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"Any Italian Wars Fiction Out There? " Topic

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928 hits since 17 Nov 2016
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GARS190017 Nov 2016 4:51 a.m. PST

Does anyone know of a good book of historical fiction that accurately portrays the job of commanding (or participating in) an early 16th century mercenary army? I'm not aware of any, but I don't know for sure.

Zoltar Inactive Member17 Nov 2016 6:25 a.m. PST

Not a book, but have you seen the movie "Flesh and Blood" with Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leah?

Warning, it is very "adult" in some of the themes.

The trailer is on YouTube.

YouTube link

KTravlos17 Nov 2016 7:30 a.m. PST

Hmmm there are some older books, but I do not remember them. Google should help.

I am aware of some Manga that relate to the wars, though mostly focused on Cesare Borgia (Cesare is the title of one, which is probably the best and most loyal to history. , ).

Guy Davis "Artesia" while not historical is about a warlod commanding a mercenary army in a 15th century like setting.

FatherOfAllLogic17 Nov 2016 7:43 a.m. PST

Dorothy Dunnett wrote the 'Niccolo Rising' series wherein the hero is involved in a mercenary band in Italy in the late 15th century. Sadly, I do not recall which of the volumes are pertinent.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2016 8:09 a.m. PST

Someone did a volume or two with Leonardo da Vinci in his role as weapons designer and such. As I recall they were straight historical fiction, and might be useful.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2016 11:59 a.m. PST

"Prince of Foxes" By Sabatini (I think.) It was the basis of a great movie with Tyrone Power and Orson Welles. There is a great battle scene in the beginning of the "Agony and Ecstasy"

Phillius Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2016 12:26 p.m. PST

"Prince of Foxes" is Samuel Shellabarger. Currently on my list. He wrote another about the period I think, but I can't remember the title.
"The Medici Guns" by Martin Woodhouse. I read it a long time ago and seem to remember enjoying it. But I can't remember much about the story. I think there was a sequel too.

Phillius Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2016 12:33 p.m. PST

By the way, Martin Woodhouse was also a script wrtier for The Avengers TV series!

GARS190017 Nov 2016 12:46 p.m. PST

Zoltar – I've seen bits and pieces of Flesh and Blood, but I seemed a little "Games of Thrones-y" for my tastes. I might still refer to specific scenes though; I seem to remember the costuming and weapons were quite well executed.

Everyone, thank you for your suggestions. It seems that the amount of literature on this period is much more substantial than I thought. I will be looking into them posthaste.

I also feel that I may have been too restrictive in my question; I should mention that I am fully open to fantasy works in a Renaissance Historical setting.. For instance, Lois McMaster Bujold's "The Spirit Ring" is one example. I wanted materiel more on military matters, but I'll also take other historical fiction works as long as their more or less in the early 16th century.

Huscarle17 Nov 2016 12:59 p.m. PST

"Mercenary Prince, The Fortunes of Gianpaolo Baglioni of Perugia" by Charles Durbin

Nicholas Carter's "Knave of Swords" and "King of Coins"

Elizabeth Eyre's Sigismondo novels, a series of murder novels set in early renaissance Italy link

Sabatini wrote a few, "The Banner of the Bull" et al.

Nigel Balchin "The Borgia Testament" (he also wrote the excellent WWII novel "The Small Back Room").

featherlessquetzal Inactive Member18 Nov 2016 7:57 a.m. PST

Have a look on this, I just ordered, not yet received:
The Devil's Band: Volume 1 (The Devilstone Chronicles)

GARS190018 Nov 2016 9:24 a.m. PST

I may have to check that out…

Frostie19 Nov 2016 12:08 a.m. PST

It's not Italian Wars but there was a good book set during the Ottoman siege of Malta.

Can't recal the name but think it was "mercenary' or something like that

Beaumap Inactive Member23 Dec 2016 2:49 a.m. PST

Fantasy delivers in the form of Joe Abercrombie's " Best Served Cold" and related novels.

RobSmith29 Dec 2016 12:19 p.m. PST

Captain Alatriste series is 17th c. Spanish, but still a roaring good set of tales!


Also a movie starring Viggo Mortensen (in Spanish).

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