Cover of Lent


Jo Walton

If this highly entertaining depiction of one of the worst good guys (or was he one of the best bad guys?) of the Italian Renaissance is to be believed, Girolamo Savonarola was more than just an excommunicated Dominican friar, reformer, prophet and de-facto ruler of Florence, responsible for that whole bonfire of the vanities thing. He was… pretty okay. He just had a really dark secret, whose revelation is one of the highlights of Jo Walton’s Lent. This combination of historical fiction, theological fantasy and sci fi was new to me, as was its author, but now I’m savoring the special joy of finding a new author with several other titles that look like they may be just as fun.

Book Info

Tor Books (2019), 384 pages
ISBN/EAN Product Code
Publisher Description

From Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning Jo Walton comes Lent, a magical re-imagining of the man who remade fifteenth-century Florence—in all its astonishing strangeness Young Girolamo’s life is a series of miracles. It’s a miracle that he can see demons, plain as day, and that he can cast them out with the force of his will. It’s a miracle that he’s friends with Pico della Mirandola, the Count of Concordia. It’s a miracle that when Girolamo visits the deathbed of Lorenzo “the Magnificent,” the dying Medici is wreathed in celestial light, a surprise to everyone, Lorenzo included. It’s a miracle that when Charles VIII of France invades northern Italy, Girolamo meets him in the field, and convinces him to not only spare Florence but also protect it. It’s a miracle than whenever Girolamo preaches, crowds swoon. It’s a miracle that, despite the Pope’s determination to bring young Girolamo to heel, he’s still on the loose…and, now, running Florence in all but name. That’s only the beginning. Because Girolamo Savanarola is not who—or what—he thinks he is. He will discover the truth about himself at the most startling possible time. And this will be only the beginning of his many lives. “Rendered with Walton’s usual power and beauty…It’s this haunting character complexity that ultimately holds the reader captive to the tale.” —N. K. Jemisin, New York Times, on My Real Children (Publisher’s Description)

On this shelf:
Books I Enjoyed in 2022