Leonardo's Shadow: Or, My Astonishing Life as Leonardo da Vinci's Servant Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-08-18 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 26 user ratings

"*Mild Spoilers Only*

I learned about The Last Supper in this book. It was an insightful read.
Other than that, I can say the tale was entertaining and interesting, but I was a tad disappointed with some things. In the end, we never find out who are Giacomo's true parents. I guess we are meant to assume that it no longer mattered to Giacomo, because he realized who he was meant to be on his own, but it would have been nice to find out all the same. Even if they were just other servants or something of the like, anything to have a sense of closure for the readers.
But like I said, I enjoyed the story, and I would not stop myself from recommending it to anyone.
" said.

"Christopher Grey has written a wonderful historical fiction novel for young readers. The book is geared towards children ages 12+ and details the life of Leonardo da Vinci through the eyes of his servant boy Giacomo.

The story is a page turner for anyone of any age. Giacomo is a young servant boy who has no memory of his past before meeting Leonardo. Through Giacomo's search for his own identity we learn the secrets of Leonardo's past as well.

Recently I had read the novel "Leonardo's Swans," and been disappointed by it. I was leary to read this one, after that recent disappointment; but was hooked by page two. Two thumbs way up..
" said.

"Let me tell you one thing: The "astonishing" in "My Astonishing Life as..." does not fit there. The whole story of the book was far from being actually astonishing. It was, to put it, engaging enough to keep on reading it.

What kept me reading the book though was the great voice or the impeccable narration of Giacomo, da Vinci's servant. The story was good and I really appreciated the voice each of the characters had--how they are portrayed and their dialogue was very good. But aside from these, the story was rather quite simple. After reading the book I really thought that "astonishing" was not the word to describe the life of Giacomo. It was just made elaborate, that's all. But nevertheless, the book was really good! A nice read!
" said.

"Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Leonardo da Vinci hasn't worked on the fresco of the Last Supper in two years. His supporters are most unhappy with his progress. Payments for da Vinci have stopped, but that does not stop the da Vinci household from running up debts all over town.

The shopkeepers are starting to refuse more credit on his accounts.

The Duke of Milan and da Vinci have a history of playful disagreements. However, the Duke makes no secret that he's asked the rival artist Michaelangelo to town. With threats at his doorstep and the Pope coming to the chapel in the near future, da Vinci gets to work.

LEONARDO'S SHADOW shares the story of the creation of the Last Supper through the eyes of da Vinci's servant, Giacomo. Grey spins a wonderful tale of historical fiction for anyone who's interested in the Italian Renaissance.
" said.

"I read this book for school, not my own pleasure.

This was the first book that i've read that took place in the Renaissance, so I wasn't really sure what my reaction would be. Throughout the first few chapters of the novel I was happy with the style of writing. Since the time period was the late 1400's, I expected ridiculous words and phrases to be confusing me every other paragraph; I was absolutely wrong. Christopher Grey made connections to the theme of the Renaissance through the style of writing, yet also kept it simple enough so I didn't have to have the internet ready for tons of research every page (trust me, it happens).

The progress of the plot went at a steady pace, and had interesting fillers between main events. I lose interest in many books because most of the time they have boring bits in between big events; Leonardo's Shadow held my attention (albeit short and limited) until the last page!

" said.

"This book was a great historical fiction read with a lot of work done in the research of Leonardo da Vinci's Life and how to weave this young man into his story. The writing was great and the plot line was fantastic. I recommend it to anyone wanting to read a little about history and a lot about life.

Tarot Card: Art of Life - The World-Completion of a project and finding pride in that hard-won accomplishment. And it's a da Vinci artwork!
Memorable Quotes:

Page 125- "No it is a style new to me. The figures are almost like carvings, like sculptures, so bold and solid"..."Michelangelo!"
Page 282 - "... you will see how sweetly a fiery temper lends itself to lovemaking. Desire, anger, are the most potent of mixtures, and when they meet, they burn with a force no comfortable love can match."
Page 292 - "Dreaming is a man's balm and comfort, his recompense, for unendurable life. But for most men, a dream is all they will ever have. They are not prepared for the years of hard work and perseverance required of them."
" said.

"Actually 3.5 stars

Not bad. As the title says, this is the story of Leonardo da Vinci's servant, Giacomo. It's first person present--most of the time. There are a few times he lapses into past. At least it stays first person consistently.

The thing I loved the most about this book is the humor. Giacomo certainly has a sense of humor, and he speaks out of turn to use it rather frequently. Which is very entertaining. There were so many times I very nearly cracked up laughing out loud at something he said.

That said, the story gets a little repetitive. So Leonardo is a procrastinator with a short temper and is quite far in debt. Okay, I got that...on page 50. I didn't get too irritated by it, but still. It was noticeable. And I can't help feeling like the story could've been at least 60 pages shorter.

Speaking of Leonardo, I did find it interesting the way the author presented him. Not as some great hero who's perfect, but definitely flawed. Same with Giacomo, but it's less intriguing to me because the famous people always tend to be a little too...fake. So I think that was done well.

The plot was only mediocre. I understood it very clearly, but it just felt kind of boring at times. I liked the ending, though I kind of guessed it rather easily.

So overall, it wasn't the greatest book ever, but I don't regret reading it. It was a nice look behind the scenes at the famous painting "The Last Supper" and its creator.
" said.

"Leonardo's Shadow had all the ingredients for a compelling read and yet, the characterization of DaVinci himself did not compel me quite so forcibly as I thought he could have, but I enjoyed how the author took him off his pedestal. DaVinci is a lesser god in this depiction, brazenly shoving off creditors, throwing occasional tantrums, enraptured in the heights of his own manic inspiration. These elements of humanity, honestly, make you adore him all the more, but wish that it had been accompanied by some of his better qualities and philosophies as well.

The mysteries of DaVinci's personal life were not dwelt upon long enough to create a sense of suspense for me. Questions seemed answered too quickly. Tasty lures set early on led to watered-down reveals. Almost like a reverse-foreshadowing, for example...

(view spoiler)" said.

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