Venetian Crucible (Paperback)
It is 1630 and Venice is being torn apart by factions within and enemies without. Our two now-grown Alberti friends from 'Venetian Born' fight through plague and war in this, their "Venetian Crucible, ' to rise from the ashes fully equipped to fulfill their separate destinies in the third and fourth books of my tetralogy 'East/West.'
This is the story of boys becoming men: Love discovered, love lost, love reclaimed. Friendships are re-kindled, new bonds formed while dear ones are lost. All melts down in this inferno of violence and contention; evil forces at work to undermine seemingly every effort at recovery and freedom. This is a story of great anguish for both Piero and Giulio Alberti, but also perseverance thanks to faithful souls like Father Leo and Anzcha, faithful fathers like Fiamo and Andrea, the irreverent Antonio and rakish Romano, the indomitable Dr. Anzelieri, and effervescent Evangelina and 'Ji, ' who illiterates many of the strong and unique ties between Venetian and Ottoman culture.
Throughout this book, Venetian Crucible, ' you, the reader, will learn countless things about the Venetian culture of that time, like boxing, music, education, and trade. You will hopefully gain some insight into how the republic lasted twelve hundred years. Considering the crises, it went through to survive that long, not the least being the threat of invasion of three of the major powers of that day--the Muslim Ottomans and the Imperialist Spanish and Austrian Hapsburgs, I believe one can learn some things which might be pertinent today, like their use of detente to maintain its status after falling from the dominant power it was even at the time of the beginning of my first book. Also relevant to us would be the true religious faith the people of this book maintained in the face of such natural disasters like flood and plague, the plague of this book eliminating one out of three Venetians in that city. This story also recounts the very beginnings of what became the Italian Mafia. But the character who existed to come over to America in 1635 was, in fact, the first Italian to settle in North America, and his progeny survived to become anything but Mafia-like, but like Piero himself, who you can read about in the third book of my trilogy titled 'Land of Tribute.'