Eternal War - Blood on the Lily is the third novel by Livio Gamberini belonging to the quadrilogy of Eternal War. a year ago and last week we had the opportunity to review the previous chapters of the series. Today we will dedicate ourselves to the third act, before the grand finale!
Like the previous volumes, this one is also published by Acheron Books which shortly, on November 26, 2020, will release the last tome.
But let's take a closer look at the events narrated.
Small warning. In the synopsis there is some microscopic spoiler from the previous book. If you haven't read the second volume yet, we advise you to stop reading.
Synopsis of Eternal War - Blood on the Lily
The story begins where it left off in the previous book. Beatrice Portinari's body still warm. Dante Alighieri at his funeral during which he shows everyone the affection he felt for her and, in the background, the challenge between white and black Guelphs for control of the city. To frame the entire first Jubilee in history, the resignation of Pope Celestino V and the rise to the top of Florentine politics by Dante himself.
Amidst unusual violence in the lands of Matter and Spirit, the rise in the history of the Signoria of Florence begins to reveal itself. In the distance, alongside the upheavals in Christianity, the figures of the Medici, the Pazzi and all the families that came to power in the city cradle of the Renaissance stand out.
The twists will not fail. The attitudes of turncoats either, the plots follow one another and some will continue in the next volume and, to conclude, a remarkable twist.
To quote another writer within the Acheron Books stable:
That twist is so masterful that I wish I had it myself.Marco Cardone, Italian Way of Cooking
Evolution and involution of the characters within the book
I mentioned in previous articles that when you write a series of novels, the evolution of the characters is fundamental. The fixity in the story, as in life, does not help anyone. In this volume, as we have seen in the two previous chapters of the saga, the characters Guido Cavalcanti and Dante Alighieri always decrease and grow crushed, some more and some less, by their patrons: the Ancestrarchi.
Guido, after the vicissitudes that initially led him to "abjure" his patron, in the hope of becoming a Free Spirit, understands how difficult that path is. Due to his stubbornness, his family relationships, especially with his wife, reach a critical point. His opposition to Love, which arose in the second book, led him to repudiate everything he had believed in, from affection for Bice to marital fidelity.
This also causes an exacerbation in relations with Dante, who as a friend stoically endures many of the insults and gross words that his spiritual master pours out against him.
This downward spiral is very similar to "mal de vivre". Almost a sort of melancholy that grips the character and leads him to suffer in an almost atavistic way, due to the loss of his relatives, exactly as an Ancestrarca would suffer.
But if on the one hand we see a sort of involution, more than justified, in the character of Guido, on the other hand we have an elevation of Dante Alighieri. Dante in fact, in this volume, begins to become aware of himself. From looking for a job in an apothecary shop, to marriage with Gemma Donati, up to joining the Council of Hundred.
Dante embodies the positive spirit of the Renaissance man without being one in all respects. Peacemaker in political and factional clashes, always faithful friend despite personal events and ultimately immortal poet.
When I took it in my hands Eternal War - Blood on the Lily I immediately felt that something had changed in the writer. From the very first pages it is possible to perceive a different kind of narration. First, the author offers us a summary of the Florentine families involved and their respective Ancestrarchi. I greatly appreciated this kindness in perfect GRR Martin style, because, especially in the first book, it was a bit difficult to understand what the Ancestrarchi were and to whom they were related.
Now everything is clearer.
As for the historical facts, as a Florentine, I feel pulled on the pitch. Some gossip implies that I am over six hundred years old, without confirming or denying I can assure you that the facts told are more fictional than historically reliable. And it is also right that this is the case.
This series of novels is a means for those who want to deepen the culture and history of those times, while those who know it less might find the opportunity to know it more.
My Florentine heart felt a leap when, in the pages of the novel, I saw the Gianfigliazzi family mentioned. Certainly usurers and bankers, like most Florentine families, but it is this research, together with the captivating prose, that left me a pleasant flavor at the end of the reading.
Too bad he can't tell you the final twist!
But I can invite you to buy the book, which you can find at this affiliate link so you can support the author, Acheron Books and our portal.
Now all that remains is to wait for the new volume. I honestly can't wait!