Sunday, March 6, 2016

Dirty politics, and incest

Very human treatment about the Borgia family, author Gortner detangles the complex history of both the Vatican and Italy to explain the impact of this notorious family. Fraught with intrigue, dirty politics, and incest, The Vatican Princess offers an insiders look as to Gortner perceptions of the Borgias and the reign of terror. While Lucretia has often been painted with the same lurid brush as the rest of her family, Gornter creates a different person, a victim of her families ambitious machinations. Even though she comes across as haughty and proud, Lucretia is a pawn, eager to please and take her rightful place in the the family machine, never questioning and secure in her father's justness. Time and circumstances reveal layers of deceit, and Lucretia changes from a trusting child as she grows from girl to woman, with the dawning understanding that her family is wicked and she is cursed by association. Gortner uses history well, describing the opulence of the papal court, yet his characters are not cardboard renditions of historical figures, but flesh and blood. Caesar is all that is evil, matched only by his father's devouring ambitions, Vanozza's calculating greed, and Juan's depravity. Coupled with Lucretia's growing realization of her family's corruption, the book illuminates the climate of the times revealing it in all it's pageantry and glory. Like the crime families that entertained for many season on HBO- the book was interesting as it was entertaining.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

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