A Tale Weaved With Finesse // REVIEW: Da Vinci's Tiger by L.M.Elliot

Title: Da Vinci's Tiger
Author: L. M. Elliot
Publication Date: August 2017 (India)
Publisher: Harper Teen
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Harper Collins India (THANK YOU!)
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Blurb Description: For fans of rich and complex historical novels like Girl with a Pearl Earring or Code Name Verity, Laura Malone Elliott delivers the stunning tale of real-life Renaissance woman Ginevra de' Benci, the inspiration for one of Leonardo da Vinci's earliest masterpieces.
The young and beautiful daughter of a wealthy family, Ginevra longs to share her poetry and participate in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence but is trapped in an arranged marriage in a society dictated by men. The arrival of the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers. Bembo chooses Ginevra as his Platonic muse and commissions a portrait of her by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them, one Ginevra only begins to understand. In a rich and vivid world of exquisite art with a dangerous underbelly of deadly political feuds, Ginevra faces many challenges to discover her voice and artistic companionship—and to find love. 
I’ve always been fascinated with everything related to the Renaissance, ever since I first learnt about it back in middle school. Yet, the minute after I flipped open L.M. Elliot’s Da Vinci’s Tiger, I knew that my knowledge about this period or about one of the most renowned painters in history was in fact, barely amounted to anything at all.

Da Vinci’s Tiger weaves a tale around the subject of Leonardo Da Vinci’s first portrait with finesse, bringing to life the Renaissance in Florence and the voice of a woman whose life was dictated by men before this portrait.

My Thoughts:

1.       The first thing that hit me about this book was how much this book felt like living in Florence in the 1400’s. Whether it was the clothing, the dialogue or the Medici, every time I flipped open Da Vinci’s Tiger, I honestly felt like I’d been transported over 600 years into the past.

“But he, awestruck, marvels more at your modest heart,Your old-fashioned virtue, and your Palladian hands,He is inflamed with Holy Love"

2.       I LOVED meeting a young Leonardo Da Vinci. I’ve read about hit, seen a few episodes of DaVinci’s Demons but seeing him through the eyes of Ginerva was a different experience. I saw a budding artist about to make a name for himself and become one of history’s biggest painters and this new take on him was BRILLIANT!

"Outside, my dear, you may be placed within a gilded cage of men's perceptions of you...It is a lonely thing to be turned into an ideal, especially when one is young and has a heart that beats and yearns."

3.       I can’t believe I forgot to mention this but ISN’T THE COVER JUST BEAUTIFUL? It’s simple and yet it catches your eye and I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

"I will not yield to you in this way, signor," I cried. "No matter how much you track me around this room. No matter how many arguments you make to convince me it is my obligation to reward you with my body" 

4.       I loved Ginerva’s poetry, and I loved the fact that she wrote poetry and that it was so important to her. I feel like we barely got to see any of her poetry, despite the fact that it was being mentioned all the time with the exception of one or two pieces. I especially loved this line:

“I beg your pardon. I am a mountain tiger”

5.       More than Ginerva’s poetry, I loved Ginerva herself. Despite the fact that she was confused and growing up, she had this innate strength and thirst for knowledge that made me love the fact that I was in her head!

A book unlike anything I’ve read before. A richly delicate book that will bring Renaissance Florence to life before your very eyes. 

L.M. Elliott
New York Times best-selling writer, L.M. Elliott is the author of the WWII series: UNDER A WAR-TORN SKY—an NCSS/CBC Notable Book in Social Studies, Jefferson Cup Honor Book, winner of Border's Original Voices Award, and a Bank Street College Best Book, plus its companions, A TROUBLED PEACE (also an NCSS/CBC Notable) and ACROSS A WAR-TOSSED SEA (a Jefferson Cup Overfloweth title). Her other books include ANNIE, BETWEEN THE STATES, a New York Times E-book bestseller, an IRA Teacher’s Choice, and an NYPL Book for the Teen Age; GIVE ME LIBERTY; and DA VINCI'S TIGER, a bio-pic style novel about Ginevra de’ Benci, the young poet in Leonardo's first portrait and the artist's only work permanently housed in the Americas.

What are some of your favourite historical books? 
Are you a fan of the art created in the Renaissance period? 
Which of Da Vinci's paintings is your favourite? 
Have you read this book? What do you think of it? 
I can't wait to hear from you!

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