The Color Storm by Damian Dibben
Published: September 2022 – Hanover Square Press
Review book courtesy of the publisher
Artists flock here, not just for wealth and fame, but for revolutionary color. Yet artist Giorgione “Zorzo” Barbarelli’s career hangs in the balance. Competition is fierce, and his debts are piling up. When Zorzo hears a rumor of a mysterious new pigment, brought to Venice by the richest man in Europe, he sets out to acquire the color and secure his name in history.
Winning a commission to paint a portrait of the man’s wife, Sybille, Zorzo thinks he has found a way into the merchant’s favor. Instead he finds himself caught up in a conspiracy that stretches across Europe and a marriage coming apart inside one of the floating city’s most illustrious palazzi.
As the water levels rise and the plague creeps ever closer, an increasingly desperate Zorzo isn’t sure whom he can trust. Will Sybille prove to be the key to Zorzo’s success or the reason for his downfall? (publisher)
I’m a fan of historical fiction but especially books based on the life of artists. I love to do computer searches for their works of art which adds a layer of enjoyment to the story. I learned so much about artist Giorgione Barbarelli, one of the founders of the Venetian school of the Renaissance era.
This is a story of intrigue, survival, and the quest for color. The scene was set in the first half of the novel which slowed the pace for me but when the drama picked up I felt rewarded for hanging in there. There were times I wished for more developed characters because a few of the primary ones felt a bit one dimensional. I don’t often wish for more pages but I think this is a time when they could have been put to good use.
So that’s a qualified recommendation. Art fans and HF fans might want to add it to their reading list. I’m glad I had the chance to read The Color Storm and would love to see Giorgione’s paintings in person one day.
About the author:
Damian Dibben is the creator of the internationally acclaimed children’s book series the History Keepers, translated into 26 languages in over 40 countries. Previously, he worked as a screenwriter, and actor, on projects as diverse as The Phantom of the Opera and Puss in Boots and Young Indiana Jones. He lives, facing St Paul’s Cathedral, on London’s Southbank with his partner Ali and dog Dudley.