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Download The Malice of Fortune Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Malice of Fortune, by Michael Ennis Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (590 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Ennis Narrator: Adrian Paul, Carlotta Montanari, Fred Sanders, John Le Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Against a teeming canvas of Borgia politics, Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci come together to unmask an enigmatic serial killer, as we learn the secret history behind one of the most controversial works in the western canon, The Prince

When Pope Alexander dispatches a Vatican courtesan, Damiata, to the remote fortress city of Imola to learn the truth behind the murder of Juan, his most beloved illegitimate son, she cannot fail, for the scheming Borgia pope holds her own young son hostage. Once there, Damiata becomes a pawn in the political intrigues of the pope’s surviving son, the charismatic Duke Valentino, whose own life is threatened by the condottieri, a powerful cabal of mercenary warlords. Damiata suspects that the killer she seeks is one of the brutal condottierri, and as the murders multiply, her quest grows more urgent. She enlists the help of an obscure Florentine diplomat, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Valentino’s eccentric military engineer, Leonardo da Vinci, who together must struggle to decipher the killer’s taunting riddles: Leonardo with his groundbreaking “science of observation” and Machiavelli with his new “science of men.” Traveling across an Italy torn apart by war, they will enter a labyrinth of ancient superstition and erotic obsession to discover at its center a new face of evil—and a truth that will shake the foundations of western civilization.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ranks among the best…Firmly rooted in history, as recorded in Machiavelli’s writings.”

    San Antonio Express-News

  • “For readers who liked The Name of the Rose or The Historian, Ennis has the similar ability to wrap the reader totally in Machiavelli’s world of conspiracy, hatred, and passion. Fabuloso!”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “Ennis brilliantly recreates the complex politics of early sixteenth-century Italy in this absorbing and intelligent thriller that teams Leonardo da Vinci with Niccolò Machiavelli.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A thrilling whodunit.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Machiavelli and [Da Vinci] aren’t just another Holmes and Watson. What Ennis has created is a scenario with two Sherlock Holmeses, each applying his unique approach to crime-solving in an age when even the most fundamental forensics techniques would be regarded as heresy.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Intricate, rewarding…The Malice of Fortune is reminiscent of Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose in that the intrigue is rich and is inextricably entwined in its world…A finely wrought history.”

    Denver Post

  • Selected for the September 2012 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Steve | 2/20/2014

    " not as good as I had hoped "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Heather Williams | 2/11/2014

    " well .... meh ... ok book , not great ... just ok "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sally Grotta | 1/26/2014

    " A fascinating, well-researched character-driven historical novel. I was taken aback by having Machiavelli as the narrator. But it worked beautifully. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jenny | 1/15/2014

    " I thought that this book was good as a piece of historical fiction but less satisfying as a murder mystery. Machiavelli, the Borgia's, Leonardo da Vinci and a courtesan who resembles Lucrezia Borgia and gave birth to the Pope's grandson are fascinating characters. The history of Italy during their lives is also fascinating. Even in a time of so much death, a serial killer dismembering women and hiding their body parts throughout the countryside should be chilling, but in the end it was not. "

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About the Author

Michael Ennis taught art history at the University of Texas, developed museum programs as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, and worked as an independent curator and consultant. He is the author of the historical novels The Duchess of Milan and Byzantium. He has written for Esquire and Architectural Digest, and is a regular contributor to Texas Monthly. He lives in Dallas with his television producer wife and their daughter.