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Review: The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia by C.W. Gortner

02_The Vatican Princess

About The Vatican Princess

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.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INDIEBOUND

My Review

The name Borgia is renown, it stops you in your tracks. I was thrilled the story focused heavily on Lucrezia Borgia.

Following Lucrezia from innocent girlhood to savvy young adult was stirring. Her family certainly created plenty of excitement and sadness as she served as a bargaining chip to ensure the Borgia position. Quickly Lucrezia catches on to her power, role, voice and accepts what comes her way with grace and smarts.

The narrative contained all the proper ingredients you would expect, power, politics, sex, wealth, infidelity, incest, status, loyalty, love. The pace is extremely fast, no doubt the last page will be reached quickly. The end was satisfying.

I was let down Lucrezia lacked emotion, yes she possessed strength but for all she suffered and endured she felt wooden, desensitized. Perhaps this was Gortner’s intent and a mistake on my part to expect a feeling character exhibiting crumbs of emotion. In addition, the narrative was a bit slow and redundant at times other times rushed.

Historical fictions fans, lovers of powerful family’s will want to add this to your shelf. Gortner delivers another entertaining story with a captivating female protagonist.

About the Author03_CW Gortner

C.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco.

After an eleven year-long career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding.

Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats.

For more information visit C.W. Gortner’s 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.

Be sure to click on the HFVBT banner to check out the entire tour schedule.

04_The Vatican Princess_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

 

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2 Comments

  1. I read this one recently and really enjoyed it. A fascinating topic!

    Reply
  2. I enjoyed it a lot, hoping to write my review today!

    Reply

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