(For a while all the historical fiction was set in Elizabethan England, but now that's been done to death, so I guess Rennaisance Italy is going to be the new fad.) Luciano is an orphan living on the streets. The chef has his own reasons, and it's not long before Luciano begins to look up to Chef Ferrero as a father figure, and strive to please him and better himself. His nebulous attachment to a convent girl is a big impediment to Chef Ferrero's plans, although Luciano is sure he can find a way to satisfy them both. Some said the book held the secrets to eternal life, or how to turn lead into gold, others that it contained the Gnostic Gospels. The Doge, old and dying of syphilis, wants the book, hoping it contains a recipe for a magical elixir to preserve his own life. The Council of Ten wants the book, hoping it turns out to be the Gnostic Gospels, so they can stage a coup against Rome. Of all the city, only one person knows the truth about the book--Chef Ferrero. It's mostly linear, but there is one chapter that leaps ahead by many years, when Luciano talks to Chef Ferrero's old master and finds out why Ferrero wanted Luciano, specifically, as his apprentice.
É mesmo de uma dessas crianças, um rapaz, que este livro nos conta. Luciano nasceu com uma marca escura na face o que é tido como um sinal de mau agoiro.
The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark made me do that very thing. Certain key phrases always make me perk up when considering a novel - the mystery of an ancient book, the promise of heavenly food descriptions (nerd, book lover, and voluptuary), throw in a dash of something decadent like Renaissance Venice and I am intrigued. Soon he makes a connection between the unusually learned Chef with his amazing dishes that can sway the moods of powerful men and the hidden book of magic for which everyone is searching. All these elements combined make The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark a dazzling feast that fully satisfies.
Around the palace of the doge, where Luciano works, there are many intrigues and plots to get the book. (...) Another great element in this book is the role of food. There are lengthy descriptions of the food characters eat and the dishes Ferraro prepares for the doge and his guests. At that moment Luciano truly learns how to taste food and his career as a cook apprentice can start. Newmarks descriptions are so real that you grave the food the characters get to eat, and you can even smell the dishes while you read about them.
I would recommend it for anybody who likes books full of mystery, secrets, intrigue and adventure. This book is set in 1498, it features a orphan boy called Luciano who is chosen to be an apprentice chef at the doge's palace. He goes from living on the streets of Venice scrounging for food and causing mischief, to helping in the doge's palace, this gives the book a feel good factor straight away as you already feel happy for Luciano.
As personagens principais são Luciano, um orfão que vivia nas ruas, com o seu gato Bernardo e que foi adoptado pelo fabuloso Chef Ferrero, cozinheiro principal do doge de Veneza e possuidor de segredos de cozinha e de outros.
I read it in e-book form titled "The Book of Unholy Mischief".