Stephanie Dray, author of The Women of Chateau Lafayette

Loyalty is a wonderfully atmospheric and operatic tale about the origins of the mafia in the wake of Sicily’s crumbling feudal system. Power loves a vacuum, and this book’s most ambitious characters step right in at the peril of their own souls. At heart, though, this is an earthy novel, the vivid details of which make you smell the sweet lemon groves, feel the salty sea spray on your cheeks, and taste the pasta, pistachios and rich cheeses of Sicily. With a tangled plot of child kidnapping and brotherly revenge that unravels for a gripping and entertaining finale, we glimpse the terrible consequences of inequality–from the superstition, prejudice and poverty of the peasantry to the “might makes right” ethos of a corrupted and undemocratic political system. Brava!”