The Prisoner of Paradise
The Paradise Series Book 1
by Rob Samborn
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 30 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 17 Nov 2021
A man on the brink of insanity traverses present-day and Renaissance Venice to save his soul mate from eternal purgatory.
The world's largest oil painting. A 400-year-old murder. A disembodied whisper: "Amore mio." My love.
Nick and Julia O'Connor's dream trip to Venice collapses when a haunting voice reaches out to Nick from Tintoretto's Paradise, a monumental depiction of Heaven. Convinced his delusions are the result of a concussion, Julia insists her husband see a doctor, though Nick is adamant the voice was real.
Blacking out in the museum, Nick flashes back to a life as a 16th century Venetian peasant swordsman. He recalls precisely who the voice belongs to: Isabella Scalfini, a married aristocrat he was tasked to seduce but with whom he instead found true love. A love stolen from them hundreds of years prior.
She implores Nick to liberate her from a powerful order of religious vigilantes who judge and sentence souls to the canvas for eternity. Releasing Isabella also means unleashing thousands of other imprisoned souls, all of which the order claims are evil.
As infatuation with a possible hallucination clouds his commitment to a present-day wife, Nick's past self takes over. Wracked with guilt, he can no longer allow Isabella to remain tormented, despite the consequences. He must right an age-old wrong - destroy the painting and free his soul mate. But the order will eradicate anyone who threatens their ethereal prison and their control over Venice.
"""Samborn writes vivid, cinematic prose, deftly penning scenes of Venice that feel so alive you might start speaking Italian while sipping espresso. This spectacular thriller will capture you - heart and soul!""
- Avanti Centrae, international bestselling author of the VANOPS thriller series
""Wildly imaginative and richly detailed, THE PRISONER OF PARADISE is a spellbinding debut. It's an alchemy of mystery and intrigue that reaches deep inside the human heart and emerges with a propulsive story that manages to span centuries while leaving the reader breathless. Rob Samborn is an author to watch!""
- Ellen Meister, author of THE ROOFTOP PARTY, THE OTHER LIFE, and FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER
""Rob Samborn's THE PRISONER OF PARADISE is an immersive, otherworldly tale of forbidden love, a dangerous brotherhood, and a most unusual purgatory. Spanning four centuries from Renaissance Venice to modern-day, Samborn invites his readers to unravel a vast conspiracy of secrets, murder, and trapped souls, in this rousing and thought-provoking thriller perfect for fans of Dan Brown.""
- Shanessa Gluhm, author of ENEMIES OF DOVES
""A tale of ill-fated lovers that transcends time, THE PRISONER OF PARADISE never fails to impress. The intriguing mix of history, scheming cults, and the high art of Venice blend together, creating a gripping story that will leave readers hungry for more.""
- D.W. Gillespie, author of ONE BY ONE and THE TOY THIEF
""An engrossing tale that spans centuries of Venetian history, art, and social mores, Rob Samborn's The Prisoner of Paradise is full of intrigue and angst, focusing on the heroic choices we strive to make, the sins we feel compelled to pursue, and the gray area of right and wrong that bridges all of our crucial decisions about life and love.""
- Kathryn Brown Ramsperger, author of THE SHORES OF OUR SOULS and A THOUSAND FLYING THINGS
""Rob Samborn's imaginative thriller, THE PRISONER OF PARADISE, masterfully immerses the reader in Venice's classical art world, from a high-society black-tie gala in the Doge's Palace to a fascinating artist's studio. I breathlessly followed the young American couple as they discovered that, as in Tintoretto's monumental painting ""Paradise,"" political power, spirituality and beauty are not constrained by Earthly boundaries, not even by time.""
- Ed Protzel, author of THE ANTIQUITIES DEALER and THE DARKHORSE TRILOGY
""Not to be out shadowed by the historical and conspiracy thriller writing luminaries of our time, Rob Samborn shines as a brilliant debut novelist to watch for. Immediately catapulted out of 1589 Renaissance Venice in The Prisoner of Paradise, you hit the ground running with Nick O'Connor as he navigates both present and past with orders to release imprisoned souls, including his own soul mate.""
- Ruthie Marlenée, Author of AGAVE BLUES (releasing Feb. 2022)"
Average rating from 4 members
Wow! I picked this book because of the reviews, but even they didn’t prepare me for the grandeur of the novel. Freeing a lost love from a painting sounds kinda cheesy, but the detail, the language, the customs, the evil, the love, the consequences presented create an epic well worth reading.
This dual-time novel by Ron Samborn, moves effortlessly between present-day and sixteenth century Venice. Offering equal doses of art history, romance, spine-tingling action, and chilling supernatural occurrences, The Prisoner of Paradise has something for everyone. This first in a series will leave readers eager for Book Two.
Set partly today and partly in late 16th century Venice this is an intriguing story. Tintoretto's 'Paradiso' is conceived as holding souls in torture sent to the canvas by a group of religious fanatics of his time. The present-day couple, Nick and Julia O'Connor, have come to Venice for a holiday and to try to develop a career in photography for her. Nick hears a voice from the canvas, collapses but then continues having flash backs to the lost love of his life, calling him from the paint. The description on NetGalley is true to the book. The descriptions of life both now and in the past make one feel as if one was in Venice. I felt more sympathy with the 16th century characters than with Nick and Sarah though. She seems more interested in her career, as well as flirting with Italian men, than her husband although does keep trying to get him to see a doctor, again. Nick is suffering a lot and I had more sympathy with him. The story did get rather convoluted at times but the author used language well to help the reader, giving different accents/social aspects between the two time periods and this worked neatly. Although most ends were tied up there is sufficient to leave room for another book - maybe without Nick and Sarah though? Thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.