The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia by C.W. Gortner Publication Date: February 9, 2016 Ballantine Books Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook 400 Pages Genre: Historical Fiction
Infamy is no accident. It is a poison in our blood. It is the price of being a Borgia. Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias fascinated and terrorized 15th-century Renaissance Italy. Lucrezia Borgia, beloved daughter of the pope, was at the center of the dynasty’s ambitions. Slandered as a heartless seductress who lured men to their doom, was she in fact the villainess of legend, or was she trapped in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and survival? With the ascension of the Spaniard Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI, the new pope’s illegitimate children—his rival sons, Cesare and Juan, and beautiful young daughter Lucrezia—assume an exalted position in the papal court. Privileged and adored, Lucrezia yearns to escape her childhood and play a part in her family’s fortunes. But Rome is seductive and dangerous: Alliances shift at a moment’s notice as Italy’s ruling dynasties strive to keep rivals at bay. As Lucrezia’s father faces challenges from all sides, he’s obliged to marry her off to a powerful adversary. But when she discovers the brutal truth behind her alliance, Lucrezia is plunged into a perilous gambit that will require all her wits, cunning, and guile. Escaping her marriage offers the chance of happiness with a passionate prince of Naples, yet as scandalous accusations of murder and incest build against her, menacing those she loves, Lucrezia must risk everything to overcome the lethal fate imposed upon her by her Borgia blood. Beautifully wrought, rich with fascinating historical detail, The Vatican Princess is the first novel to describe Lucrezia’s coming-of-age in her own voice—a dramatic, vivid tale set in an era of savagery and unparalleled splendor, where enemies and allies can be one and the same, and where loyalty to family can ultimately be a curse.
Praise"Assiduously researched and expertly crafted . . . . This unholy plunge into Rome's darkest dynasty is wholly engrossing." - Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author "A spider web of Renaissance intrigue with a legendary cast . . . Impressive research, a lush background, and deft characterization make for a fascinating read." - Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author "Elegantly written and deeply researched . . . Renaissance Italy is vividly brought to life. I’m captivated by this knowledgeable author’s take on the controversial Borgias." - Alison Weir, NYT bestselling author
website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twittter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and YouTube. Sign up for C.W. Gortner’s Newsletter for updates.
** spoiler alert ** Wow!.. We hear from Lucrezia herself. I love novels of strong, independent women. Lucrezia fits that category. One of the infamous Borgia's. Illegitimate daughter of Rodrigo Borgia. She was used by her family as a pawn. Various marriages to enhance the Borgia's power. She begins as an innocent young woman, unaware of her father's machinations. She believes him to be just 'papa' who loves her and would never hurt her.
Well, she quickly learns things are not as they seem. She is married off. Her husband murdered when he no longer is of value to the Borgia's. She is (in this fictional account) violated and abused. She grows up quickly. She becomes stronger and fierce.
Lucrezia is an amazing character. Sometimes, I wanted to whack her over the head and scream at her, but most of the time I liked her. The book features all the Borgia's but centers on Lucrezia. We meet Juan, Cesare, Gioffre and Rodrigo himself.
The Borgia's are an incredible family. I love the renaissance period. Can't get enough of the Borgia's, the Medici's, the Sforza's and all the other power families of renaissance Italy. This book will keep you on your toes. I couldn't put it down.