CONDOTTIERE by Westrett. Jan


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This undistinguished (but not unpleasant) historical novel is a fictional biography of Bartol ( 7). Venetian soldier of fortune in the wars between Venice and Milan, and subject of a celebrated equestrian statue by Verrocchio in Venice. In this book, as if life, Colleonl regularly changes sides for the highest bidder. He is no ther betrothed to the daughter of the Count of Breascia than he is off to fight for the Duke of Milan, the Count's enemy. After a successful battle, he is betrayed by his flancer, and ls himself the Duke's prisoner in the castle of Monza, high in a tower room with a sheer drop into the muddy moat. He escapes from there, goes to Brescia and kills his flances's wick uncle and the ""other man"", and marries her. In Brescia he is besieged for many weeks, but he manages a dramatic means to provision the city and defeat the enemy. After several more battles, betrayals, and side-switchings, he deserts Milan for the last time and is received with honor by his native city, whose generalissimo he becomes -- with the noble rank he has long desired. The period flavor is minimal and unconvincing, and the weary may find it hard to know who is fighting whom. Jan Westcott is the author of several historical novein, including Captian for Elizabeth.

Publisher: Random House