Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Pindar Diamond by Katie Hickman

This wonderful novel is set in early seventeenth century Venice.

The story is inspirational and a joy to read. This book follows on from

the exotic novel set in Old Constantinople, The Aviary Gate, in which

an English merchant's fiancee, Celia Lamprey, is captured on a sea voyage,

sold and taken to the Sultan's harem.

The Pindar Diamond is an extraordinary story. Paul Pindar is the English

merchant who mourns the loss of his true love and does not really know what

has happened to her.

Characters from the earlier novel come into play, as for example, Paul Pindar's

friend and servant, John Carew, Celia Lamprey's friend, Suor Annetta, who now

resides in a convent on the island of Guidecca on the Venice lagoon. Here there is beauty to be found in the inspirational nature paintings of one of the sisters and the magnificent gardens and orchard of the convent.

It is a beautiful story and I am reminded of shades of “Angelique in Love” by Anne

Golon in which Angelique had not seen her husband for many years. It is quite

compelling reading for the romance and sense of adventure in the story.

A troupe of tumblers and performers travels along the coast of Italy, their destination the “Serenissima”

the beautiful city of Venice set on the sea and the people who make up this group of itinerant

travellers seem other worldly but quite beautiful. Maryam, considered too tall and ugly proved

to be of the finest of qualities of human character.

The colourful descriptions of the settings in Venice make this story come alive with the sea and water reflections, the light and shadows. As the story progresses it also seems to be made of light

and shadows, the good and the bad.

A fascinating card game for the Sultan's blue, the diamond, the palazzos, the atmosphere, the beauty, the mists of Venice and the Angels' tears over the city when there is a light mist and falling rain which enhances the beauty of the story. It is a heady mix.

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