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Song of the Flutist, historical fiction by Rosalind Burgundy

Song of the Flutist

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352 pages
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Two thousand years before Dante, Michelangelo and the Medici of the Renaissance, the extraordinary Etruscans civilized Central Italy.

Etruscan gods, ancestors, prince-priests, augurs, nobles, artisans and servants all have a story to tell. At the height of their unique society, they lived surprisingly in tune with 21st century values and attitudes.

"Delight in life!" The Etruscans said. Gifted with stamina and laughter, wickedness, greed and grief, their life journeys evolved.

Family patriarch, Vel the Soil Sampler, traipses high mountains to discover precious rocks and minerals, bringing great wealth to rivals: Zilath of Tarchna, and Maru of Cisra.

Wise Anneia the Healer, risks her life to cure the sick with herbs and poultices.

Wanton beauty, obsessive Noblewoman Arith, connives to win fame and fortune.

Noble child Venu’s fate is sealed when he is caught aboard a merchant ship that sails to Eastern Mediterannean ports.

Neglected homemaker, wife and mother, Noblewoman Risa’s destiny is guided by a haruspex, a tomb painter and The Flutist.

Read about these brilliantly clever Etruscans in Song of the Flutist.

An excerpt...

“Have mercy, ogres of death!” Vel slashed at the air. “Demons, don’t devour my family.”

“Speak louder,” Anneia’s voice floated at him, compressing the moonflowers to his mutilated body.

“The light of day confuses. What vision do I see?” Vel asked in his fog. “Old woman or young?”

“Old as night, young as dawn,” she said, her face near his.

Vel fondled the rippled surface of her tunic. “This velvety softness embodies your spirit. Lovely vision, you make my lips quiver.”

“Kiss the cloth if it pleases. It will bring you closer to me.”

Vel brought the cloth to his lips as she invited. Awakened by her lavender fragrance, his blood surged. Warmth repossessed his cold body from slumber. Lacking strength, he whispered, “Are you real, Vision? No, not so. I must be on my afterlife journey.”

She smiled. “You barely live. Pain fragments the body. Touch restores.”

“Who are you that I escape the netherworld at your hands?”

“Anneia, the Healer.”

Her melodious voice, like a harp’s full rich tones, dared Vel to say, “Touch my cheek so I may feel your caress.”

Her fingertips traced the lines of his wounded face and stroked his forehead.

Vel rose onto stiff elbows. His bones and muscles moved like they were pinned under a load of tufa bricks. “Am I the same man who left Tarchna? How well do you know me?”

“Your wounds improve. They respond to my hands. God Tinia requests the pleasure of your life.”

Desperately, Vel wanted to live to see her again. Her smiles lit his being. Her touch melted his self-importance. Never before had he such comfort with a woman.