The Avignon Legacy by Daniel Lorti
Publisher: W & B Publishers Inc
Date of publish: February 2016
About the Book:
When Pope Gregory XI abruptly decides to move the Papacy back to Rome in 1377, chaos and rebellion descends upon both Avignon and the Papal States in Italy. The Rome-based Pope’s foes and critics are everywhere and any shipment of the papal treasury from Avignon to the Vatican is at risk. An ingenious location is devised by Sir Jean Termonde, a heroic knight, to secure the treasure from discovery until it can be transferred to Rome.
The papal treasure never arrived at the Vatican, and the legend of the lost gold and jewels has grown over the centuries.
Rare book dealer Jim Pierce’s expertise is in tracking down and retrieving old volumes coveted by well-heeled clients. He has little interest in the French Middle Ages until two armed thugs enter his bookstore demanding an ancient 14th century volume on the Avignon Papacy that mentions the Church’s treasury. They are killed thanks to Pierce’s precautionary measures. When he receives an offer of $5 million from the legendary billionaire recluse John W. Baxter, to steal a 14thcentury volume from the Vatican Secret Archives, his interest is piqued leading him to wonder if Baxter wants the volume or if the contents are related to the treasure. So Pierce sets out to attempt two thefts: the volume from the Vatican, and the treasure from Avignon. That’s when he discovers the French and the British police are on Baxter’s heels who is, in turn, after him.
About the author:
A writer of factual fiction, Daniel Lorti has written several works, The Avignon Legacy is his second novel. He is currently working on his third, a romantic thriller. Lorti has a B.S.E. (summa cum laude) and an M.S.E from Arizona State University. An aerospace engineer with a military sensors, weapons, and intelligence background, he was Chief Radar Engineer for the Northrop Grumman Corporation for many years. In 1995, he was appointed to President Clinton’s twenty-member conference committee for Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland. As an international arms broker he conducted business in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In 2003, he and his partners sold a highly classified aerospace company to Northrop Grumman. He currently resides in Southern California.
What I thought:
I’ve really been loving some history and historical fiction these past couple of months. The Avignon Legacy falls into this category, I believe, because it starts in the past and moves to the future, but its also centered around historical happenings.
It kind of had a DaVinci Code feel to it. Part 1 of the book begins in 14th century France and book two moves into present day France. Part 1 tells the story of a man named Jean Tremonde, a knight in 14th century France who later becomes a hand of the Cardinal and does incremental tasks for him. In Part 2, rare book dealer James Pierce takes an offer he can’t refuse and goes on a treasure hunt per se, that leads him to Avignon, France and he begins to uncover secrets from the past. The whole book revolves around a man named Jean Tremonde, secrets about the Pope and papal wealth and the history of the city of Avignon, France. It is an adventurous thrill ride from beginning to end.
If you enjoy historical fiction, fact based fiction, and books and movies similar to The Davinci Code, you would enjoy this book. I definitely would like to read more by Lorti and more books similar to this one.