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June 20, 2013

REALMS OF GOLD by Terry Stanfill

REALMS OF GOLD                               4 STARS
by Terry Stanfill

In 1953 archaeologists near Châtillon-sur-Seine, France discovered a massive bronze krater in the grave of a Celtic woman. Although the Krater was discovered in Burgundy, it was cast in Southern Italy circa 510 B.C. and made its way to Vix, a village at the foot Mont Lassois, once Latisco, an important Celtic trading citadel. Bianca Evans Caldwell, a writer for a New York art magazine, came upon the Krater accidentally and becomes obsessed with the great vessel and with the princess-priestess buried with it. Since then, Bianca has returned to the museum in Châtillon-sur-Seine six times to admire the Krater of Vix.
It is July, 2007, and Bianca finds herself in Venice for a family wedding, where she meets Giovanni de Serlo, an Italian archaeologist. Neither Bianca nor Giovanni wanted to attend the wedding but they both felt a family obligation to be there and soon become friends. After the weekend Bianca returns to New York City, Giovanni to Puglia, where he is working on an excavation.
When Bianca enters her apartment she finds it has been ransacked, although nothing seems to have been stolen. She finds a strange symbol written on a scrap of paper in her kitchen, and learns that it might be a Mafia warning. After more frightening and puzzling occurrences Bianca decides she must leave New York. She flees to Italy to visit Giovanni, who had promised to drive her to Calabria to see the site of the no longer existing Sybaris, in ancient times a city notorious for its wealth and luxurious living. At Sybaris, Giovanni shows her his secret find in an old farmhouse, a discovery which startles Bianca.
Giovanni and Bianca learn that they might now be in danger if they remain, and decide that they will make the journey from Sybaris to Burgundy, following the ancient route of the Krater.
As the story unfolds Bianca begins to write about the Krater, how, why and with whom it made its journey from the south of Italy to be buried in the earth of Vix.
When they arrive in Châtillon-sur-Seine they learn of yet another remarkable recent discovery atop Mont Lassois. Bianca's intuitive conclusion of what the Krater meant to the ancient Celts, and its connection and significance to Arthurian legend bonds the two together in a romance that could just be forever.

 The book REALMS OF GOLD has a little of everything.  Suspense, mystery and romance all in one.  Lots of detail which makes the story more interesting. Giovanni Di Serlo and Bianca Caldwell are both at a wedding in Italy.and they realize they have so much in common. Bianca writes for an art magazine and Giovanni is an archaeologist working secretly in Puglia. He  thought her as just a plain woman.  She was quite taken with him.

The author takes you into the real character. Their hearts and minds of Giovanni and Bianca as they journey through Europe   REALMS OF GOLD follows a 2500 year old mystery.  This book is full of historical information and lots of surprises.  Slowly a romance develops. This journey through time takes the reader to Celtic Vix Burgundy, France and south of Italy. The author takes images from long ago and blends in romance.  It has so much to take in. If you find the ancient world fascinating, this is the book for you.  The book is wonderfully written and researched.  This book should be read and re-read and put in a special place on your shelf. The book should be read by everyone.  It's a good read and educational also.

I would give this book 4 STARS

The cover, I'd give 3.5 STARS.

I received a complimentary copy of the book, REALMS OF Gold from the author, Terry Stanfill. for this unbiased review.
Terry Stanfill, born in West Haven, Connecticut, is a first generation American of Italian descent. She received a degree in English Literature with a minor in Medieval History from the University of Connecticut.
For her efforts in raising funds for the restoration of San Pietro di Castello, the ancient cathedral of Venice, she was decorated by the president of Italy with the Ordine al Merito, Cavaliere della Repubblica Italiana, and more recently as Commendatore. She is vice president emerita of Save Venice, Inc, and was founder of The California Chapter of Save Venice Inc.
Until joining Christie's as an International Representative, she served as a director of the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA, served as a director of the Los Angeles Music Center Theatre Group and is currently a founding director and life trustee of LAopera.
Terry is an Overseer of The Huntington Library in San Marino, California as well as Reader. Her subject of research, the Normans in Southern Italy and Sicily in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries inspired her to write her first novel, The Blood Remembers.
Terry is married to Dennis Stanfill, former CEO of Twentieth Century Fox, and MGM.
Their daughter.Francesca Stanfill Nye, is a novelist and journalist.
Their son, Dennis, is partner and managing director of HBDesign, Singapore.

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