The Iron and The Loom

A Novel of Italy

Flavia Idà

How many times, she wondered, had she woven together cloth that his sword had then torn apart along with the flesh underneath?

The year is 1136, the place Tropèa, a walled sea town in Southern Italy during the Norman domination.

Kallyna d'Àrgira, a master of the arts of the loom who can turn the world into silk thread, is pledged in marriage by her father to Raimo Trani, a man she hates. After a sudden tragedy leaves her at Raimo's mercy, into her life comes Dàlibor d'Hancourt, the Norman knight sent by King Roger of Hauteville to be the new governor of Tropèa, a man who, like her, is burdened by a life he did not choose.

Their opposite stations — Kallyna the daughter of a fisherman, Dàlibor the son of a foreign lord — pit them at first against each other. When Kallyna's talent attracts the unwelcome attention of the heir to Roger's throne, who can destroy them both, the common threat will draw them together, with a bond that defies all distinctions, into the time of iron that saw the founding of the greatest kingdom in Italy.

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About The Author

Flavia Idà

Flavia Idà

Flavia was born and raised in Arena, a medieval hill town in Calabria, the ancient "instep" of the Italian Peninsula, and studied Classics and European Literature at the University of Naples. She wrote her first short story when she was 12, and ever since then, writing has been the most important thing she does.

When she was 28, she came to live in San Francisco, where she learned English by watching children's television programs with her son Adam, then four years old. She loves English as much as she loves Italian, for different reasons but in the same measure. She writes in English and in Italian, she thinks in English and in Italian, and she dreams in English and in Italian.

In 1984, she graduated Summa Cum Laude in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, where she also got her Master's Degree. The six years at SFSU were without a doubt the happiest of her life; she remembers those long hours spent in the library with books as a wonderful time spent with dear friends.

From a student of Creative Writing at SFSU she went on to become a teacher of Creative Writing, a most rewarding job where she met many young people with a true gift for writing. She was the recipient of the Emily Dickinson Award sponsored by the Poetry Society of America. She has taught Italian at the Italian Institute of Language and Culture in San Francisco and in several other schools throughout the Bay Area.

She has also worked for many years as a translator and consultant for the Italian Consulate General, specializing in Citizenship applications; another rewarding job where over her fourteen years she has helped hundreds of people of Italian descent reach their goal of reconnecting with the land of their ancestors. She lives in Pacifica, California, right at the edge of the ocean where the continent ends.

She can be found at Flavia's Voice.

3 reviews for The Iron and The Loom

  1. Dianne Hales

    “A gripping plot, unforgettable characters and authentic details. From a native Italian comes an epic, stirring tale that will entrance readers.”

    Dianne Hales, author of La Bella Lingua and Mona Lisa, a Life Discovered

  2. James Dalessandro

    “Marvelous storytelling, compelling sense of drama and real honest emotions.”

    James Dalessandro, author of Bohemian Heart and 1906

  3. Daniel J. Langton

    “Easily one of the best novels written in America by women who have spent a great deal of their lives in Italy.”

    Daniel J. Langton, author of Querencia and During Our Walks

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