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Renaissance Wonders and Humanist Wisdom
In 1506, Andrea, a Florentine student travels in Alsace, Bruges and Paris. He admires wonderful sites and masterpieces, becomes fan of polyphonic music and observes the rapid development of the printing industry. In Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, he meets the initiators of a map where a new continent is given a name : ‘America’ ! In this turning point of the Renaissance movement, the Imperial cities in Alsace are experiencing a period of properity thanks to their mutual solidarity and the dynamism of their corporations. Andrea discovers the Latin School of Sélestat and appreciates its humanist education. However, his itinary is full of obstacles and he will forge his own experience based on the concept of freedom but also responsibility. 500 years later, the Internet opens new horizons but does it facilitate a ‘renaissance’ of humanism ?
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 6 out of 10
Overall: 7.75 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: This book is solid in its plotting, with some vivid scenes and good forward momentum. The reader of historical novels will find a lot to like here.

Prose: The writing here is admirable. There is an old world feel to the language and syntax that is appropriate, but that never distances readers from the characters and story.

Originality: The setting and time period are this book's most original elements. The world building is incredibly well done.

Character Development: Unfortunately, the character voices in this novel are not distinct. The old world sound is there, but different characters lack unique voices. In places, readers may become confused about who is speaking.

Date Submitted: August 07, 2017

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