THE DETAIL. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such attention paid to historical detail in a YA novel, especially not one set in Italy. I’ve been burned a few too many times on historical Italy-set YA. Lush, accurate, and focused on an oft-overlooked portion of Italian history in that oh so uninteresting (wink wink) pre-Borgia era. (In case you didn’t get the wink wink, I’m 100% kidding since the mid-15th century is my favorite and the Borgias are overdone now.) My issues came with the characterization and the story itself, both interesting, but not entirely compelling. Thankfully, these didn’t end up detracting too much from the novel. As its only around 220 pages (at least my digital copy was) in length, there was no narrative drag and I could still enjoy the atmosphere.