Posted by Robyn in , , , , , , , ,

Penned by: Traci L. Slatton
ISBN: 9780385339742
List Price: $14.00

Is it the sweet relief of death or the glorious experiences of life that is man's true desire? Is God a protector who guards his flock of lambs to their ultimate destiny or is he a sinister figure who revels in the pain of those whose existences he controls? Can one truly find perfection within them self?

Luca, also known as Luca Bastardo, is a street urchin dwelling in Florence during the 14th century. Constantly in search of a scrap of food to satiate his perpetual hunger, Luca finds the company of an old man in the market who teaches him that it is not your position in life that matters but the amount of wit and intelligence that you possess. Shortly after, Luca is sold to a brothel lord by one of his best friends.

Forced to service the patrons of the establishment, who range from wealthy merchants to the city guards even to the clergy, Luca discovers that he can detach himself from his body and visit places of beauty in the world. This is his only escape as he is forced to satiate the lust of the scum of the earth. Year after year fades together and everyone around him grows older, except Luca remains nearly the same. Though nearly twenty years have passed, Luca only seems to have aged by a few years.

Luca, on one of his visits to the outside world, meets a renowned painted by the name of Giotto. Giotto is amused by the intelligence that Luca displays and treats him much like a grandfather to a grandson. When Giotto dies, Luca suddenly discovers what the painter had been trying to make him realize all along; the strength to carry on lays in the spirit of intelligence. This newly found inner strength gives Luca enough confidence to travel back to the brothel and take his freedom by force, by killing the brothel lord.

As Luca readjusts to life outside of the brothel, he discovers more about himself than he ever imagined was possible: hidden mystical powers at his disposal, a legacy of sorcerers, and even the ability to heal those beyond the aid of doctors.

My Thoughts

This book is one of the most philosophically intriguing pieces of literature that I've come across in the past few years. Luca's struggle through life is particularly fascinating to me. He has no memory of his past, coupled with an urgent need to discover where he came from. He feels incomplete without the knowledge of his lineage, yet also tainted by the nature of the work that had been forced upon him.

Luca desires more than anything for a wife, someone to love and to be loved by, yet he knows that the pain of losing his wife to the death that inevitably comes to those who do not experience immortality as he does.


This entry was posted on 22 January 2009 at 12:01 AM and is filed under , , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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