By Kathy Stevenson
The corridors of power are hotbeds of political intrigue, and few more so than those of the Vatican trodden by the Borgias in Renaissance Italy.
When in 1492 Rodrigo Borgia’s machinations see him appointed Pope - the highest position a man could attain in the western world - it is just the start of a ruthless journey to ensure his family’s grip on world politics.
By any means, fair or foul, Rodrigo extends his influence, appointing his sons to positions of power, using marriage as a key to forging alliances. When people have passed their usefulness they are unceremoniously discarded.
At the centre of Sarah Dunant’s gripping novel is Lucrezia, the beautiful daughter whom history has portrayed as a scheming murderess. But Dunant throws a kinder light upon her, portraying a young woman used as a political pawn whilst trying to find her own happiness.
Written with a wonderful irony, this is a must read for anyone interested in the period, and for those who simply enjoy intelligent historical fiction.