane of the entire novel She's in the middle of the action but as a character she's downright dull I hate to say it but I didn’t find the time I spent with The Shepherdess of Siena at all pleasant The style didn't appeal and there simply wasn't enough to the subject matter to compensate The Shepherdess of Siena A Novel of Renaissance Tuscany is actually a saga of Renaissance Tuscany This epic saga of nearly 600 pages recounts the popular and scandalizing stories linked to the de' Medici royal family the Grand Dukes of Tuscany at the beginning of their royal ness and how they affect their subjects with much about one particular subject a young shepherdess from Siena in Tuscany The de' Medici banking family was raised to royal status over the Tuscany Dutchy under military powerhouse Cosimo de' Medici in the 1500s Fictionalized versions of his children are the focus of this book along with their interactions with artists and subjects under their reign most importantly with Virginia a shepherdess with many hidden talents Virginia is based on an historical figure too Her story in this book is half fact and half fiction as the author admits in the Author's NotesThe de' Medici have long been favorites of historical gossips many of whom have put the salacious inventions linked to the family down in print giving them an authority they do not always have in historical fact The author makes use of these juicy stories for her novel And much historical research has also gone into the development of the story which will surely please fans of historical epic novelsThere are 102 chapters divided among seven parts in The Shepherdess of SienaA de' Medici Princess and the Little Shepherdess 1569 1574The Death of Cosimo de' Medici 1574 1576Murder in Tuscany 1576 1578The Heroine of Siena 1579 1581Ferrara 1581 1582The Art of Death 1582 1586The Reign of Granduca Ferdinando 1586 1591This sweeping saga covers romance politics gossip power patronage crime religion sports patriotism royals adventure pathos The voice is sometimes first person and at other times third person The text is sprinkled with Italian words The English is excellent and the editing expert I received a review copy This is one for historical novel fans those who love to be immersed in another time and place Italophiles with a love of Italian history should enjoy the time they can spend in Renaissance Tuscany hobnobbing with the exciting de' Medici familyPlease visit my full and illustrated review at Italophile Book Reviewshttpitalophilebookreviewsblogspot After reading the reviews—and with a 41 rating—I was eagerly anticipating reading this book I have lived in Italy am a scholar in sixteenth and seventeenth century Italian history and enthusiastically devour anything set in that time and locale I expected there to be artistic license taken with the historical record for the sake of Lafferty’s fictional narrative What I didn’t expect was to be so thoroughly bored by this novel The characters were one dimensional and unappealing which was pretty surprising The Medici were some of the most fascinating actors in Italian religious political and diplomatic history yet I found their scenes wearying and perplexing Because of my research I think I have a decent sense of the motivation for much of their behavior but I got no inkling of it from reading the novel The shepherdess who was ‘mad for horses’ and seemed to have a special affinity for them and they for her had such potential as a protagonist but she came off mainly as self absorbed arrogant and remarkably resistant to understanding anything outside of her own narrow aspiration The book was also rather torturous to read The dialogue was shallow and took twice as long as needed to impart the emotional or narrative information it seemed designed to convey I kept plugging thinking that eventually the author would start giving some justification for what was happening explaining the reactions of the conservative peasantry towards Virginia as well as what she and her family and friends realistically hoped for her future I was pretty amazed that the aunt who had figured so prominently as the voice of narrow mindedness and intolerance in Virginia’s first 10 years never appeared during her training or her early rides Finally about halfway through I had to call the time of death on this book Maybe the author addresses some of these issues in the second half of the novel but life is too short to continue reading a book that I knew I would pan ETA Apparently I should have read ALL of the reviews I just read Erin’s Goodreads review of 7 January 2015 in which she said pretty much everything I’d said even to pulling the plug on the book Overall though I am rather surprised to see the high rating here at Goodreads and decided to read on for another 30 or so pages I stopped again and I still feel the same I’m done Author Linda Lafferty propels readers into the Italian Renaissance in the Tuscany Region It is an epic saga and adventure a wonderfully rich and complex story with many layers and fascinating characters The story surrounds a young innocent shepherdess who develops a strong fondness for horses and an uncanny ability to understand them The tale sweeps us into the heart of Tuscany and allows readers to get to know the royals of the era along with members of the Medici familyThe author has done a great deal of research into the era especially concerning the popular sport the Palio She gives us a glimpse into the competitivemess the politics the training and the passion of this euestrians port that is still played todayThere are plenty of twists and turns and even though there is no terribly strong romance there is a love connection From the hills of Tuscany to the streets of Siena to the hidden abbey's and convents scattered throughout the area this is one story that kept me spell bound to the very end Betrayal murder kidnapping love and much much fill every page Definitely a tale for the horse lover in all of us I visited Siena several years ago and I fell in love with the city and the Palio so I keep an eye out for books on Tuscany This is the second book I have read by Linda Lafferty and I love her historical fiction Virginia Tacci was an orphan being brought up by relatives She has special bond with horses and begged to learn how to ride Review 43 starsA Historical novel with horses and set primarily in Tuscany was a Must Read and it proved enjoyableVirginia Tacci is the young shepherdess that loves horses and wants to ride – something that few women in the sixteenth century can do on an even playing field with men Even those from the nobility like Isabella de’ Medici that can attempt to ignore social expectations are prey to their male superiors – or those that believe in their right to manipulate and persecuteThis is a world of rules and rulers and Linda Lafferty paints the period and the setting vividly demonstrating her painstaking research This is a realistic medieval world from attitudes to architecture from struggling peasants to scheming nobility Many of the characters are historical yet the author gives them distinct personalities – at times needing to build on limited documentary evidence from the period The author’s notes at the end make the extent of the research clearThe novel is strongest when focused on the horses and on Virginia It is their story that kept me reading from the birth of a key foal through the event that makes Virginia the centre of a thread of plots The euestrian elements were meticulous in their detail as well as vibrant The choice of having the protagonist tell their own first person story also worked and enhanced this central thread However with multiple plotlines there was a need for some of the other viewpoints used All these were third person and in most cases these worked and gave the plotlines momentum But purely from this reader’s perspective there were too many and some characters suffered through too little ‘screen time’ There were moments when I stopped and wondered if some of these POVs could have been amalgamated – perhaps giving one observer chapters to record events as they experience themThis applied to the probably accurate de Medici scenes which led me to comment mid reading Whose story is this? At times I wanted to get back to Virginia and the horses as those scenes had a momentum that never tailed off Of course to me ‘Mares rule’ – except I will always find room for a great stallionVirginia’s ride is not always easy and not just because of her gender although that prejudice never lets up The ending is unexpected but many have argued that it is right given the era One uestion was uppermost as the threads converged together How would the antagonists atone for their sins?How can a historical novel ever have a neat ending? Reality is never what we expect or desire And life goes on beyond the end of a novel If characters evolve as they do here then that is the truth Although this novel rates 43 stars adjusted to 4 stars I would recommend this to fans of historical fiction especially if they love horsesStory – four starsSettingWorld building – five starsAuthenticity – five starsCharacters – four starsStructure – four starsReadability – four starsEditing – four stars I picked this book solely because I have a granddaughter named Siena I ended up really liking it and read 5 of her books in a row If you like historical fiction and are maybe just a little sick of WWII books here's your author This book takes place in Tuscany in the 1500's when the Medici family ruled It is about a girl who was ahead of her time and wanted to race horses More than that the book is about that time period and the class structure the people struggled with By the way the facts checked outeven the horse riding girl thank you NetFGalley for an early release copyThis is Linda Lafferty's best book yet I rarely give a five star review but I loved this bookThe Shepherdess of Siena is the story of Virginia Tacci the first woman actually girl she was 14 at the time to compete in the famous Palio of Siena This was unheard of in 16th century Tuscany and she most likely would have won if it weren't for political and sexist treacherybut I digressLinda Lafferty has a knack for finding women no one has heard of who had interesting andor impactful lives and creating great historical fiction around them The Shepherdess of Siena teaches us about one of these women Virginia Tacci was a shepherdess When her parents die she goes to live with her benevolent uncle and his nasty wife herding sheep A chance meeting with a de'Medici brings her in contact with a beautiful horse and the love that will last a lifetime is born By day a shepherdess by night an apprentice jockey on some of the most beautiful horses in the world Virginia has a special bond that will lead her to compete in the Palio Lafferty's characters come to life on the page I had a hard time putting the book down especially towards the end Lafferty takes us through the political machinations of the de' Medici's the ruling family as a result of conuering most of the other nearby cities At this point in history the Grand Duke of Florence essentially owns Siena and the other local citiesstates As the novel begins granduca Cosimo who has ruled with some level of benevolence dies and his crazy vicious son Fernando becomes granduca His brother Pietro is not much better Their taste in women their treatment of women in general but particularly those of their family who'd intelligence and character far exceeds theirs is appalling But I will say no so as not to be a spoiler I have read many books of this period and of the de' Medici's but had never heard of Virginia Tacci Brava to Linda Laffery for finding her and bringing her to life for us The premise of this book fascinated me In medieval Italy a young Senese girl named Virginia Tacci develops a special bond with horses and aspires to compete in the Palio a Tuscan horse race I found her desire to bend traditional gender roles rather anachronistic until I read in the author's acknowledgements that Virginia Tacci was a real figure in Italian history if little known and mysterious I was horse crazy growing up I was always that kid begging my parents for a pony and so I related on a somewhat personal level to Virginia's intense desire to ride and compete and her love of horses The scenes in the book where she learns to ride and view spoilereventually does race in the Palio hide spoiler The saga covers the later part of the 16th century when the de' Medici reigned Here you'll find romance politics gossip power patronage crime religion sports patriotism royals adventure pathos and passion A believable timeline of a what could have happened story for a true legendItalian words make appearances with non intrusive translations ie He had painted her from a distance for a year now the pastorella the shepherdess and her woolly chargesLafferty's writing remains consistent throughout her novels I've yet to read the Bloodletter's Daughter You'll either like her style or not Of her novels I've read this has been my favorite because Renaissance Tuscany is a favorite subject of mine I like that her characters are based on historically accurate people The 3 novels I've read have actually been narrated so maybe that's why I found it faster paced and with character development than someThe cover painting appears to be Young Shepherdess Standing by William Adolphe Bouguereau I wish I could have seen Giorgio Brunelli's 'Flight of Clelia and the Roman Virgins' because I agree about the stiffness of Beccafumi's

The Shepherdess of Siena eBook ☆ The Shepherdess
  • Paperback
  • 596 pages
  • The Shepherdess of Siena
  • Linda Lafferty
  • 22 October 2016
  • 9781477822074