“I beg your pardon, I am a mountain tiger.”
Goodreads Synopsis: Young, beautiful, and witty, Ginevra de’ Benci longs to take part in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence. But as the daughter of a wealthy family in a society dictated by men, she is trapped in an arranged marriage, expected to limit her creativity to domestic duties. Her poetry reveals her deepest feelings, and she aches to share her work, to meet painters and sculptors mentored by the famed Lorenzo de Medici, and to find love.
When the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, arrives in Florence, he introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers—a world of thought and conversation she has yearned for. She is instantly attracted to the handsome newcomer, who admires her mind as well as her beauty. Yet Ginevra remains conflicted about his attentions. Choosing her as his Platonic muse, Bembo commissions a portrait by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them—one Ginevra can only begin to understand. In a rich and enthralling world of exquisite art, elaborate feasts, and exhilarating jousts, she faces many temptations to discover her voice, artistic companionship, and a love that defies categorization. In the end, she and Leonardo are caught up in a dangerous and deadly battle between powerful families.
Commentary: Da Vinci’s Tiger was Owlcrate’s December book of last year. I was beyond excited to read it and the synopsis sounded very promising! When I finally got around to reading the book, it was not what I expected at all.
What I appreciate about this book is that the author took her time to research her history! It was obvious that the author wanted to make her novel as accurate as possible. I really liked what I learned about that time! It was a bit tough reading some parts in this book especially how men treated women. I didn’t like the protagonist’s uncle, her husband, nor her love interests. I like Ginevra since she is intelligent and feisty at times, but I didn’t completely love her. The book was too short for me to grow attached to her. Ginevra and the other secondary female characters were far more likable than the men, for the exception of Ginevra’s brother.
Initially, I thought this was going to be a passionate, romance novel. Oh I was wrong. This was not what I expected. There is hardly any romance. The two love interests are not swoon worthy at all. One is an ambitious ambassador, while the other one is eccentric. I was not a big fan of this love triangle, and it wasn’t done well. I thought Leonardo was going to have a bigger role in Ginevra’s life, but he is just a painter. I was expecting more conversations between Ginevra and him, but that did not happen either. Even though it’s too early to rank the worst book of 2016, this one is already a contender. The book just seemed to drag on and on. Also, there was not much romance in this book. I did love the world building, but it felt as if the author forgot about the characters. By the time I finished the book, I thought about the plot itself and let me tell you this: there is no plot.
I couldn’t relate to the characters and it overall felt bland. It did take me a while to finish this book because it was so boring. There was not much action going on at all. Even though this book is less than 300 pages, I kept falling asleep every single time I tried reading this book. I wouldn’t recommend this book at all. It was bland all together and not memorable whatsoever.
Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️