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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Audiobook Review: Leonardo the Florentine by Catherine McGrew Jaime

leonardo the florentine
Leonardo the Florentine
by Catherine McGrew Jaime
Book 1 in The Life and Travels of Leonardo da Vinci
Unabridged, 2 hr. 55 min.
Catherine Jaime
David Winograd (Narrator)
May 3, 2017
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Genre: Historical Fiction; Young Adult

Source: Received audio download via Audible from author for review

Who are the Medici brothers? And who is trying to assassinate them? Why was the Pitti Palace never completed? And what part did Leonardo play in all of this? Leonardo da Vinci is remembered as an artist and inventor. But who was he before anyone knew his name? This family-friendly novel explores the history and the legends of his early years in Florence. It also weaves a mystery of politics and power. This novel is the first in the series of historically based novels

I love that this book introduces a younger audience to the world of Renaissance Italy and a younger Leonardo da Vinci when he was apprenticed to the great Verrocchio. First of all, this is not a da Vinci that many adult novels even explore and novels that explore the life of an apprentice in an art studio are few and far between. Jaime does a fabulous job of creating a breathing world of Florence that feels real. Young Leonardo in his role as an apprentice to Verrocchio is able to be all over Florence and explore so many different areas of the world it is believable that he could experience all these different areas of Renaissance life. The novel touches on politics, humanism, art, architecture, and more in ways that are accessible to a younger audience, but also adults that are not familiar with that time and place. It can certainly be enjoyed by both age audiences. There were times where the novel occasionally felt dense. There was a lot of information that the author offers and it sometimes slowed down the pace of the plot. I do think that this will make a fascinating series for young readers, I just hope that the plot moves a little faster and doesn’t get weighed down by the details.



It took a lot of getting used to this narrator to become comfortable with him. He has a sort of strange cadence to his speech. That being said, however, he has a very steady pacing to his narration. For an adult it might feel a touch on the slower side, but as this is aimed at a younger audience, the pacing might be proper so that they can digest all the information presented. I am unsure if this pacing might contribute to my feeling of the text being slightly dense.

You can check out a sample of the audiobook below:

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Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

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