- File Size: 1495 KB
- Print Length: 184 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Acheron Books (July 25, 2015)
- Publication Date: July 25, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- Kindle: $4.00
Gambarini’s historical fantasy is set in Florence, Italy, in the 13th century. Florence is being besieged by war on two fronts, the Material World and the Spiritual World. While fighting is heavy and takes a terrible toll on human life in the Material World, it is equally brutal in the Spiritual World.
Schiatta Cavalcanti, the Pater Familia of one of the prominent Guelph families, is a merchant. His rational mind perceives only what he can see with his eyes. Kabal, his guardian Ancestrarch, attempts to instil doubt in his mind, yet Schiatta continues to believe the Guelphs will win over the Ghibellines. Wrapping drapes of different colors around Schiatta’s shoulders, Kabal attempts to sway Schiatta to realize the futility of fighting a stronger army, one also armed in the Spiritual World with Grim Reapers and giants.
The Ancestrarchs are loyal to Rome, to the Vatican, and to the Patron Saints. The Patron Saint of Florence, St. John the Baptist, is enlisted to help win the war.
Schiatta is killed in battle. His son, Cavalcante de’ Cavalcanti, becomes the Pater Familia. Kabal absorbs Schiatta’s Virtue, and performs the Pater Familia ceremony on Cavalcante.
The outcome of this initial war sets the stage for the rest of the novel. Ghibellines take over the city of Florence, showing no mercy to the inhabitants left there. Over the subsequent years, Kabal uses his strength, his intellect, and his powers to reverse the loss the Guelphs faced that day. Several Ancestrarchs of other Families take sides, either with Kabal or against him. Chiaranima is the Ancestrarch for the Ghibelline’s Uberti Family, and is Kabal’s fiercest foe.
Gambarini takes the reader through the generations, from Schiatta to Cavalcante, down to his grandson, Guido. Gambarini masterfully weaves a tale of intrigue, suspense, and paranormal deities.
Gambarini is a talented author, and I felt I was there with the soldiers, and later with the revellers. The paranormal aspects of the story, in particular the use of drapes infused with Virtue and Fame, were very interesting and kept my attention. I enjoyed the book, and recommend it to readers interested in history and the paranormal.