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Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
The Last Masterpiece: An Italian Renaissance Tale (The Master’s Protégé Trilogy Book 3) opens with Celeste Gabrielle in Venice to collect her sister Veronica from the convent where she has lived humbly for ten years and take her to her own home in Florence. Veronica appears to have changed from being a promiscuous young girl to a devout woman, but is she the instrument that will bring down her family? Catholic Luciano, Celeste’s beloved husband, sides with the Arrabbiati in opposition to Prior Girolamo Savonarola and his fanatical sacking of the arts to create Florence as the New Jerusalem. Is Veronica the only member of her extended family Celeste should fear? Italy in the fifteenth century is brought to vivid, exciting, gripping life in this historical novel by Eleanor Chance.
I have a passionate interest in art, and I love family sagas, so I opened The Last Masterpiece eagerly. A visitor to Florence, Venice, Rome, and Milan, the ancient and beautiful cities of Italy, I found myself there again, not just admiring them but swept back to late the fifteenth century, living its history. The tragically widowed Celeste is torn between the handsome and godly, and satanic evil men such as Savonarola and Celeste’s beloved Luciano’s eldest son and heir. I hadn’t thought to meet Michelangelo or watch Leonardo da Vinci design helicopters. Can Celeste protect her children? Will anything rekindle her desire to paint? This is a romantic thriller that twists and turns to bring The Master’s Protégé Trilogy to a truly dramatic end.