Renaissance fantasy set in Florence in the late 1520s, from the author of Vanishing Point (1993). The narrative revolves around young Tommaso Arista, apprentice chef and sculptor, who's the son of master chef Gentile and occultist Piera; by tradition the Aristas are servants of the Ruggieros, a family of magicians who in turn serve the ruling Medicis. Food and its preparation frequently dominate the proceedings. While the plot follows the major historical events of the times--the deposing of the Medicis in favor of a republic, and their eventual restoration; the advent of the Black Death; and the intrusion of the armies of the Holy Roman Empire--Roessner represents these events as stages in an arcane struggle on the astral plane, where forces and creatures from other realities and dimensions attempt to influence matters in this world. These occult conflicts, in which the Ruggieros and Piera Arista figure prominently, are intricate, abstruse, and almost impossible to follow. Somehow, Confessions of a Florentine Foodie collided with The Young Sorcerer's Guide to the Occult, producing a rich but indigestible stew.