This Borgia-era novel creates fictional events utilizing factual evidence from historical characters in the manner of Philippa Gregory and Matthew Pearl. The primary players in the Borgia family of Renaissance Italy include Pope Calixtus III, his nephew Pope Alexander VI, Alexander VI's son Cesare, and daughter Lucrezia (See "Beyond the Book").
The Malice of Fortune
is set during the papacy of Alexander VI. The story is narrated by Damiata, a Vatican courtesan; and Niccolo Machiavelli, who is most well-known now for his book The Prince
. Damiata and Niccolo work with the other mastermind of the time, Leonardo da Vinci, to solve a series of brutal murders.
In the opening third of the novel, we hear from Damiata, mistress of the murdered Duke of Gandia (one of Alexander VI' sons). Though it is not until fairly late in the book when her personal history...
Beyond the Book
The Borgia name is synonymous with corruption, crime, and scandal. In Malice of Fortune
, several Borgia family members play both prominent and subtle roles against the backdrop of the Renaissance papacy.
Pope Alexander VI
Born in Spain as Roderic Llançol i de Borja (Rodrigo Borgia), he studied law in Bologne before being appointed cardinal by his uncle, Pope Callixtus III. During his reign, Alexander VI became known for his illicit relationships, political corruption, and nepotism. In The Prince
, Machiavelli writes...