The Palace by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Hardcover – Stealth Press – Mar 2001 – 390 pages
They say his palazzo is to be a magnificent work of art-a dazzling edifice to rival the most opulent in the city. Its owner is a stranger to Florence, a wealthy foreigner who dresses in black silk and practices the age-old secrets of alchemy. But the man who calls himself Francesco Ragoczy da San Germano conceals his own dark secrets that have exiled him to a life of blood-filled torment and eternal wandering.
Yet in the sensation-craving Estasia, cousin to Botticelli, San Germano has found a woman whose unquenchable passions could exceed his own. And in the fanatical monk Savonarola, he has found a powerful enemy: a dangerously obsessed ascetic who exerts a hypnotic power over the citizens of Florence.
Savonarola is embarked on a reign of terror that will not end until every thing of beauty is destroyed and every heretic burned at the stake. As the city becomes a hotbed of religious fervor and escalating violence, San Germano is faced with an impossible choice that could doom those he loves forever… and transform his own existence beyond recognition.