Renaissance -- fiction
In the early 15th-century Venice of The Fallen Blade, by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, no one is safe from the political ambitions of the ruling family--not even Giuliette, beautiful cousin of the Duke. She becomes a pawn in the schemes of her aunt and uncle who are regents for the simpleton Duke Marco. Meanwhile, Venice faces external threats from the Ottomans, the Byzantines and the German emperor. It is Atilo il Mauro's job as head of the Assassini to protect Venice and enforce the will of its ruling family while trying not to be destroyed by that family's internal power struggles.
Stravaganza: City of Masks by Mary Hoffman
The hospital's treatment has left Lucien sick in his bed, hardly able to keep anything down, let alone move. It's been months since he felt any joy in living, and, as the days drag on, he's finding it harder and harder to speak. But he can't help but see his parents' eyes fill with tears as they watch him fade away. The chemo might be enough to help him. Nothing but time will tell, and, for now, Lucien has lots of that.
When his dad brings him a handsome notebook, found in a derelict house on the outskirts of London, Lucien is intrigued. It's a very old piece, the work of a master craftsman. Its thick paper and marbled cover feel good to the touch. The pages are blank, but somehow it still comforts him as he slips into his first deep sleep in many days.
The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones
Being a permanent part of the King’s Royal Procession isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, particularly when the realm’s magic depends on him tromping up and down the countryside to keep the Isle of the Blest blessed.