THE RED LILY CROWN – Elizabeth Loupas
A Novel of Medici Florence
Florence, Italy – 1574
With the death of Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici, the heir is the dangerous Prince Francesco. He is feared by all in the city for his evilness and his alchemy obsession.
Chiara Nerini is the daughter of a late bookseller who was against the rule of the Medicis. But his alchemy equipment is valuable, and Chiara, who was reviled by her father for living when his son died, wants to help her remaining family by selling the rare wares to the new duke. But rather than pay her, Francesco takes her captive and forces her to swear allegiance to him as a virgin who will help him find immortality. Along with a mysterious man from Cornwall, Ruan, who has his own agenda, Chiara must work for the duke and try to stay alive in the meantime.
But life with the Medici is anything but predictable. Francesco has passions that are both evil and horrifying. Death and brutality surround him, and his marriage is both loveless and without a son. Chiara is thrust into the family dynamics and witnesses the horrors behind the scenes. Will Ruan be able to help her? Can he even be trusted? Can she survive the maniacal Francesco's diabolical schemes and deeds?
THE RED LILY CROWN is a dark, treacherous journey through the Medici's Florence. Being a member of the family didn't mean that they weren't in danger at all times from the vile duke. His only goal in life is to find a way to defy death, and the depths he will go to get there are heartrending and horrifying. Chiara and Ruan are both pawns in the duke's hands, and survival is questionable, at best.
An amazing and, at times depressing tale, THE RED LILY CROWN is beautifully presented with incredible characters and the backdrop of a stunning and very dangerous era.