Immortal by Traci Slatton
Luca Bastardo is a lovely young boy living on the streets of Florence when he is kidnapped and forced into a brothel by Bernardo Silvano. Not only in Silvano cruel, he holds papers that reveal secrets about Luca, secrets in which Catholic Church would be very interested. Luca begins to discover some of these secrets for himself, when he discovers that he ages at a much slower rate than other people.
In finally freeing himself from Bernardo Silvano, Luca makes an enemy of Silvano’s son, and all the heirs who follow him. Luca has made the Silvanos into enemies for the whole of his extraordinarily long life, and this is something of which he must be cognizant as he moves in and out of Florence.
This book is perhaps better classified as historical fantasy, rather than historical fiction, with Luca’s near immortality – in addition to simply having an extraordinarily long life-span, he is also impervious to disease and heals amazingly quickly – his alchemical workings, and his ability to heal others. Given that, it was still an amazingly rich and, as far as I could tell, largely historically accurate look at life in Florence between the 13th and 15th centuries. I was completely caught up in Slatton’s story and willing to suspend disbelief for the more fantasy/magic aspects of the plot due to the realism of her Florence.
This was a great read and something I definitely recommend.