The Triumph of the Lions
The Triumph of the Lions intriguingly imagines the saga of the Florios, whose founder initiated the spice company and expanded into the wine business in Sicily. This second installment follows the son and grandson of the founder.
Sicily, 1868: Vincenzo Florio assumes control of the family business following his father’s demise. With his burgeoning Marsala winery business attracting workers to the outskirts of Palermo, he is advised of the need for something to ensure the family’s peace of mind. Relationships are forged to such an extent that they become untouchable by the law. There is no necessity to involve the police from the north when matters can be resolved internally.
As Ignazio’s tale unfolds, he cherishes the memory of a woman he renounced for love, enabling the Florios to extend their business into realms his father could not—into the salons of the aristocracy and the court of the Savoys.
Meanwhile, Spain and Portugal fiercely compete for the port of Palermo, causing Vincenzo concern. Exempt from taxation, they pose a stark contrast to the Italians, who are burdened with taxes. Disenchanted with the politics of Rome, which prioritizes personal gain over the welfare of its people, Vincenzo looks northward to Rome, contemplating his next strategic move.
With ambitions of naval dominance in the Mediterranean, he plans to demonstrate to Rome that alternative routes exist, requiring only Sicilian ingenuity. The Florios’ power and wealth go hand in hand.
This family saga delves into the dynamics across generations and the influence of wealth. The drive of the father mirrors that of the founder. Starting from nothing, they both work tirelessly to achieve financial independence. The founder’s grandson, born into wealth, adopts a contrasting approach to life, prioritizing love over financial pursuits, in stark opposition to his father, who sacrificed love for wealth. This divergence in values creates a rift, potentially threatening familial bonds.
However, the family is unprepared for the financial disaster that strikes. In 1893, Italy is rocked by the greatest financial scandal in its history, dragging the Florio family into chaos.
The narrative captivates with action-packed family dynamics and engaging prose, making for a fascinating read.
While Book 2 can be enjoyed as a standalone, I highly recommend beginning with Book 1 – The Florios of Sicily for a fuller understanding and appreciation of the story.
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