In Italy, the Renaissance was more than a time of sweeping cultural advancement; it was also an age of nearly continuous military conflict and vicious personal feuds between powerful public figures. A lifelong vendetta pitted two of Italy’s most prominent condottieri
, or mercenary warlords, against each other in a struggle that moved from the battlefield to the political halls of power to the papacy itself. Federigo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, and Sigismondo Malatesta, the Wolf of Rimini,” were more than ruthless generals; they were cultured patrons of the arts who nonetheless took their rivalry to bloody excess. Here their story is set against the rich backdrop of 15th-century Italy, a sweeping epic of nobility and war, betrayals and vengeance.