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'This is one of the most exciting, and satisfying, reads that I have immersed myself in for a long time. David Blixt is a gem of a writer.'
-Helen Hollick, The Pendragon Chronicles
READ AN EXCERPT.
The long-awaited explosive fourth novel in the Star-Cross'd series! Verona has won its war with Padua, but lost its war with the stars. The young prodigy Cesco now turns his troubled brilliance to darker purposes, embracing a riotous life and challenging not only the lord of Verona and the Church, but the stars themselves. Trying desperately to salvage what's left of his spirit, for once Pietro Alaghieri welcomes the plots and intrigues of the Veronese court, hoping they will shake the young man out of his torpor. But when the first body falls, it becomes clear that this new game is deadly, one that will doom them all.
Publication Date: December 23, 2014
Series: Book Four, Star Cross'd Series
Genre: Historical Fiction
Praise for David Blixt
'For anyone who has yet to read David's novels, you are about to hit the literary lottery. Yes, he's that good.' -Sharon Kay Penman, The Sunne In Splendour
'David Blixt is a master of historical fiction. Dramatic, vivid, superbly researched, this series captures Renaissance Italy in all its heady glamour and lethal intrigue.' -C.W. Gortner, The Tudor Conspiracy
The Star Cross'd Series
Based on the plays of William Shakespeare, the poetry of Dante, and the history of Italy, the Star-Cross'd Series is a tale of wars won, friendships lost, and conspiracies both mortal and stellar, an epic journey into the birth of the Renaissance that recalls the best of Bernard Cornwell and Dorothy Dunnett.
Titles in the Star Cross'd Series
Book One: Master of Verona
Book Two: Voice of the Falconer
Book Three: Fortune's Fool
Book Four: The Prince's Doom
Buy the Book
Q&A with David Blixt
What are three things people may not know about you?
-I have a fondness for peaches, and peach-flavored drinks.
-I have performed on stage with Stacy Keach.
-I have been to more countries in the world than I have states in the US.
What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?
I had to get out of my own way. When I was younger, I wrote a novel in which the lead was a vaguely-disguised version of me. That book lives in a drawer today, so that I never need inject myself into the stories I want to write. There may be elements of me here and there, and certainly my books are reflections of my mind and heart, but I need never again be a character. I’m just interested in good stories.
What is your favorite scene in The Prince’s Doom?
There are two scenes in which revelations fall hard and fast, like dominoes. I’ve been setting them up over four books and fifteen years, so it was thrilling to knock the first one over and see them fall.
Do you share any personality traits with Pietro or Cesco?
I wish I was like Pietro. I’m glad I’m not Cesco.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?
Pietro is honorable to a fault. He is perceptive, dutiful, loyal, and optimistic. Whereas Cesco is dishonest, cunning, brilliant, cruel, damaged, and, above all, mercurial.
If you could be any character from literature, who would it be?
Either Francis Crawford of Lymond or Peter Parker.
What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?
Wow. Context, maybe? Filling in the historical blanks, rooting our present in the scope of human experience. And if I’m ever stuck, I can always rely on history to get me out. Historical events are wonderful landmarks, but even more, little historical details can create whole scenes. There’s a piece in Doom where Cesco and his band of Rakehells visit a remote church outside Verona. I got to visit the church last year, and knew at once it was ripe for a dramatic scene. Or rather, the ancient Roman ruins underneath…
How do you feel about book trailers and do you have any?
I enjoy them, if they’re well made. I tried one years ago and wasn’t pleased with the results. To my great joy, the Italian filmmaker Anna Lerario put a new trailer together for The Prince’s Doom that is quite stunning and wonderful. She used pieces of two of her own films, with a soundtrack from Italian singer Patty Simon, and the results are perfect.
What is your favorite movie based on a book, where you preferred the movie?
Die Hard. It’s based on a novel called Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorpe. But the film is infinitely superior. The same can be said for Gone With The Wind and Goldfinger.
What has been your greatest pleasure in writing The Prince’s Doom?
Hearing the wails and curses of my friends as the dominoes fall. One just wrote to me to say this series is better than Game Of Thrones. High praise indeed.
What is your favorite non-writing pastime?
Reading aloud to my children. Performance and family time combined into one.
I should say Verona, but I have been to Delphi in Greece three times, and each time it was magical.
My wife’s tortilla soup, hands down. If I could only eat one meal for the rest of my life, that would be the one.
What is your favorite quote?
“There is no friend, nor no enemy, whom I have not repaid in full.” – Lucius Cornelius Sulla
What is your favorite film and why?
It’s pretty standard, but Casablanca is a perfect movie. Utterly perfect. And it’s the best definition of what America longs to be.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Caesar. No question, it’s Caesar. There’s so much I want to ask, so much I want to know. His childhood, Gaul, Pompey, the Rubicon, Cleopatra, Calphurnia, Cato, Brutus. I want it all.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Oh God! The Game Of Kings, maybe? Or The First Man In Rome? Maybe Stardust. No, I have it – The Winter King, by Bernard Cornwell. He got the King Arthur legend so right, I never want to read another.
Excerpt from The Prince's Doom
Detto was pacing Cesco’s chamber when the master of the house returned. He heard his cousin’s voice on the stairs and, when the door opened, Detto punched him full in the face. “You go too far!”
“Che cazzo!” Cesco launched himself at Detto, and the two pummeled at each other with such fury that Maddelena wept and Antonia ordered the servants to fetch buckets of water to douse the pair. Before cold water could be thrown over them, however, Detto had bolted himself in his room, leaving Cesco bleeding in two places and nursing a twisted wrist.
“Fut,” said Cesco thickly. Opening the window, he broke off an icicle and pressed it to his swollen lip. “Welcome to the asylum.”
“What was that about?” demanded Antonia.
“I thought it would help.”
“What?” Antonia’s tone was edged as she straightened up the wreckage of the room.
“Detto and Lord Nogarola. I tried to effect a little reconciliation. Obviously I failed.”
From stern, Antonia’s heart swelled. He was not lost – not yet.
Seeing her expression, Cesco snorted and turned away to stare out the window at the lowering sky. “I wonder if it wouldn’t be better that the della Scala and Nogarola families had left their friendship down at the bottom of the well in the volto dei Centurioni. Friendship’s Tomb, they could call it, and…”
Antonia set down the chair she was righting. “What is it?”
“I know where she is,” he said simply.
Cesco shook his head and refused to say more.
About the Author
Author and playwright David Blixt's work is consistently described as "intricate," "taut," and "breathtaking." A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS'D series, including THE MASTER OF VERONA, VOICE OF THE FALCONER, FORTUNE'S FOOL, and THE PRINCE’S DOOM) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY'S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history. As the Historical Novel Society said, "Be prepared to burn the midnight oil. It's well worth it." Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, David describes himself as "actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order."
For more information please visit David Blixt's website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Join The Prince's Doom Blog Tour
Monday, March 16
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Wednesday, March 18
Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews
Thursday, March 19
Excerpt at Becky on Books
Friday, March 20
Excerpt at The Never-Ending Book
Saturday, March 21
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Monday, March 23
Review at Griperang's Bookmarks
Tuesday, March 24
Guest Post & Giveaway at Griperang's Bookmarks
Wednesday, March 25
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Spotlight & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Friday, March 27
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary
Monday, March 30
Excerpt at Buried Under Books
Tuesday, March 31
Spotlight at A Book Geek
Wednesday, April 1
Excerpt & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, April 2
Review at Quirky Book Reviews
Guest Post at Books and Benches
Friday, April 3
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection