Author: Alyssa Palombo
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Feb. 11, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: St. Martin's Press
Book Rating: 9/10
During the sweltering Roman summer of 1492, Rodrigo Borgia has risen to power as pope. Rodrigo’s eldest son Cesare, forced to follow his father into the church and newly made the Archbishop of Valencia, chafes at his ecclesiastical role and fumes with jealousy and resentment at the way that his foolish brother has been chosen for the military greatness he desired.
Maddalena Moretti comes from the countryside, where she has seen how the whims of powerful men wreak havoc on the lives of ordinary people. But now, employed as a servant in the Vatican Palace, she cannot help but be entranced by Cesare Borgia’s handsome face and manner and finds her faith and conviction crumbling in her want of him.
As war rages and shifting alliances challenge the pope’s authority, Maddalena and Cesare’s lives grow inexplicably entwined. Maddalena becomes a keeper of dangerous Borgia secrets, and must decide if she is willing to be a pawn in the power games of the man she loves. And as jealousy and betrayal threaten to tear apart the Borgia family from within, Cesare is forced to reckon with his seemingly limitless ambition.
Alyssa Palombo’s captivating new novel, The Borgia Confessions, is a story of passion, politics, and class, set against the rise and fall of one of Italy’s most infamous families–the Borgias.
Rich, fascinating, and immersive!
The Borgia Confessions is a compelling, informative tale set in Rome from 1492 to 1498 that tells the story of Rodrigo Borgia’s children, primarily Cesare, the Archbishop of Valencia who entered the church to please his father against his own true passion for battle and desire to become a condottiere; as well as that of Maddalena, a pious, palace servant who was not only loyal and friendly but a temptation too strong to resist.
The prose is vivid and alluring. The characters are bold, ruthless, and driven. And the plot is a sweeping saga that gives an insightful view into the sacrifices, struggles, hopes, fears, treachery, and entangled relationships of one of the most powerful families of Renaissance Italy.
The Borgia Confessions is, ultimately, a story about life, loss, love, politics, power, war, corruption, greed, fervour, desires, and sacrifice. It’s a perceptive, absorbing, well-written tale by Palombo that does a beautiful job of highlighting her impressive research and considerable knowledge into the infamous House of Borgia and their undeniable influence on both the Vatican and Italian history.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.