Rated of 5
by Cheryl D. (Angola, NY) The Next Tudors
The latest trend in historical fiction seems to be the Borgia family. THE BORGIA BETRAYAL by Sara Poole is a sequel to POISON. I really felt that I needed to have read that before I tackled this one. I was missing some of the facts I needed to read this. I find the family interesting and enjoyed the story here, however. The author does need to work on her voice. I felt, at times, that the characters were much too modern in tone, both their attitudes and the way they expressed themselves.
Rated of 5
by Carol G. (Little Egg Harbor, NJ) The Borgia Betrayal
After watching The Borgias TV series I wanted to read this book. I'm only sorry that I didn't read Poole's Poison first for some insights and info on Francesca and her family. I've read so much about the Tudors and now continuing on to the Borgias now. This detailed historical novel gives much insight into this powerful Renaissance family that many probably are not aware of. I am looking forward to the third installment of this series as the conclusion of this book promises additional conflict. This book was a compelling read from the first page and I would bet that any lover of historical fiction would be enthralled by its action and suspense during this Renaissance period. It was a super read! Thank you for allowing me to review this superb book.
Rated of 5
by Elinor S. (Loudonville, NY) The Borgia Betrayal
I liked the book. It appealed to my criteria for an enjoyable book: Learning something (about history), entertaining me and enjoying the way it was written. Since I had not read Ms. Poole's previous book on the Borgias, I'm anxious to read "The Poisoner". I would recommend it to my friends, especially those who have enjoyed Philippa Gregory's books.
Rated of 5
by Patricia S. (Chicago, IL) The Borgia Betrayal
The Borgia Betrayal is the sequel to Poison by Sara Poole, the first book about Francesca Giordano, but readers who start the series with the second one will have no trouble picking up the story, as it really stands alone. I was surprised that a series based on a female Italian poisoner was not about Lucrezia Borgia, but although she makes several appearances in the book, she is thirteen and waiting for her wedding, that may or may not actually take place. Francesca is the personal poisoner and protector of the Borgias, Lucrezia, Cesare (her lover) and Pope Alexander VI and is trying to protect them and, at the same time, kill her father’s murder, a mysterious priest who is the enemy of the Borgia pope and supporter of the fanatic Savonarola. Amid poisoning attempts and obscene graffiti, underground tunnels and an army of thieves, Francesca must always be one step ahead of those who threaten the Borgias. Although the papal and international politics of the time form the background of the plot, readers unfamiliar with them will not be disadvantaged as enough information is scattered in the chapters to make it clear what’s happening outside of Rome. No big paragraphs of history, just enough conversation to guide readers in the complex politics of the time. The hot, humid atmosphere of Rome in the summer makes you want to turn up the air conditioner full blast—or at least get a cold lemonade. Although taking place in a small part of the city, I felt that I knew it when the book was done and could have greeted the glassmaker and Captain of the guard by name. Sara Poole writes well, the story is well paced and I really got a sense of Francesca and her friends. Although the repeated references to Francesca’s “darkness” and “the beast inside” make me wonder if this was going to be one of the trendy vampire mashups, it wasn’t (thankfully) and even Francesca’s psychological issues were well integrated into the story. Now I need to read the first book and find out what started Francesca on her dark road. The conversation with the author at the end of the book indicates that Poole has several more volumes planned in Francesca’s story, so more to look forward to. Thanks to BookBrowse for sending me The Borgia Betrayal, and introducing me to this fascinating woman and her times,
Rated of 5
by Michele J. (Port Orchard, WA) Historical Fiction "Beach Read"
I wasn't aware that this book is the second of a proposed trilogy, although I had no difficulty understanding what happened in the plot of the first book....the author does a fine job of "catching you up" to her current plot.
This is a historical fiction thriller-type book with a strong female lead character who is, of course, a poisoner in the employ of the infamous Borgia pope, Alexander VI. There's plenty of intrigue and action here in the late 15th Century Rome and I'm fairly certain the book will interest those who have been following the new Borgia series on television.
I call this a historical fiction "beach read" to differentiate it from serious, in-depth historical fiction. This novel is easy to follow and is more of a thriller simply set in a historical period. Don't expect a lot of detailed, accurate history. In other words: it all depends upon your taste in historical fiction. Some readers, myself included, prefer our historical fiction to be heavy on the historical side. Other readers enjoy less detail and more action....and The Borgia Betrayal falls into this latter category.
Rated of 5
by Judy B. (Santa Fe,, NM) The Pope's Poisioner
The continuation of Sara Poole's character, Donna Francesca, the Pope's Poisoner, is an action-packed novel with handsome knights, ordinary citizens of 15th century Rome, smugglers of the world below that city, a priest who is not very holy, and Pope Alexander VI who is conniving and cunning and wishes to barter his daughter's hand in marriage to retain his office as Pope. Donna Francesca must find the priest who wishes to kill the Pope before he does so and in so doing determine which of the pope's sons is a loyal subject. This is a very well researched "page-turner" of the highest form and you are learning history, too! Incidental to the plot are historical characters such as Christopher Columbus and their Most Catholic Majesties, Ferdinand and Isabella, play parts as well, making this a lush, swashbuckling, historical tale.
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