This was not the novel I set out to write. I had a small novel in mind – short, bittersweet. Two friends fall out over a girl. Happens all the time.
Except these friends were named Capulet and Montague.
Y’see, the cause of the feud in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is never explained. Nor does it have to be. But after doing the play for the umpteenth time, I’ve noticed a few odd quirks that point towards a rift based on Lady Montague. I’ve explored that elsewhere, so I won’t belabor it. Suffice to say, I had two friends, I had the girl, and I had a rough idea of the timeframe. Simple.
Only that wasn’t the story the characters wanted me to write. Sure, it’s in there. But it’s only a fraction, a sliver of the whole.
It started because I didn’t want to take sides. I wanted to write about these two friends and the woman they love from a neutral party. Because I didn’t want to put the audience on the side of either Capulet or Montague. So I started researching the period. Dante was in Verona. Along with his son, Pietro. Hmm.
So I chose Dante’s son as my window into the story. And then Dante, his son, and his patron took over my story. The little love triangle took the backseat to a much grander epic, inspired in equal parts by history and Shakespeare. The result was not at all what I had in mind. The ending surprised even me. And I’m dying to know what happens next…
|The Master of Verona|
Romeo & Juliet is the greatest love story ever told.
Every story has a beginning.
A sweeping novel of Renaissance Italy, THE MASTER OF VERONA follows Pietro Alaghieri, eldest son of the poet Dante, as he’s caught up by the charisma and genius of Verona’s ruler, Cangrande della Scala. Pietro risks battles, duels, and murder to impress his new lord. At the heart of the story is an infernal plot against Cangrande’s bastard heir, and the rivalry of two friends over the affections of a girl. That rivalry will sever a friendship, divide a city, and initiate a feud that will someday produce the star-cross’d lovers.
Based on the plays of William Shakespeare, the poetry of Dante, and the history of Italy, THE MASTER OF VERONA is a novel of brutal warfare, lost friendship, and dire conspiracy, combining to create an epic journey into the birth of the Renaissance that recalls the best of Bernard Cornwell and Dorothy Dunnett.
Author sites - http://www.davidblixt.com/ and http://www.themasterofverona.com/
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