While Rodrigo Borgia founded a dynasty drenched in corruption, womanizing and excess, it is his children that tell the full story. Lucrezia, twice married, is reeling from the loss of her second husband. She is quickly married to Ferrara's Duke Elect. Her infamous brother is suffering from the scourge of the pox, but is determined to bring all of Italy under his heel. The Florentine ambassador Niccolo Machiavelli watches Cesare's reign of terror with fascination and admiration. But all things must end.
Dunant's books are amazing. Instantly, you are transported to the calm and serene Corpus Domini nunnery or the boisterous inner chamber of Pope Alexander VI. The scenes are studded with realism, both in scenery and actions. The characters, even the minor ones are thoroughly explored. I am surprised at how I connected with Machiavelli and even Micholetto. I loved this book, but that's no surprise as one of her early books, The Birth of Venus, made me fall in love with reading again. Dunant doesn't let the readers down. A phenomenal read.