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The Borgia Betrayal

A Poisoner Mystery Novel

by Sara Poole

The Borgia Betrayal
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2011
    400 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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There are currently 41 reader reviews for The Borgia Betrayal
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Joyce K. (Conway, Arkansas) (06/29/11)

The Borgia Betrayal
I was very excited to read this book for two reasons:the first being that my favorite reading genre is historical fiction and the second being the subject matter. How could this not be a good read? While the historical part of the novel is interesting enough, it seems to be lacking in intensity considering the corrupt nature of the entire Borgia family and this very dark period of the Catholic church. I kept waiting for the intrigue and the suspense but it seem to wax and wane. I never quite understood the protagonist, Francesca and at times was just frustrated by her and the first person narrative. I kept thinking if I had read the first book in this series of three I might have appreciated her more, although the author insists that these books do not need to be read in order.

Poole indicates there might be many more books following Francesca's adventures. I am not sure I would be inclined to read another.
Sarah B. (Streamwood, IL) (06/28/11)

The Borgia Betrayal
Sara Poole writes a nice story using the Borgia's as characters used to move the story forward. I've read the author's previous work in the last month, and perhaps tired of her writing style, as Francesca annoyed me in parts of this book with her rambling, her need to do things her way and alone and dithering in her love life.
The Borgia's are known as one of the most scandal ridden families in history, and it felt like all of that was glossed over. It felt more like Francesca was a modern young woman and not from the era in history she is portrayed from in spots.
Theresa R. (SIERRA MADRE, CA) (06/27/11)

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.
Rosemary T. (San Antonio, TX) (06/27/11)

The Borgia Betrayal by Sara Poole
As a lover of historical mysteries, I found this book disappointing. The usage of phrases that seemed more appropriate for the 20th century than the 15th, poor character development, and unbelievable "feats" by the main character Francesca all contributed to my dissatisfaction. Perhaps if I have read Poison first, I would have enjoyed the book more.
Susan W. (Chocowinity, NC) (06/27/11)

The Borgia Betrayal- Sara Poole
This sequel to the author's debut novel "Poison" follows the life of Francesca Giordno, the poisoner for the House of Borgis and Rodrigo Borgia who is now Pope Alexander VI. The year is 1493 and forces are converging in Rome, bringing with them threats to the Pope. Decision to partition the New World, a split within the Princes of the Church for control and the rise of the Renasissance provide for suspense, intrigue and fear for Francesa as she is driven to revenge her father's murder. Historical events and characters blended with political ambitions, evil deeds, gossip, love and lust keep the storyline moving and believable.

I reccomend this book for those who enjoy historical fiction as a picture of Roman life at a critical historical time.

I find one weakness at the conclusion of the book. It seems to resolve the conflict too quickly with little depth to support the storyline.

Overall it is an enjoyable read and I look forward to the next novel.
Carol P. (Mendham, NJ) (06/27/11)

The Borgias and treacherous times
I tend to gravitate to historical fiction so although I may be biased, I thought Sara Poole did a wonderful job providing a view of a very turbulent time in Italy and around the European continent. Her narrative brings you into the intrigues, and lust for power being taken by the aristocracy and the church. At the same time however, you are able to envision the city of Rome, the streets and back alleys and all the sights and sounds of a city in tumult. The main character Francesca, a woman poisoner, brings to life the family story of Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI, his sons Cesare, Juan and his daughter Lucrezia and the power feuds and treachery encompassing them all.

I would recommend to book clubs as a great discussion vehicle for the changes occuring in the Church, and the changes to political families in power.
Marsha S. (Nags Head, NC) (06/26/11)

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) (06/24/11)

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.


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