After losing her mother and fiancé, Alcinia and her father travel west to Turin in the Duchy of Savoy to begin a new life.
Getting adjusted to a new way of living in Renaissance Italy, Alcinia falls in love with a mysterious bard, and through their secret rendezvous is beginning to find happiness once again.
Until…she finds out that her small-town father isn’t who she thought he was.
Alcinia gets caught in a web of intrigue, and sets out to save her father from a scientific organization bent on using a biological weapon to destroy all men of the cloth. Her father’s life might be the only way to stop it…
When she discovers the truth, it will change her life forever, for better and for worse.
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“The Bard” is part of the
Questions for Discussion
- At the beginning of the story, Alcinia and her father have lost almost everything they had—including Alcinia’s mother. Their small cittidina was destroyed, forcing them to seek refuge with someone that her father hasn’t seen in years. If you were in Alcinia’s position and have never been far from your small town, how do you think you would do having to adapt to this situation?
- Giuseppe has kept a secret from his daughter her entire life. Have you ever kept a secret from someone you love? How did that affect your relationship?
- If you found out that someone you love isn’t really who you’ve always thought they were, how difficult would it be to continue to love them? How difficult would it be to trust them?
- Alcinia learns that love can make a person stronger. How has love made you a stronger person? Has love changed you in other ways?
- Music is used as a way to ‘escape’ and create a sense of peace and happiness within oneself. How does music affect your life? If you are a musician, how does performing (whether it be for yourself or others) affect you emotionally different than simply listening to it?
- A few times, characters risk their lives to save others. Do you think you would be willing to risk your own life to save someone else’s? What about for a cause you believe in?
- After reading, is there a character or situation that you can identify with? How?
- Were there any particular quotes that stood out to you? Why?
- If you could ask the author a question, what would it be? (I will be willing to accept emails to actually answer these! You can send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Would you have changed anything in the story? If so, what would it be and why?