REVIEW: Madonna of the Seven Hills (Lucrezia Borgia #1) by Jean Plaidy

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, Genre: Historical Fiction, Pages: 320, Reading Level: Easy

Book Description:

“The most beautiful woman in Rome, Lucrezia Borgia, was born into a family- and a destiny- she could not hope to escape…

Fifteenth-century Rome: The Borgia family is on the rise. Lucrezia’s father, Pope Alexander VI, places his illegitimate daughter and her only brothers, Cesare, Giovanni, and Goffredo, in the jeweled splendor- and scandal- of his court. From the Pope’s affairs with adolescent girls to Cesare’s dangerous jealousy of anyone who inspires Lucrezia’s affections to the ominous birth of a child conceived in secret, no Borgia can elude infamy.

Young Lucrezia gradually accepts her fate as she comes to terms with the delicate nature of her relationships with her father and brothers. The unbreakable bond she shares with them both exhilarates and terrifies her as her innocence begins to fade. Soon she will understand that her family’s love pales next to their quest for power and that she herself is the greatest tool in their political arsenal.

From the inimitable pen of Jean Plaidy, this family’s epic legend is replete with passion, intrigue, and murder- and it’s only the beginning.”

I am a big fan of Jean Plaidy’s books. I read the first 10 books in her Plantagenet series and loved them; I will certainly return to and finish that 13 book series.

The Borgia family is quite the fascinating family. In fact, I even considered the name Lucrezia as one for my daughter. Maybe not the best thought, but it is a beautiful name.

Plaidy’s writing is superb. She is a master at character development and immediately sucks you into the story. I have never been disappointed with her books. Alexander is the cool, calm, masterful Pope, Giovanni the handsome playboy, Cesare the angry monster and surprisingly, Lucrezia is portrayed as an innocent in all the scheming. I was quite surprised by that.

Madonna of the Seven Hills is simply great historical fiction. Dubbed ‘the original crime family,’ the Borgias provide plenty of opportunities for great storylines in Jean Plaidy’s books, beginning with Madonna of the Seven Hills.

Reviewed by Christina
September 29, 2013

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