The acclaimed, award-winning author of Eternal Light, Red Dust, and Fairyland, PAUL J. McAULEY has firmly established himself as one of the major contemporary talents in the realm of speculative fiction. Now he takes an exhilarating look back at a past that never was.In a grim and wondrous industrial age of artists, princes, and philosophers, a struggling painter follows his elusive angel through the twisting, soot-stained streets of Florence. . .and into a world of deceits, dark magics, and murder.On the eve of the Medici Pope's visit, an assassin has struck down an assistant to the immortal Raphael, the great Florentine Republic's most renowned personage. It is a crime that draws a young artist named Pasquale and the brilliant, alcoholic investigative reporter Niccolo Machiavegli into the deepest shadows of their gray, steam-driven city-where there are fouler deaths to follow. . .and grave intrigues of war, witchcraft, and science that could lead the world-weary journalist and his unwitting companion heavenward or to Hell.
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