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The Borgia Bride
by Jeanne Kalogridis

Category: Fiction / Historical
544 pages; ISBN: 0312341385

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


The Borgia Bride
Jeanne Kalogridis
St. Martin’s, Jun 2005, $14.95, 544 pp.
ISBN: 0312341385

Seventeen years old Princess Sancha de Aragon, the illegitimate daughter of Naples King Alfonso II, is forced to marry into the powerful Borgia family to Jofre, a man younger than her. As such she leaves her home to live in the Vatican where Jofre’s father is Pope Alexander VI. However, she is shocked to observe the depravity of the papal court including her new spouse who beds women including several at the same time with an insatiable lust yet ignores his new bride.

Stunned and disillusioned Sancha befriends first Jofre’s sister Lucrezia and then his older brother, the seemingly caring Cesare. Not knowing yet how Lucrezia eliminates anyone interested in her brother Cesare, they have an affair until she concludes he is as debauched as his father and two siblings. With nothing to lose as life is worthless in the Borgia pit, Sancha vows to destroy her spouse and in-laws before they obliterate her loved ones back in Naples.

This Borgia era historical fiction is an insightful look at late fifteenth century politics mostly in Rome and the Vatican, but somewhat in Napes that makes the Congressional ethics questions of Congress seem like an elementary school spitball fight. The story line brings to life real persona in which the depraved Borgia brood was violent predators. Fans of Roberta Gellis especially her work LUCREZIA BORGIA AND THE MOTHER OF POISONS will appreciate this powerful historically detailed novel.

Harriet Klausner


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