The Borgia Bride By Jeanne Kalogridis.
Incest. Poison. Betrayal.
Three wedding presents for the Borgia Bride.
So begins the Borgia reign of terror. No one is immune. Rome is a hotbed of accusation and conspiracy. Everyday the River Tiber is full of new bodies.
Sancha de Aragon arrives in Rome newly wed to Pope Alexander VI's youngest son, Jofrie. But Rome is very different to Sancha's beloved Naples.
The debauchery of the Borgia inner circle is notorious. Lucrezia Borgia, is spiteful towards her at first, but gradually the two young women develop a cautious friendship.
But when Sancha falls in love with Cesare Borgia, her husband's enigmatic older brother, she will discover how bizarre and internecine are the family's true ties ...
.... from the back cover.
First Sentence: The canterella, it is called: a poison so deadly a mere sprinkling of it can kill a man, strike him down in a matter of days.
As one of my favourite types of novel, THE BORGIA BRIDE did not disappoint - with a mix of actual and fictional events it gave a real insight into life Borgia style. Full of memorable characters, it is all about loyalty (both political and familial), burning ambition, murder and revenge.
Sancha, fearing she has inherited the evil madness of her father, Alfonso II and grandfather, Ferrante I, vows that no matter what she will never resort to evil. As a result of the happenings at the palace of her father-in-law, Pope Alexander VI, will she be able to keep that vow when in her head she hears the prophecy of the strega * "For in your heart lies the fates of men and nations. These weapons within you - the good and the evil - must each be wielded wisely, and at the proper time, for they will change the course of events." In order to find out, you simply must read the book.
* A type of witch, a sooth-sayer.
MY RATING: 5 out of a possible 5.