The following review was contributed by: NORM GOLDMAN EDITOR OF BOOKOKLEASURES.COM
Notwithstanding its lack of good editing and proof reading, The Da Vinci Papers (not to be confused with the Da Vinci Code), authored by Kathy Willliams, is an engrossing tale intertwining the lives of a fictional character Marcus Cassius, with that of Leonardo Da Vinci and Igor Sikorsky. You may ask what do all of these have in common?
If you know something about aviation, you will recognize the name of Igor Sikorsky as being connected with the creation of the first commercially feasible helicopter or the world’s is first practical helicopter. Leonardo is not only remembered as a great artist but also prolific inventor, who had sketched flying machines resembling helicopters. As for the author’s fictional Roman character Marcus Cassius, he was an engineer who one day fell off a scaffold, hit his head on a stone and was unconscious for several days. During the course of his unconsciousness he had a vision of being transported in time when he witnessed Sikorsky testing his aviation theories. On awakening, Marcus wrote down all his findings, and a few years later, after being chased by the barbarian invaders of Rome, he finds refuge in a villa, where he hides the tube containing his aviation plans. Hundreds of years later Leonardo discovered the tube containing these plans that apparently influenced his own flying machine designs.
All of this may be pure conjecture on the part of the author, however, in view of the fact that Leonardo was a genius and he did visit some Roman ruins, anything is possible. As for Sikorsky, apparently it has been recorded that he was captivated by the drawings of Leonardo as well as the stories of Jules Verne.
Williams effectively pulls the reader through three time frames, the Roman era, the Age of Enlightment and the Modern Age, and she does a great job of portraying the characters and their sense of place and time. The narrative, as told by Leonardo to his student Francesco, moves smoothly and provides the reader with some interesting tidbits of historical information that are brought to life with some excellent dialogue.