The Enchantress of Florence

“In the day’s last light the glowing lake below the palace-city looked like a sea of molten gold.”

I didn’t think I would actually finish this wonderful book by Salman Rushdie.  To be honest, I find it quite difficult and intimidating to write a “review” about it.  Though I found the book quite enjoyable, I know that in terms of trying to understand its meaning, I have not even scratched the surface.

To put it briefly, The Enchantress of Florence is a complex, multi-layered story about power, love, betrayal, travel, history, magic and romance set against the backdrop of India and Italy during the renaissance.

On the surface, it is a story of a yellow-haired traveller with an extraordinary tale who searches the world to find the one man he can tell his story to.   The tale the traveller possesses is an incredible story of royalty, betrayal, war, love, beauty, taboo and enchantment, which binds his life to that of the listener, the one man who can hear the story – the emperor of India.

In the Enchantress of Florence, Rushdie seamlessly weaves fiction and history with fantasy and reality. He describes real people and actual historical events in such an incredible way as to make them seem like a work of fiction; something out of a fairytale story.  He is a master of imagery and storytelling.

The Enchantress of Florence is as captivating as the story presented to the emperor of India by the yellow-haired stranger.  It is a romantic tale about people and places which transcends time and physical boundaries and has the power to enchant and enthral any and all who read it.

“The Enchantress of Florence – Salman Rusdie

Random House, 2008.  382 pages.

Personal rating:  3.5/5

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