The Borgia Confessions

Griffin: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2020. 432p. ISBN 9781250191205. pap. $16.99. F
Much has been written about the notorious Borgia family and the power they held over the Italian peninsula during the 15th and 16th centuries, but probably the most vilified member of the family was Rodrigo Borgia, who rose to claim the papal throne after the death of Pope Innocent in 1492, even though Borgia had a longtime mistress and numerous illegitimate children. Once he attained the throne of St. Peter, Borgia used his children as pawns to solidify his authority, arranging an advantageous marriage for his daughter and elevating his sons to high positions both in the church and in the military, making himself and his offspring immensely powerful and wealthy. Told from the point of view of Maddalena Moretti, a serving girl in the pope’s household and the mistress of Cesare, the oldest Borgia son and Archbishop of Valencia, this is a feast of deception, treachery, greed, and lust.
VERDICT Palombo’s (The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel) excellent tale of family infighting, jockeying for power, and exploiting the church to attain personal wealth and power will keep readers enthralled long into the night. Who needs sleep, anyway?
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