Caterina is the eldest daughter in a family with too many daughters. She is a paradox: Intelligent and reckless, probing and loyal–she rails against the expectations of life of as a woman in a man’s world. Her father believes he can tame her, or find a husband who will. Reckless and rebellious Caterina puts her one asset in jeopardy–can she redeem herself?
Shy, artistic and dutiful, Maria Grazia Cavaliere accepts her position as the daughter of nobility: she is more a commodity than a person. Until an enduring friendship gives her the courage to see herself as flesh and blood, but at what cost?
Fratello Lorenzo, barefoot brother, talented herbalist, and compassionate confessor. Lorenzo’s relationships with the powerful and the humble knit together to form the fabric of his life, until the threads unravel. For his flock, Lorenzo’s apothecary can be the antidote to intemperate acts, but does he do more harm than good? Who will pay the price?
Abandonato, that is what they’ve called him his entire life. “Abandoned”. But now, in his manhood, they describe him as: mercenary, crusader, merchant. Just returned from a successful venture in the lands of the Infidel, R. Abandonato is ready to make a home and a name for himself in the majestic city of Verona.
A rogue and an opportunist, Giovani is an ambitious man with a murky past. He is many things — a cunning businessman, a doting father, a social climber — but above all, Giovani is a man who believes that destiny yields to his will, until it deals him a fateful blow.
Bartolomeo, heir apparent to Verona’s ruling family of della Scala, he is the epitome of privilege and influence. Accustomed to getting what he wants, he seizes all that he fancies not considering the consequence. But some thirsts are best left unquenched.