Extraordinary journeys through the secrets of art
In the heart of Florence, a mysterious door leads to the top of a tower where Mercury lives: an old man with a long nose and thin fingers. Knocking on his door is a bold, very curious young girl called Nina.
What does this strange character want with her?
Without hesitating, Nina bravely accepts the dangerous mission Mercury proposes: to discover and solve the hidden mysteries of the art world! But she won’t be going alone: her inseparable best friends Jamal and Lorenzo will join her on the adventure.
On a stormy night, the three teenagers will find themselves travelling through time, ending up in the era of the great masters of Italian art.
Amid intrigue, hidden dangers, and plot twists, they’ll spend time with the greatest painters and sculptors of all time – and they’ll have to solve dark mysteries before they can go home.
The series combines adventure, mystery and time travel. Nina, Jamal, and Lorenzo will find themselves catapulted into 14th, 15th and 16th century Italy – and the reader will go with them, to relive a period populated by the greatest artists.
A series of exciting adventures, with plot twists and great mysteries, constructed around close encounters with the great masters of Italian art, portrayed at the peak of their activity, while they are completing one of the works that will forever leave its mark on the history of art.
- From Giorgione, to Michelangelo, Leonardo, Artemisia Gentileschi and Giotto, the protagonist of each book is a great artist and his/her work.
In a dimly lit room in the Palatine Gallery, the blackbird Mercury hands Nina, Jamal and Lorenzo a scroll with a dark mystery. When lightning rips across the sky, the three youngsters find themselves in the Veneto countryside, in a far-off time.
Nearby is the farmhouse owned by Giorgione, but the famous painter is gone. Amid angry merchants, dangerous soldiers and other treacherous pitfalls, the three friends must find the artist and discover his secret, before they can return to Florence.
The Prisoner of Stone
Who is trying to frame Michelangelo to stop him from finishing his David? In Renaissance Florence, Nina, Lorenzo and Jamal find themselves in the service of the famous artist.
Spurred on by the mysteries of Mercury the blackbird, the three friends investigate the lively city to debunk a damaging accusation of murder against the brilliant sculptor. They’ll see it all – rivalry between colleagues, plotting by shady individuals – and discover a dark side to the great maestro’s character.
Love Wins All
To Nina, Caravaggio is the greatest painter of all. And she can hardly believe her eyes when she, Lori and Jamal come across the great maestro himself, under an overturned boat on Feniglia beach. But the artist is feverish and battered, mumbling inarticulately. What’s happened to him? What is the secret hidden in the precious cargo he was travelling with? Once again, the riddles of Mercury the blackbird will guide the three friends on their exciting adventure in 17th century Maremma.
Rise Up to the Stars
‘Where’s Mercury got to?’ wonder Nina, Jamal and Lorenzo, worried. They’re outside the Scrovegni Chapel, wearing leggings and ankle boots. The magical blackbird, who has just catapulted them into the Padua of seven centuries ago, has disappeared – and they’re in danger of being trapped in the past forever.
Life is full of hidden dangers in the Middle Ages, but accompanying them on their adventures are two very special Florentines: Giotto, who is frescoing the walls of the little church, and Dante, who is thinking up a new idea for a poem…
Pierdomenico grew up in an old house with a library containing more than 20,000 volumes. A writer and journalist, his books have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into over 30 languages. Today he is considered one of the greatest Italian children’s authors.
Daniele lives in the province of Cuneo, in Piedmont, where he writes everything from novels to cards and messages in bottles. He began telling stories as a boy, whenever he came home late. His debut novel Grande won the Legenda Junior Prize and was shortlisted for the Bancarellino Prize 2018.
Manlio was born in Salerno in 1974. In 1997 he wrote and directed the multi-award-winning short film Indice di frequenza starring Alessandro Haber in the lead role. For over twenty years he has been involved in organising the Giffoni Film Festival, and was deputy artistic director from 2007-2018. Screenwriter and director of hundreds of videoclips, documentaries and short films. He is involved in neuro-linguistic programming and audiovisual semiology. From 2014-2018 he was artistic consultant and member of the Creative Committee at the DOHA FILM INSTITUTE (Qatar) He made his narrative debut with the bestseller trilogy Petrademone (Mondadori 2018-2019), translated into various languages. He co-authored Le belve (PIEMME 2020) with Guido Sgardoli.
Davide is not only a sci-fi and children’s author, but also a journalist and videogame translator. In 2018, Red Stars, one of his internationally successful books, won In Other Words – BookTrust’s Book in Translation Award in London. In 2017, he won the Italian Andersen Award with The Pocket Watch Gang, the adventure he dreams of having lived as a child. Then, in 2018, he was a finalist at Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in Germany. In 2019, he won the Prix des Bouquineurs en Seine in France and the Vlag and Wimpel in the Netherlands.