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Download Leonardo's Swans Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Leonardos Swans (Unabridged), by Karen Essex
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,180 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Karen Essex Narrator: Kathe Mazu Publisher: Books on Tape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Isabella d'Este, daughter of the Duke of Ferrara, born into privilege and the political and artistic turbulence of Renaissance Italy, is a stunning black-eyed blonde and a precocious lover and collector of art. Worldly and ambitious, she has never envied her less attractive sister, the spirited but naive Beatrice, until, by a quirk of fate, Beatrice is betrothed to the future Duke of Milan. Although he is more than twice their age, openly lives with his mistress, and is reputedly trying to eliminate the current duke by nefarious means, Ludovico Sforza is Isabella's match in intellect and passion for all things of beauty. Only he would allow her to fulfill her destiny: to reign over one of the world's most powerful and enlightened realms and be immortalized in oil by the genius Leonardo da Vinci.

Though Isabella weds the Marquis of Mantua, a man she has loved since childhood, Beatrice's fortunes rise effortlessly through her marriage to Ludovico. The two sisters compete for supremacy in the illustrious courts of Europe, and Isabella vows that she will not rest until she wrestles back her true fate and plays temptress to the sensuous Ludovico and muse to the great Leonardo. But when Ludovico's grand plan to control Europe begins to crumble, immortality through art becomes a luxury, and the two sisters must choose between familial loyalty and survival in the treacherous political climate.

Leonardo's Swans is an exceptionally vivid evocation of the artist during his years in the glittering court of Milan, re-creating the thrilling moments when he conceived The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. It portrays a genius ahead of his time who can rarely escape the demands of his noble patrons long enough to express his own artistic vision. Download and start listening now!


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Charise | 2/16/2014

    " I actually picked this book completely at random, and didn't know what it was going to be about. I usually find that Historical Fiction is hit or miss, but I found this book very engaging. It offered a personal view of Leonardo, and inspired me to research Beatrice and her sister. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jessa | 2/2/2014

    " This book was fantastic! It's of two sisters who are complete opposites of one another. It about relationships and love. About an ugly duckling into a swan, hense the title. It was comical and heartbreaking and intertwining love stories between the characters. I recommend it to anyone who loved the birth of venus and in the company of the courtesan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jenn | 1/17/2014

    " Its been a while since I've read an art inspired historical fiction (There are a LOT and it seems like I read them all in a row.)This one was one of the better ones that I've read. I'm not quite sure why, but Leonardo's Swans seemed to keep my attention and didn't really ever slow down. The story is about two Italian Princesses with very different personalities who end up becoming prominent women both in politics and arts. What I find interesting is that these women did indeed exist in real life and the works of Da Vinci and other artists alluded to in the story actually came about as the story said. I'm curious to read more about these women and the others mentioned and see what historical information is available. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kani | 12/27/2013

    " Since i am cocurrently reading books about english history during similar time periods, i am getting a different perspective on the same reality. In this case one that includes the collection of art as well as the rivalry between powerful sisters. Isabelle d'este sounds like an amazing woman; alert to the dangers of being a powerful woman in a time when women handled matters backstage rather than on the forefront like men. It is, as well, another view of the oft written about Leonardo da Vinci; seen through the eyes of women who were his contemporaries. At least how one person imagines he is perceived by women of his own time. The feudal system was an amazing way of life! "

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