Fictionized biography, with the historical background secondary in importance to the characters of Paganini, Schubert, Rossini and the violin-maker, Rizzi. The period is the latter part of the Napoleonic era, but the setting is Italy where Paganini was born of a poor Genoese family. Chance makes possible the youth's connivance in the escape of a Count from prison, and he gains his dream of owning a Stradivarius. At the same time, and by the same chance, romance comes his way -- in the love of the Count's daughter, a love frustrated by the family, and consummated only at the close of the story, when the parents die. Komroff's character was well-chosen, his material interesting, for Paganini's life is as romantic as fiction. But Komroff fails to give the incidents proper balance and to imbue his story with any sparkle. Too bad -- he had an opportunity there.