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The Enchantress of Florence

A Novel

A tall, yellow-haired, young European traveler calling himself “Mogor dell’Amore,” the Mughal of Love, arrives at the court of the Emperor Akbar, lord of the great Mughal empire, with a tale to tell that begins to obsess the imperial capital, a tale about a mysterious woman, a great beauty believed to possess powers of enchantment and sorcery, and her impossible journey to the far-off city of Florence. The Enchantress of Florence is the story of a woman attempting to command her own destiny in a man’s world. It is the story of two cities, unknown to each other, at the height of their powers–the hedonistic Mughal capital, in which the brilliant Akbar the Great wrestles daily with questions of belief, desire, and the treachery of his sons, and the equally sensual city of Florence during the High Renaissance, where Niccolò Machiavelli takes a starring role as he learns, the hard way, about the true brutality of power. Vivid, gripping, irreverent, bawdy, profoundly moving, and completely absorbing, The Enchantress of Florence is a dazzling book full of wonders by one of the world’s most important living writers. From the Hardcover edition.

His captors pretended to have difficulty with his name, al-ghazi, the conqueror,
they called him for a joke, or al-khali, the empty one, the vessel. But his name
wasn't important. Argalia, Arcalia, Arqalia, Al-Khaliya. Nonsense words. They
didn't matter. It was his soul that had to be placed under new management just
like everyone else's. On the parade ground in their new outfits the sullen children
stood in ranks before In the children's prison camp at Uskiib (said the memory ...