Review: The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia by C.W Gortner

by 1/24/2019 0 comments
I started this book back in 2018 and just finished it up recently and as promised, I'm getting right into a review with you all! I adore historical fiction and love the detail and epic ness these novels promise. I've been longing to read a good book featuring this family for a long time, and I was not disappointed in this novel.

My Rating: ❀'s
Genre: Historical Fiction
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I liked this novel began early in Lucrezia's life, as every time I've read a novel featuring her she's either a minor character or the book is set later in her life. So seeing Lucrezia as both the main character and one just starting out in life was so what I've been hoping to find in a novel about her and the  Borgia family.

The novel opens just as Rodgrio Borgia is becoming pope, and it is not too long before Lucrezia is married. She is still very young, thirteen or fourteen and adores her family utterly. They, in turn, seem utterly devoted to her which perhaps makes the family seem more loving than one might anticipate. It's not long though, before strife between the Borgia brothers, Juan and Cesare becomes apparent, as does the fact that Juan is clearly more beloved than Cesare by their father.

Was this so in life? I've seen this portrayed time and again, and it does lead me to wonder if the terrible Cesare Borgia was shaped by a lack of a loving, empathetic father. For it's a certainty that this family was a highly ambitious one and that power meant much to them. Sadly, Lucrezia becomes a pawn in their political thirst for power. Her first marriage she accepts as a matter of course, even though Cesare is clearly ready to fight tooth and nail for her not to enter into it should she not wish it. But it's apparent from the beginning of the marriage that Lucrezia has married a weak man, a man who is  both stupid and not entirely moral. She soon develops contempt for him. She also learns to become wary of her brother Juan, who is also violent and immoral. What happens between the brother and sister gave me pause and made me wonder, what could be behind all the rumours of Borgia incest?

The story was engrossing. So much was happening to Lucrezia, some things awful, others wonderful, and she grew up throughout the novel and yet, she remained the same strong, intelligent woman as well. Just one who finally was no longer blinded  by familial love and went forward in life wiser and I think, in a sense, freer.

This novel was well paced, well written and provides insight into the life of a woman who history has likely painted more darkly than she deserves. I was intrigued by the story, and impressed by the powerful writing.

Happy Reading, 

Jewels E


I'm a thirty something girl who loves to read, write and dream. Because I'm so addicted to the written word in all its forms, I created this blog to share the books that devastate me with you.