Prince of the Clouds by Gianni Riotta

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A rich, romantic novel set in post-world war II italy--steeped in military history--about young love, idealism, and the lessons of experience.

Palermo, 1946. Carlo Terzo, a retired military strategist who has never seen combat, is teaching young Salvatore Dragonara military history while Terzo works on his Manual for Strategic Living, in which he hopes to apply the hard lessons of war to daily life.

Salvatore is in love with the young and beautiful Fiore, whose mother, the Duchess Mastema, is a rich and cruel landowner. When Terzo and his friends visit the duchess's lands, they are caught in a pitched battle between the oppressed peasants and the duchess's hired thugs, and Terzo is forced to put his strategic wisdom to the test.

Like Louis de Bernires's Corelli's Mandolin, Gianni Riotta's charming and provocative romance explores large and small matters of love and war, shifting between the turbulence of postwar Sicily and the great battles of ancient and modern history. A major bestseller in Italy, Prince of the Clouds is a deeply moving work of fiction, imbued with rare vibrance and feeling.


About Gianni Riotta

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Gianni Riotta is a novelist and journalist, and is the co-editor of La Stampa, one of Italy's leading newspapers. He lives in Turin and New York. Stephen Sartarelli lives in New York City.
Published May 1, 2000 by Farrar Straus Giroux. 272 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Prince of the Clouds

Kirkus Reviews

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Amid the tumult of post–WWII Sicily, an uncommon alliance is forged between a pair of young lovers and a retired colonel whose encyclopedic knowledge of battle strategy has given him a unique take on life.

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The Guardian

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Riotta's novel is an epic mixture of the masculine and the feminine: tales of ancient battles - from the Chinese strategist, Sun Tzu, in 400BC, to Alexander the Great, Napoleon (vastly overrated, we learn) and Terzo's beloved General Desaix - are offered as metaphors for life.

Aug 12 2001 | Read Full Review of Prince of the Clouds

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