Rome 1635. As Flanders braces for another long year of war, a Spanish count presents the Vatican with a means of disrupting the Dutch rebels' booming economy. His plan is brilliant. They just need the right man to implement it.
Enter Ludovico da Portovenere, a charismatic spice and silk merchant. Intrigued by the Vatican's proposal-and hungry for profit-Ludo sets off for Amsterdam. His voyage is interrupted, first by a timid English priest with a message from Rome, then by a storm, then by a pirate raid. The storm brings him a quick-witted young admirer he uses as a spy. The pirate raid brings him a girl, Alina, who won't go home. Each development has significant consequences for Ludo's plans and even greater ones for the people he is involved with.
Set in a world of international politics and domestic intrigue, The Chosen Man spins an engrossing tale about the Dutch financial scandal known as tulip mania-and how decisions made in high places can have terrible repercussions on innocent lives.
"J.G. Harlond is a real find. The Chosen Man is a novel with everything going for it: a cracking story centered on an intriguing and charismatic hero... the author wants to pull you in and entertain you. And succeeds triumphantly. I'm keeping my fingers crossed there will be more." --
Sarah Harrison author of The Flowers of the Field trilogy
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is an interesting novel set during the Dutch Tulipmania of the Thirty Years War. J.G. Harlond's writing is superb. She avoids the overly-verbose stylings of many writers of historical fiction. The e-book edition of the novel is very good indeed. This reader recalls only one error, "Mcnab" instead of the correct "McNab". Thus none of the all-too-common sloppy e-book formatting here. So why only 4 stars from this reviewer? It has to do more with him than the book. The book's description from the publisher focuses primarily on Ludovico and from that description the book very much seemed to promise a swashbuckler in the style of Arturo Perez-Reverte's Captain Alatriste. Expecting this, this reader was quite surprised to find that the book is really about the barely-mentioned-in-the-description Alina and is a romance; not a bodice-ripping romance, but a romance nonetheless, and not a genre he leans toward in his reading. Another reader, who enjoys a romance with a strong historical setting, will find Harlond's The Chosen Man a 5 star read.