Advance reader reviews of The Borgia Betrayal by Sara Poole.

The Borgia Betrayal

A Poisoner Mystery Novel

By Sara Poole

The Borgia Betrayal
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2011,
    400 pages.

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There are currently 41 member reviews
for The Borgia Betrayal
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  • Theresa R. (SIERRA MADRE, CA)

    I was excited about being able to review this book. I honestly did not know much about the Borgia family history and the thought of a book about a female poisoner sounded very interesting. Although the author has a writing style that was quite easy to read, I did not feel like her 1st person narrative was done right - simply because I did not believe that Francesca was from the time period the book was set in - she seemed too modern . Also, I didn't feel like I really learned anything about the Borgia family, which is one of the main reasons I love historical learn new things about the people, times and places the books are set in.
  • Marsha S. (Nags Head, NC)

    The Borgia Betrayal
    Sara Poole has created a cracking good tale, filled with intrigue, mystery, plots twists, and romance told by the heroine Francesca Giordano, poisoner to Pope Rodrigo Borgia. I loved it that the central character is an interesting, independent woman, living a life unlike most other women of her time, yet made believable by the setting and circumstances created by the author.

    Set in 1493 just after the discovery of the New World by Columbus, it brought me a new perspective on and interest in the effects of that discovery on the European world, and the power struggles it set into motion. Francesca deals with her job of protecting the pope and his family, while also trying to avenge the murder of her father, against the backdrop of the historical drama taking place as a result of that discovery.

    The only slight criticism I have of the book is that it gets a bit carried away with the lurid love scenes, bringing it back down into the realm of a lightweight "romance" novel.

    It was a quick read and one of those books that once started was hard to put down. I definitely plan to go back and read the first novel in this series, "The Poisoner", and look forward to the rest of Francesca's story yet to come - I hope in many, many more adventures!
  • Pamela F. (Grants Pass, OR)

    The Borgia Betrayal
    Like other readers of this novel, I too, am a lover of historical novels. I love learning about periods of history in an entertaining way. Some of the novels I have loved and others not so much. This one was average for me. I could not connect to the main character. And I really did not like her. That being said, it was still an interesting time, but I think I did not enjoy my stay. Would I recommend this book? Not really. Would I read another book by this author? Yes, but something that is not Borgia related. I would give Sara Poole another chance.
  • Vicky R. (Cumming, GA)

    The Borgia Betrayal
    I absolutely love historical fiction and Sara Poole's novel, The Borgia Betrayal, is one I'm happy I took the time to read. In the beginning of the book I struggled some as the characters developed...I thought the story lacked energy and vitality, but as I stuck with it, it began to pick up the pace. Once the stage was set, the book began to reveal action and intrigue and I found myself wholly immersed. Secrets began to uncloak themselves and I found myself in the wee hours of the night..still with book in hand. Having read The Borgia Betrayal, I will now go back and read Ms. Poole's first book about this character, "Poison".
  • Alyce T. (San Antonio, TX)

    The Borgia Betrayal
    I had read Poison first but that was not necessary.The Borgia Betrayal is a stand alone book. I just loved this book and Sara Poole's style of wrting. The characters are so real that you could reach out and hug them. Francesca,the main character, is fictional. It is a historic novel and most of the book centers around real people who lived in the Borgia Era. It really helped fill in some gaps in my education of the period. I could not put the book down after after I started it. The events move swiftly and keep your attention. I was happy to find out that Sara will be publishing more books following Francesca's life. I highly recommend The Borgia Betrayal for those who enjoy historical novels
  • Dorothy T. (Victorville, CA)

    No end in sight
    This is the second book in what will likely be a series, as promised by the author, and therefore offers no closure regarding the main character, Pope Alexander VI's poisoner, Francesca, and her struggle with her inner darkness, her relationships, or her obsession with taking revenge against the "mad priest" responsible for her father's murder. While the intrigue and the various persona, both real and imagined, keep the story moving along, I personally found the repetitive and explicit sexual scenes both absurd and unnecessary. I can't recommend this unless you are willing to make a long commitment.
  • Sande O. (Rochester, NY)

    Boring Borgias
    Whenever I read an historical novel, my first test is how the author creates a sense of time and place. On this count Sara Poole is spot on in her novel, The Borgia Betrayal. The reader definitely feels the sense of fourteenth century Rome. It is vibrant, earthy and compelling. Unfortunately, the plot does not match the allure of Rome.

    Poole's characters and story disappoint throughout the novel. There is little character development or appeal. Very little happens in terms of action. There were glimmers of promise when I hoped that something was going to happen only to be disappointed time and time again. I was sure the final 50 pages at least would produce a dynamic climax, but it was not to be.

    Don't waste your precious time on this boring read.
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