This novel set in the 13th century shines a bright light on rival families in medieval Florence, Italy…..Heath Imbues Corrado with a sense of humor in a story rich in detail – food, music, and clothing – as she narrates the consequences of what should have been a harmless prank.
Historical Novels Review
From other authors:
I absolutely inhaled this book. The setting (early 13c Florence) was what compelled me to pick up the book, but from the first page, I was hooked. The narrative voice is wonderful, perfectly suited to a wry performer like the Fool, and more than once I laughed out loud.
But the subject matter is grim, and the eye-for-an-eye (or maybe, death-for-an-eye) world of warring families and vendettas was wonderfully rendered. The historical detail was just right, enough to bring you into the world and make it seem real and familiar, and the mystery was excellent. I had to read “just one more chapter” and stayed up way past my bedtime to see what happened to these characters I had become so fond of. Highly enjoyable, a wonderful read!
Julie Rose, author of Oleanna and The Pilgrim Glass
…in this novel she brings this history alive, in a way that only a Renaissance reenactor and Florence aficionado can. While the history is accurate, she had to create the characters, and these characters will live on for you after reading this book. The detail of the history is vivid and the story compelling. You will find yourself caring deeply about the man continually referred to as “fool,” which you might become incensed by except that she doesn’t ever let you forget you’re in Florence in 1216.
Monette L. Bebow Reinhard author of Felling the Sons and Mystic Fire
A Thing Done will take the reader back to 13th century Florence… it is apparent the author has done her research down to the details of daily life. She provides us with real medieval characters and doesn’t shrink from the harshness of their lives. All the characters, even the ones the author invented, come across as real people and are three-dimensional. Highly recommended.
Kim Rendfeld, author of The Cross and the Dragon
I’ve just completed my read of A Thing Done and have closed it with a sigh of satisfaction. Corrado is the most engaging protagonist I have read for some time. There is nothing brash, foolish or ugly about his persona and I found I very quickly wanted to protect his back. He is such a creature of the time – a lower class individual at the mercy of the Machiavellian nobility. The easy brutality and questionable morality of the times is salty, frequently horrifying. Under those circumstances, Corrado has a strength of character that is entirely believable. … Heath depicts a very real Florentine setting with subtlety. …Most highly recommended.
Prue Batten, author of Gisborne: Book of Pawns and The Chronicles of Eirie series
Do you love the internecine, flamboyant world of Dante’s Florence? Knightly honor manipulated by a deadly woman sound like a great starting place for a plot? Then you’ll enjoy Tinney Sue Heath’s A Thing Done.
She’s narrated her tale of family feuding, jealousy and betrayal through the eyes of Corrado, a Jester-for-hire. He’s an outsider to the political machinations and maneuvering of the nobility. In fact, his personal history, as the reader finds out, makes him want to avoid the “people with surnames.” But that doesn’t stop the arrogant knights from forcing him into their service and gradually winding him into complicity with their schemes.
Heath portrays the details of the local tavern with its sour wine and games of wager played for raisins, the meager foods Ghisola prepares with great skill, the role of the church, and the street celebrations with communal cooking and revelry. You’ll also hear about the clothes and feasts of the nobility, but I enjoyed hearing about the less commonly told side …
Heath has vividly captured the insidious effects on society when one class of people feels justified in unlimited use of their influence, power and money. While the context is distinctly Florentine and this is definitely a historical fiction lover’s novel, the theme strikes me as entirely applicable to contemporary America. You’ll enjoy the exciting plot twists and well-developed characters while at the same time having plenty to think about.
Judith Starkston at Judith Starkston’s Blog
Highly recommended for those who love a historical fiction that reaches out of the ordinary … It will elevate and illuminate you.
Deborah/The Bookish Dame at A Bookish Libraria
I found myself unable to put the book down for very long stretches because I just had to find out what would happen next.
A Book Geek
A Thing Done gets thumbs up for a compelling, empathetic main character and a good story that gets pretty intense at its climax…
Jenny Q at Let Them Read Books
…an excellent transformation of the bare bones of a story in the chronicles into a lively novel.
Warren Public Library blog, Warren, Vermont
Ms. Heath brought 13th century Florence to life with her descriptions of food, clothing and housing and she really brought forward the plight of women of the time. … This was an entertaining and fascinating read from a time not often highlighted by historical fiction
As a history lover, I also appreciated the extensive real history behind the story of A Thing Done in the back of the book…It’s really awesome stuff!
Meg at A Bookish Affair
A Thing Done is a novel rich in historical detail … a novel of love, friendship, and loyalty. …The descriptions of the food, the places, the talents of the jester, the differences between the upper and lower classes – all made me feel as though I could thoroughly picture the scene in my mind and watch it unfold. I really enjoyed this novel. … Telling the story from the angle of the Jester makes it unique and different. Couple that with the excellent historical detail and it makes for a really great read!
Darlene at Peeking Between the Pages