Passion Blue (Amazon Children's Publishing, 2012) by Victoria Strauss is historical fiction set in Renaissance Italy that has it's own artistic flare of words.
Giulia, the illegitimate daughter of the late Count, is 17 and being sent against her will to a convent. Giulia is as devout as anyone, but wants to marry for the protection a husband would provide and for true love. How could any of that happen in a convent? Especially when her horoscope predicts no success in marriage?
To control her own fate, she goes to a sorcerer for a magical talisman. He warns her, "Be sure you know your true heart's desire or you may find yourself surprised by what you receive." But Giulia is sure she does know it and has him go ahead with making the talisman. However, there are many surprised in store for this young artistic girl.
I loved learning so much about how paints and paintings were made during this time period as I "lived" with Giulia through her words. I read the book very quickly as it was difficult to put down.
The sequel, Color Song, comes out this month!