|Master of All Desires, the (1999) [Novel]|
by Judith Merkle Riley
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It is 1556 and the queen's astrologer, the prophet Nostradamus, has uncovered a secret that could destroy the kingdom of France. He has discovered that the queen, Catherine de Medici, a notorious dabbler in Black Magic, has decided to seek out the legendary Master of All Desires in order to get rid of the king's mistress, Diane de Poitiers.
But she does not understand that the Master, a living, mummified head residing in an antique coffer, is the very quintessence of malice, twisting the wishes that he grants to bring destruction and damnation to everyone around him.
Through chance, the box containing the Master has fallen into the hands of a bluestocking poetess, Sibille Artaud de la Roque, who is full of her own desires: for beauty, for artistic greatness, and for a dashing, brilliant cavalier. Can Nostradamus stop these two determined ladies from wishing the entire kingdom to perdition?
The three-way battle that ensues -- between a prophet who scorns poetry, a woman in love, and a sly and ruthless queen -- is set in a world where colorful court pageantry conceals a nation balanced on the brink of bloody civil war.
Original title: The Master of All Desires
Genre: Fiction→ Fantasy→ Historical
Fiction→ Historical→ European→ Renaissance