The Enchantress of Florence is the story of a mysterious woman, a great beauty believed to possess the powers of enchantment and sorcery, attempting to command her own destiny in a man’s world.
It is the story of two cities at the height of their powers–the hedonistic Mughal capital, in which the brilliant emperor Akbar the Great wrestles daily with questions of belief, desire, and the treachery of his sons, and the equally sensual city of Florence during the High Renaissance, where Niccolò Machiavelli takes a starring role as he learns, the hard way, about the true brutality of power. Profoundly moving and completely absorbing, The Enchantress of Florence is a dazzling book full of wonders.
“A romance of beauty and power from Italy to India . . . so delightful an homage to Renaissance magic and wonder.” –Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World
“This is ‘history’ jubilantly mixed with postmodernist magic realism.” –Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books
“A baroque whirlwind of a narrative . . . [Rushdie helps] us escape from the present into a dreamlike past that ultimately makes us more aware of the dangers and illusions of our everyday lives.” –Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune
“Brilliant . . . Rushdie’s sumptuous mixture of history and fable is magnificent.” –Ursula K. Le Guin, The Guardian (London)
“For Rushdie, as for the artists he writes about, the pen is a magician’s wand. . . . One of his best [novels].” –John Sutherland, Financial Times
“[A] prodigious fever dream of a book.” –Lisa Shea, Elle
“Beyond its magical razzle-dazzle lays a work of steely contemporary resonance, rich in slyly metafictional allusions.” –Hephzibah Anderson, Bloomberg News