Customer Reviews for

The Botticelli Secret

Average Rating 4
( 87 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A Must Read!Mystery...and lot more

This was the first book I ever read by this author and I truly loved it and have read multiple times! It's a story of a Whore Luciana and Monk a novice librarian Brother Guido and the plotting and scheming of a group who wants to rule Italy. Just like in all good myster...
This was the first book I ever read by this author and I truly loved it and have read multiple times! It's a story of a Whore Luciana and Monk a novice librarian Brother Guido and the plotting and scheming of a group who wants to rule Italy. Just like in all good mysteries things are not always what they seem. For hidden in the Botticelli painting is a secret message .These two unlikely people are thrown together in this twisting plot that takes them on a journey though out Italy as they try to decode the message hidden in the painting.

posted by Daffydill on May 2, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Not Quite Sure What i Think

I have to admit right up front that I am only about 70 pages into this book at the moment. Generally I give a book 50 pages and, if I am not 'into it' at that point I set it aside for another time. I have read some wonderful reviews of this book though so I know that th...
I have to admit right up front that I am only about 70 pages into this book at the moment. Generally I give a book 50 pages and, if I am not 'into it' at that point I set it aside for another time. I have read some wonderful reviews of this book though so I know that there is a lot of good to the story and I want to get over not liking it. What I am not liking is the one of the two main characters, a prostitute, has a real problem with talking like a long shore woman - aka 'potty mouth'. Not that I am offended by the words generally- I can throw it with the best of them if I have to - but I am not that fond of seeing bad language used in a book - repeatedly especially. Another thing that is putting me off at this point is that there are some very modern usages in this novel set in the time of Italian city states and Botticelli- for example needing to "get a move on". While I don't want to wade through a novel that uses acceptable usage for the time - say olde english - 'get a move on' is a far cry from authentic.

Right now I am giving this a 3 - based on the tempo of the book - which is good. The characters are, thus far, well modeled and the plot, again thus far, hangs together. I will come back and update my review if I can get a move on and wade through the eccentric, shall we call it, language use!

posted by ZQuilts on February 7, 2010

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  • Posted February 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not Quite Sure What i Think

    I have to admit right up front that I am only about 70 pages into this book at the moment. Generally I give a book 50 pages and, if I am not 'into it' at that point I set it aside for another time. I have read some wonderful reviews of this book though so I know that there is a lot of good to the story and I want to get over not liking it. What I am not liking is the one of the two main characters, a prostitute, has a real problem with talking like a long shore woman - aka 'potty mouth'. Not that I am offended by the words generally- I can throw it with the best of them if I have to - but I am not that fond of seeing bad language used in a book - repeatedly especially. Another thing that is putting me off at this point is that there are some very modern usages in this novel set in the time of Italian city states and Botticelli- for example needing to "get a move on". While I don't want to wade through a novel that uses acceptable usage for the time - say olde english - 'get a move on' is a far cry from authentic.

    Right now I am giving this a 3 - based on the tempo of the book - which is good. The characters are, thus far, well modeled and the plot, again thus far, hangs together. I will come back and update my review if I can get a move on and wade through the eccentric, shall we call it, language use!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2011

    A Must Read!Mystery...and lot more

    This was the first book I ever read by this author and I truly loved it and have read multiple times! It's a story of a Whore Luciana and Monk a novice librarian Brother Guido and the plotting and scheming of a group who wants to rule Italy. Just like in all good mysteries things are not always what they seem. For hidden in the Botticelli painting is a secret message .These two unlikely people are thrown together in this twisting plot that takes them on a journey though out Italy as they try to decode the message hidden in the painting.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 20, 2010

    A worthy read

    I sincerely enjoyed this book, even while elements of its plot felt underdeveloped or neatly sidestepped. This book's greatest strength is its wonderful protagonists, prostitute Luciana and novice monk Brother Guido. This duo alone made me purchase it, and for the most part, Fioarto delivers the sexual and religious tension we might expect from this pairing. While Fiorato uses Brother Guido to explain to the reader the who, what and where of Renaissance Italy, I still found it difficult to keep up with what she was describing, which really slowed down the pace of the story. More annoyingly, our leads spend a huge part of the novel in mere conjecture, and I felt like hitting them both on the head. Like in the Da Vinci Code, they follow the most miniscule clues and somehow end up in the random spot that hints at something else. All this from a painting? Well, I guess that's what the author would have us believe. The "secret" is fairly obvious after the halfway point, but I kept reading for the sake of the characters. I'm glad I did. Despite my frustrations, this really was a well written piece of fiction, if not for the goofy treasure-hunt plot, then for the budding romance.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Follow this Quattrocento Nancy Drew through a conspiracy

    If the works of Leonardo da Vinci reveal a code, then Botticelli's La Primavera holds a secret or two. At least that's what art historians have long believed. In her author's note, Marina Fiorato cites several scholarly works, most importantly La Primavera di Botticelli: L'armonia tra le cittá nell'Italia di Lorenzo il Magnifico by Professor Enrico Guidoni of the University of Rome.

    So it's 1482 in the magnificent city-state of Florence, and we meet our heroine, Luciana Vetra, a plucky teenage whore, and her soon-to-be best friend, Brother Guido della Torre: "It was not an auspicious meeting. He did not see me at my best. I was dressed in my best, to be sure, for I am always aware of the passing trade. But I happened to be sitting on the balustrade of the river, pissing into the Arno. Framed poetically by the saffron arches of the Ponte Vecchio looming behind. In fairness, it would not have been immediately obvious to the good brother what I was doing, as my skirts were voluminous. But I had just come from Bembo's bed, was on my way to Signor Botticelli's studio, and the quantity of Muscat I had drunk for breakfast begged for evacuation." (pg. 4)

    And thus begin a detective story and a love story. Luciana is sent by one of her clients to Sandro Botticelli, whose famous painting La Primavera is complete except for the crucial figure, Flora. Luciana models for the artist and during their conversation mentions renaissance Italy's famous maritime cities. The artist becomes unaccountably angry, the model feels insulted. While changing clothes, she notices a tiny secret door in his studio. Behind that door is hidden the cartoon of the painting, which is the painting in miniature with the grid lines used by the artist to transfer the painting to its enormous canvas. In a pique, Luciana steals the cartoon and leaves behind the religious tract she had received earlier from Brother Guido.

    And now begins the quest to discover the meaning of the painting and the conspiracy of seven great cities its figures symbolize. There are immediate murders. As Luciana and Brother Guido examine the cartoon's details, they are led across Italy's city-states from Florence to Pisa to Naples (currently ruled by the bastard son of the king of Aragon) to Rome. In Rome, they meet Pope Sixtus IV (one of a long line of corrupt popes) in his famous chapel. (We learn that the Vatican is talking about hiring a young artist named Michelangelo to paint the ceiling.) The plot thickens as the devout Brother Guido becomes disillusioned with the one holy and universal church. From Rome, they return to Florence for a Medici wedding, and then Luciana is suddenly taken to Venice, where she finds out who she really is and receives an education.

    No spoiler here-but Luciana and Guido (no longer a monk) are reunited, and when they reach Milan, they briefly meet Leonardo, who is building siege machines for Ludovico Sforza, il Moro, the Duke of Milan. What are the seven conspirators planning? What is the meaning of a silver coin with a relief of Lorenzo il Magnifico on one side and the word Italia on the other? Who is the leper with the silver eyes who has been following Luciana? She and Guido flee to Genoa and come to the climax of the plot.

    Quill says: Turn off the TV and follow this Quattrocento Nancy Drew through a conspiracy that is as much fun as that described in Holy Blood/Holy Grail and the famous novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Captivating historical fiction

    Reading this book while in Italy was a bonus. The author has done her research well and it is a page turner. The characters are well portrayed as people of the time and the imagery particularly fine. My only questioning thought was ?how? could it have been possible for a woman, even a 16 year old woman, been able to race through the night in high heels on cobblestones with a long, confining gown in tow? I, like another reviewer, did not want it to end. I hope that Ms. Fiorato will continue her research of another era and perhaps a painting and turn out a further book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    LOVE IT!

    I absolutely love this book! It grabs you right away! The characters are so interesting and the story moves very fast! I love the history involved in the storyline as well. I plan to pass this book along to many friends!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is an entertaining Brownian Renaissance thriller

    In 1482 in Florence's Ponte Vecchio, Luciana enjoys selling herself to her wealthy clientele. Franciscan novice Brother Guido tries to give her a religious pamphlet, but she laughs with profanity at his inanity while offering her body at no charge.

    She does not scorn the great artist Botticelli who has hired her to model as the prime figure the goddess of spring for his current work, Primavera. After finishing her assignment, but not getting paid for posing, Luciana impishly takes the model of the Primavera and leaves behind Guido's pamphlet. However back at her room, she finds her roommate's throat cut, which she interprets as the rage of Lorenzo de Medici. She flees to affluent customer Bembo, but his throat has been sliced. Next she tries Brother Guido and those at his monastery, but several are dead there. Guido and Luciana flee to his aristocratic uncle Lord Sylvio of Pisa to intervene, but has been poisoned and his son blames his cousin. The Seven city state magnates supported by the pope want the unfinished prototype and will kill to possess it.

    This is an entertaining Brownian Renaissance thriller that conspiracy buffs especially will enjoy. Luciana is an interesting lead character as she can be impishly seductive in spite of her endless strings of profanities. Although the deep look into the Primavera is educating and defends why the Seven needs it back, those sections turn long winded as only art students and professors, and conspirator buffs will relish. Still overall The Botticelli Secret is a cleverly designed late fifteenth century thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    I decided to read The Botticelli Secret because I so enjoyed Fio

    I decided to read The Botticelli Secret because I so enjoyed Fiorato's The Glassblower of Murano. However, I was very disappointed in the writing of The Botticelli Secret. Overall, the plot is interesting (the reason I gave the book 3 stars), but the "voice" of Luciana was very grating to me. The book is set in 15th century Italy, but Luciana talks like a valley girl at times. I agree with another reviewer (ZQuilts) who pointed out that Luciana uses phrases that are very modern, so her choice of words in the novel is disconcerting. For example, she talks about "hitting [Guido] with her best shot" and "getting frigging annoyed." The voice of Luciana definitely was distracting to the story.

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  • Posted February 8, 2012

    Could have been much better

    The plot of this book is interesting, but drags. While I understand the author's need to show the female character (a 17th century prostitute) as the bad girl with a heart of gold and how she evolves to something more through her relationship and adventures with a priest, I feel it could've been done much more tastefully without the excess vulgarity. I found myself bypassing whole sections to avoid the filth. If I can follow the story line without the section then why is it in there except for the porn factor and to shock people? The whole book could've been so much more than what it was.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2012

    It's a fantastic book!

    This book is amazing. It is really well written, I couldn't put it down. It deals with a prostitute, Luciana, who is asked to model in Botticelli's Primavera, then is running for her life due to the actions afterwards. It keeps you entertained the whole way through and wanting to know what will happen next and the mystery behind La Primavera!

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  • Posted December 14, 2011

    Couldn't Finish It!

    This book was terrible! The author uses absoulutly crude language. I understand the main charachter is a prostitute and some language is to be expected but there was just too much. I have no problem with reading bad or harsh words in a book but I feel like the author went way overboard. It took away from what could possibly be a good story. I would not recommend this book. At all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2011

    This is probably the best book i have ever read!!!
    It is right up there with Needful Things (Stephen King)and The Watchers (Dean Koontz)

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  • Posted September 30, 2011

    Amazing Novel!

    This was such a good novel! Marina Fiorato weaves in a wonderful plot of twists and turns, and adds a tantalizing hint of romance. I would definitely recommend this book for teens, but it is not the most historically accurate. However, it does give a really good outlook into the culture of the Italian Renaissance. Very well written!

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  • Posted July 25, 2011

    Loved it!

    Could not put it down. Enjoyed the historical references and then twist and turns that came with it.

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  • Posted May 7, 2011

    Irresistable!!

    Best read in a long time. Loved it! Very intense and ever changing plot line thhat keeps you guessing as the answers are not always obvious. Huge props to the author. Most talent ive seen in a while for sure. Please write many more!!

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  • Posted November 30, 2010

    Read it!

    This is a great book although somewhat tedious at times. The characters are sometimes difficult to remember during the long book. It is interesting historical fiction. I have seen the paintings and been in the many places that the book takes you. This helps a lot to understand the fiction.

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  • Posted October 5, 2010

    Highly recommended. A excellant novel. Definitely read her other books.

    Takes you back to Italy in the early years. Vivid descriptions of the story make you feel like you are there. The story is excellant, holds you to the very end. THe ending......not what you may have expected. Wanted the story to go on and on and on.

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  • Posted June 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Must Read if you enjoyed Dan Brown's books

    Fast paced and well written. Very good evolution of her characters! I couldn't put it down.

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  • Posted June 2, 2010

    Theme too similar to others

    Plodding and slow to read. I liked the Glassblowers much better.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Incredible!!

    "The Bottecelli Secret" was absolutely amazing. one of the best reading experience i've ever had. I felt as if I was the one on this grand adventure. It was captivating and very honest- unafraid of all taboos! When I finished the book, i felt really sad that it ended. I wished that it was a story that would never end.haha.i highly recommend this book. keep reading!

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