Bones of the Dead by Elle Newmark

In book giveaways, contests on April 12, 2008 at 5:48 pm

This review was previously posted on my website, but I thought that I would post it again for 2 reasons:

1.  This is in my top 5 favorite books of 2007.  It takes a lot for me to give a book 5 stars, but this one deserved it.

2.  I just happen to have 2 copies, so yes, this book will be raffled off on Friday, April 18th – make sure to comment for your chance to win, and as always, if you blog about it and link back to me you get an extra entry (just make sure you leave the blog/website info in the comment so I know where to look). 

Here is my review:

“Civilizations are built on the bones of the dead.” Sometimes I believe we forget about those that have come before us…this is evident in some of the mistakes that are made over and over again. History certainly has a way of repeating itself, but thankfully there is nothing about this book that is a knock off of something else you have read – it is truly original in every way.

This book focuses around a street rat named Luciano and his mentor, Chef Amato Ferrero. Luciano is living on the streets, turned out at the age of 6, and although it is not the life he would have chosen he has become skilled in the tricks needed to survive the hunger and the cold he faces daily. One day he is plucked from his life of poverty by his soon to be mentor, taken to the home of the doge, given clean clothes, 3 meals a day, a warm place to sleep, and a real chance at improving his station in life and showing that he is someone of worth.

“The art of cooking, like the art of living, must be savored for its own sake.” This is the first of many lessons young Luciano will learn from the maestro. His techniques are about much more than just following a recipe – he is truly a magician in the kitchen. His unique abilities are able to prevent possibly disastrous situations from happening, but in the end they aren’t enough.

The story’s true star is a book – not just any book, but a book that is thought to be magical, housing everything from the “recipe” for immortality, a love potion, and how to create gold from common ingredients. It is sought by some of the most powerful, wealthy, and downright evil men in the country – all of whom are willing to do WHATEVER it takes to possess it as their own.

I don’t believe in delving too deeply into the plot of the story, I want the reader to be able to enjoy the story as I did and not give away too much of the plot beforehand. I will say this, I wish that I was made aware of Elle Newmark before now – her ability to evoke your emotions through her storytelling is something to be rivaled. She also has an uncanny way of describing her characters and setting in the type of detail that makes you feel as if you are truly a part of the story, not an easy feat when the story is set in 15th century Venice.

This book is one I recommend to anyone looking for a true page turner with an original plot and enough twists to make you shake your head and guess again at what will happen next. Thank you for providing this wonderful book, and making me realize that just because a book is set in another country and time, does not mean it won’t be compelling right up until the last page.

Good Luck everyone, and as always, thanks for looking!

  1. Sounds like a great novel.

    I put a link to it on my myspace.

  2. Thanks for this review. I guess it is another book to put on my list of “to-read”s.

  3. Wow, with such a strong recommendation how can I not enter? Plus, have I mentioned my love of historical fiction? LOL

  4. I loved your review! I’ve definitely added it to my list of books to read. Please count me in the drawing! ~ 🙂 Thanks!

  5. This book sounds great. It will be on my tbr list for 2008.

  6. This sounds like a great read. Count me in. I can’t believe the recommendation you are giving. It must be fantastic.

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