This image is the cover for the book Inheritance of Power, The House of Medici

Inheritance of Power, The House of Medici

“Takes a novel angle on Cosimo [de Medici]’s rise to power by telling the story of his mistress, the Circassian slave Maddalena . . . an incomparable cast.” —Historical Novel Society

Ever-loyal Maddalena, a diminutive, dark-skinned, blue-eyed slave, has borne Cosimo de Medici a son and seen him rise to a position in the Church. Now, late in life, she finds herself committed to a convent, as part of a scheme to prevent Cosimo’s sons from sending the Medici bank into ruin by hiding a fortune in gold for Cosimo’s grandson, Lorenzo, to inherit.

But as the months go by, and the gold does not appear, her faith in Cosimo begins to wane and with it, her confidence in her own worth. Has she been duped? Approaching old age, she finds in the abbess a confessor, to whom she can confide her true story and perhaps, at the same time, convince herself that her life has been worthwhile. But the abbess has objectives of her own, and the two of them may not be on the same side.

Edward Charles presents an enthralling evocation of fifteenth-century Florence in a novel of intrigue, wealth, deception, and high political drama. The largest and most respected financial institution in Europe in its prime, the Medici bank came to represent the might of a family of great influence and power, who scaled the very heights of human grandeur but were to suffer through one of the most catastrophic financial crashes of early banking as the survival of a dynasty hung in the balance.

“A vivid tapestry of Florentine history . . . Imaginatively structured.” —Booklist (starred review)

Edward Charles

Pen and Sword