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Reviewed by Louanne Piccolo for Readers' Favorite
The Chosen Man by JG Harlond is an historical novel set in 17th century Europe during the period known as “Tulip Mania”. Tulip bulbs in the Netherlands were fetching incredibly high prices at the time, making many people extremely rich. The story of Ludovico de Portovenere, Marcos and Alina takes place between 1635 and 1637 and leads us in a breathless chase around Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and England. Spain, no longer able to control the Netherlands, enlists the help of the Vatican to bankrupt the tulip market. Ludovico, a charismatic spice merchant, is the perfect agent provocateur for the job. Fearless and enterprising, he must accomplish his mission despite dangerous encounters with pirates and assassins. Can one man succeed in manipulating the fall of the successful tulip market?
JG Harlond spins an exciting tale of romance, intrigue, tragedy and murder in The Chosen Man. The plot is fast paced, the story line is action packed, the tone is amusing, and the characters endearing and larger than life. The Chosen Man made the fall of the tulip market – the first major economic meltdown in history – come alive. Although I was transported back to a time of adventure and swashbuckling action on every page, I was also captivated by the love affair blooming between Ludo and Alina. The theme of men and women struggling to survive in a time of war and uncertainty is based in fact, and makes this captivating novel believable and far richer for it. I was delighted to see that The Chosen Man is the first book in a trilogy; I’m looking forward to reading the others!