Historical Fiction: Immortal, by Traci Slatton


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Immortal is a somewhat contrived novel which requires the reader to accept that the protagonist is immortal, descended from a special race of humans dating back to Biblical times. The story opens during his childhood in 16th century Florence, where he is forced into slavery by a cruel but powerful brothel keeper. When it becomes evident that Luca never seems to age, he becomes the object of official suspicion, and is forced to leave Florence to escape persecution and trace his own origins. Along the way, he makes serendipitous acquaintances with some of  the luminaries of Europe, including Giotto and Leonardo, and learns the secret of the fabled Philosopher’s Stone. Luca’s travels and experiences are interesting and varied, but what become tiresome are his frequent, lengthy, and redundant meditations on the dual (loving and spiteful) nature of God.

Immortal could have benefited from tighter editing, as it is at least a hundred pages too long. As it stands, my interest waned during the second half. Not a bad novel, for Slatton writes well and provides plenty of period detail, just a bit too slow and repetitive.


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