'Irenicon is completely fascinating' - Thinking About Books
The river Irenicon is a feat of Concordian engineering. Blasted through the middle of Rasenna in 1347 using Wave technology, it divided the only city strong enough to defeat the Concordian Empire. But no one could have predicted it would become sentient, and hostile.
Sofia Scaligeri, the soon-to-be Contessa of Rasenna, is inheriting a city tearing itself apart from the inside. She can see no way of stopping Rasenna's culture of vendetta . . . until a Concordian engineer arrives to build a bridge over the Irenicon. He shows her that the feuding factions of Rasenna can continue to fight each other, or they can unite against Concord.
And they will need to stand together - for Concord is about to unleash the Wave again . . .
Set in a darkly original alternative Renaissance Italy, Irenicon is a gripping adventure, a tragic love story and a very modern tale of redemption.
Harte's Wave Trilogy opener blends magic and an almost-familiar setting with the sharp-edged glory and violence of the Italian Renaissance. In this alternate timeline, Christ was killed as an infant, and his mother became venerated in his stead. Fourteen centuries later, science has brought wonders to Italy, and terrors as well: the Concordian Empire launched the Wave against the city of Rasenna, its strongest enemy, leaving behind the Irenicon River to divide Rasenna geographically and politically. Contessa Sofia Scaligeri intends to strong-arm a reunion between the city's feuding houses when she takes power on her upcoming 17th birthday. Enter Captain Giovanni, a young Concordian engineer whose work requires him to bridge the Irenicon for an imperial army, and who hopes to unite Rasenna using the bridge and a personal sacrifice. Sofia's support of Giovanni makes them both targets of powerful enemies, former friends, and possibly the sentient Irenicon itself. Side characters often come across with more dimensions than Giovanni, but the depth and colorful maneuverings in Sofia's story will keep historical and fantasy readers satisfied.