Disturbing royal secrets and court manipulations wickedly twist this enthralling story, brilliantly told.
Gortner's novel is one of character: Borgia pater, of course, but also Lucrezia, intelligent and poised...a sympathetic character, conversant in literature and philosophy, with every Borgia evil laid at the feet of her father, ambitious and calculating, or Cesare, a brilliant and amoral psychopath with a lifelong near-incestuous love for his sister. In a literary exploration riven with Shakespearean quantities of murder, lies, deceptions, and treachery, Gortner's narrative gains veracity with his atmospheric exploration of fashion, architecture, and art on the stage of 'loud, filthy, and dangerous' Rome. Gortner has imagined Lucrezia Borgia's life from a feminist perspective.
This unholy plunge into Rome's darkest dynasty is wholly engrossing.
Compelling... a riveting blend of passion, power and betrayal.