September 17, 2007

Book Review: Leonardo's Shadow


Giacomo is the servant of the great Leonardo Da Vinci. Several years ago, a mob was chasing him through the streets, convinced he had stolen someone else's possessions. That night, Da Vinci saved Giacomo's life. Ever since then, Giacomo has served Da Vinci faithfully and almost comically. Whenever anyone even hints that they are insulting his master, Giacomo is right there defending his honor, although it is most unsuitable for him to speak to his superiors.

His greatest ambition is to paint and learn from his master. But Da Vinci seems reluctant to teach him. Giacomo spends his days waiting on Da Vinci, hanging out with his small circle of apprentice friends, and bugging his master to finish the painting The Last Supper. Why won't Da Vinci finish the painting? The Da Vinci household has been buying food, clothing, and art supplies on a credit basis only, but the business owners are beginning to be impatient for actual money. More importantly, the Duke of Milan is most impatient for him to finish the work. Why, any day now, the Pope will visit. The Duke is hoping that the Pope will be impressed with the painting enough that he will remain an ally to the city of Milan against the French. But there may be no peace if the painting is not completed on time!

But Giacomo has much more on his mind. Who are his parents? What was in his knapsack that the mob was angry about? Is he, indeed, a common thief? Will he ever learn to paint? How will he and his master eat with no money? Is the master hiding secrets from him? Can Giacomo discover them?

Giacomo is no ordinary servant, you will soon see . . .


I loved this book! It was funny, educational, and fast-paced. Giacomo is a lively character that boys will relate to easily. It has just the right amount of details--enough for us to be able to enter Giacomo's world but not enough that it overwhelms the story. This tale is full of suspense, intrigue, and hidden secrets just waiting to be discovered. Once I started it, I just couldn't stop. This is unusual for me. To tell you the truth, it is hard for me to find time to read. During my lunch breaks at the library, I eagerly opened Leonardo's Shadow to see what trouble Giacomo would get into today.

With all of the interest in secrets societies and The Da Vinci Code, this book practically sells itself. Need more convincing? Check out the book trailer Christopher Grey created to publicize this highly readable book.

1 comment:

alexgirl said...

As much as I truly despised The Da Vinci Code, this book sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for the recommendation.