Caravaggio: A Light Before the Darkness

Today I am reviewing a graphic novel, my first, by Ken Mora. It's a work of historical fiction about the life the painter Michangelo Caravaggio. Here's a few details.

Caravaggio: A Light Before the Darkness by Ken Mora 
Published June 2020 
Publisher: Markosia Enterprises
Genre: Historical Fiction / Graphic Novel
Pages: 154
Sex: 💗yes, nothing graphic
Violence: 😨mild

The Blurb

- His art saved the dying Church
- Ambition exposed his secret lover
- His sword sealed their tragic fate.
The artist known as Caravaggio must flee Milan to escape a vendetta and protect his lover from The Inquisition. In Rome, he begins his meteoric rise as The Church's savior. His works spur the faithful to return to the pews at the time of The Counter-Reformation. Then hubris exposes his secret lover and forces him to flee Rome on a journey for penitence fraught with peril, intrigue, and murder.

My Review

Reviewers Note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Carivaggio: A Light Before the Darkness started life as a screenplay for which it won multiple awards. The author, Ken Mora, eventually decided to turn the work into a graphic novel. The painter, Caravaggio, was born in 1571 in Milan and died in 1610. In his rather short life he produced some of the most inventive and dramatic art of the period. Always a difficult man to get along with, the last years of his life were spent on the run following acts of violence. Ken Mora takes up Caravaggio's story in 1591 in a re imagining of his life and the explanation for his erratic and self-destructive behavior. 

The books is illustrated by Cyrus Mesarcia. It is an action packed tale full of sword fights and painting. The illustrations are are easy to follow and do a great job of fleshing out the dialog. Like many of Caravaggio's own paintings there is a darkness to the pages with stabs of light highlighting key figures. 

As a lover of all things history I appreciated the dive into Renaissance Italy with its church hierarchy and political rivalries. There is a grittiness to the story which gives a accurate portrayal of life in the early 17th century. The love story is both touching and tragic as befitting the era. 

I enjoyed this graphic novel and highly recommend it to readers of historical fiction who enjoy adult graphic novels and a unique reading experience.

I rate this book: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars


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