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Author: C.W. Gortner
Reading Date: March 07 to 19, 2016
Book Summary: For fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, a gripping novel that follows the extraordinary life of young Lucrezia Borgia, the legendary Renaissance Pope Alexander’s beautiful daughter. Was she the heartless seductress of legend? Or merely an unsuspecting pawn in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and her own survival?
Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias became Italy’s most ruthless and powerful family, electrifying and terrorizing their 15th-century Renaissance world.
To this day, Lucrezia Borgia is known as one of history’s most notorious villainesses, accused of incest and luring men to doom with her arsenal of poison.
International bestselling author C.W. Gortner’s new novel delves beyond the myth to depict Lucrezia in her own voice, from her pampered childhood in the palaces of Rome to her ill-fated, scandalous arranged marriages and complex relationship with her adored father and her rival brothers—brutal Juan and enigmatic Cesare.
This is the dramatic, untold story of a papal princess who came of age in an era of savage intrigue and unparalleled splendor, and whose courage led her to overcome the fate imposed on her by her Borgia blood.
Book Review: One of history's most notorious families, the Borgias have been the subject of speculation. There have been stories of bribery, poisonings, murder, and incest and have inspired writers to use them as a foundations for many of their own characters and stories such as the Godfather series by Mario Puzo.
While there is possibly that some of the stories told have been made up, there is still those tales that have not quite been unshaken from the family's reputation. It is believed that these stories were told by their enemies not only to make others believe that if the family is capable of doing harm to their enemies, they were also capable of doing the same to their own family members.
This story is told by Lucrezia Borgia's point of view. Although painted by many as Borgia poisoner, this version of her makes her a bit more of an innocent and perhaps even appealing to the reader of that innocence. Perhaps this may be a bit true. Maybe she had no part of her family's dealings and may have not been part of any of it but history has her written her differently.
The Borgias have always been an interesting and fascinating family for me. I even enjoyed the short-lived Showtime series fed that interest. I had not picked up a novel about them since I was in high school and I was glad this one was recommended to me by a friend. It was worth the pick-up. It kept me glued (at least when I was not at work) from the first page to the very last and I ended up feeling sorry for Lucrezia. I felt she did not deserve the reputation she had been delivered nor the problems that came with being a Borgia. It is too bad she had not been born into another family where her mother was more attentive and a father that did not view her as his pawn.