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Madonna of the Seven Hills: A Novel of the Borgias [Kindle Edition]

Jean Plaidy
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $6.01 (43%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


"A tale of passion, intrigue and murder such as has rarely, if ever, been surpassed" Yorkshire Evening Post "Well written and fascinating ... a first-class novel" Manchester Evening News "One of our best historical novelists brings to life wayward, capricious Marie Antoinette" News Chronicle "Flaunting, Extravagant Queen has the colour, liveliness, and sensitivity with which one has come to associate this author's historical novels" Scotsman

About the Author

Jean Plaidy, one of the preeminent authors of historical fiction for most of the twentieth century, is the pen name of the prolific English author Eleanor Hibbert, also know as Victoria Holt. Jean Plaidy's novels had sold more than 14 million copies worldwide by the time of her death in 1993.

Product Details

  • File Size: 795 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307887529
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (January 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004G5ZXP2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,525 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating portrait May 15, 2006
For someone who does not have pre-conceived notions about Lucrezia Borgia, this is where you have to start. As always Jean Plaidy succeeds in giving us background and sympathy to understand this beautiful woman. The book starts at the beginning with Cardinal Borgia and Lucrezia'a mother and proceeds to paint a fascinating picture of the Borgia family. Their closeness and family feeling being mis-understood by everyone. It also sheds light on Ceasare and Giovanni, who are the focal point of Lucrezia's childhood, as well as Guilia and other important players. The first book (Madonna of the Seven Hills) leads up and concludes dramatically as Lucrezia is getting ready to receive her second bridegroom.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the back cover July 20, 2006
The legendary Lucrezia Borgia did everything with a passionate intensity. She loved with a burning lust. She hated with a ruthless violence. There wasn't another woman in all of Rome who could rival her exquisite beauty - or her incredible power. As the only daughter of Pope Alexander VI, she was showered with every luxury and privilege. But being a Borgia also meant having a certainand inescapable responsibility to the family. Lucrezia learned early that she would never simply love and marry. A Borgia's destiny was always carefully arranged - and there wasn;t any way for Lucrezia to excape hers...
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Realistic Look At Lucrazia Borgia... February 5, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is only the second book I've read about Lucrazia Borgia, and it was a much more realistic potrayal than the first. I know many people differ on whether or not they think she had a sexual relationship with her father, the Pope, and her brother Cesare, but I tend to lean more towards Ms. Plaidy's opinion, which is that they were just VERY close, and that Lucrezia was more a pawn for her father and brother than some vicious poisioness.

The book opens with the birth of Lucrazia and follows her through to her wedding day of her second marriage. We see her grow up with her two very competitive brothers, Cesare and Giovanni, who constantly fight for her attention and love. Their destructive relationship comes to a head near the end of the novel, and Lucrazia must come to terms with the monster that her brother Cesare has become. She comes to fear him, and this is why (according to Ms. Plaidy) Lucrazia acts the way she does around him, always subservient and fawning all over him.

In this telling of her life, Lucrazia is portrayed as an innocent. She does what she's told to do, she goes where she's told to go, and she marries when she's told to marry. She can never get too close to any outsiders because her brothers intense jealousy is always a concern. Cesare will kill anyone who rubs him the wrong way, and anyone who gets too close to his sister automatically falls into that category. Lucrezia just wants to live a quiet simple life in the country, but her ambitious father has other plans for his beautiful daughter.

Overall, I absolutely recommend this (as I do all Jean Plaidy books!). I really enjoyed this version of the life of Lucrazia Borgia, and as soon as I finished it, I picked up "Light on Lucrazia", which tells of the second half of her life, and picks up right where this book left off.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly wht I was looking for, but OK June 13, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was just OK for me. I was hoping for something that read a little less like a romance novel and more like good historical fiction (See 'The Autobiography of Henry VIII' and 'Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles' by Margaret George). However, it did allow me to understand the political machinations of Papal life during that time period a little better. (and I suspect it has not changed much in +/- 700 years! Oops! Did I just write that?) Actually, I should have realized what the writing style would have been like, as I had read many Victoria Holt books growing up. Based on this book, I will not be reading the sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roman Scandal May 2, 2011
By Alex
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The first book in the Lucrezia Borgia series, there are only two, it's a good start. It wasn't as compelling as I thought it would be, but it did have a lot of information that I didn't know before. I've read a few pages on her from the Internet, and have heard of her from other sources, but this book fills out the information in a fun and easy way. I also like that, having read other Plaidy books, this one would fit into those. I already knew some of the people from her other books. It didn't seem so out of place.

When I say it wasn't as compelling as I thought, I'll admit I've been watching The Borgias on TV. I could imagine the people, but the book is lacking that umph the show has. But it's not a bad book because of that. It was written far before the Showtime show. Lucrezia is depicted as innocent and a pawn in the schemes of her father and brother. Alexander VI is even likeable here. The Borgias seems to be missing him often, like he's extra. None of the characters in the book are extra. They all have a reason to be there and all further the book along.

The book starts from her birth and through her first marriage. It may seem weird, she had three, to stop there, but there is a lot to know.

This is classic Plaidy and a nice departure from her English series books. If you've been reading them you'll enjoy this. And, like I said, it won't seem foreign to you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely read
I enjoyed this novel, at first I was a little disappointed because it didn't touch on some Borgia topics I thought worth mentioning, but then I saw there was a second book and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mel White
5.0 out of 5 stars page turner
I really enjoyed this entire series. It offers an interesting look of what life behind closed doors could be like in Vatican city.
Published 5 months ago by Danielle Powell
3.0 out of 5 stars DISAPPOINTING
Published 7 months ago by Violet VisionsPhyllis von Miller
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a typical family
I have read several of Jean Plaidy's books and I find them to be entertaining. This version of the Borgia family isn't your HBO Borgias, but all of the intrigue and scandal are... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Tamara Ing
3.0 out of 5 stars The Borgias
Good book, awesome story line.
Like this author and even gotten more books by him.
If you like the borgias you will love this book.
Published 11 months ago by charmed6719
4.0 out of 5 stars A terrific read, will now get the next in this series..
I've read a couple of books on the Borgia's, this is the more gentle Lucretia & is nice as I'm sure other authors have not portrayed miss Borgia as such. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Angela C. Hewson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Borgia times
I love historical novels and this one ranks very high on my list. Easy and agreable to read and historically correct. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Susan EMMICK
2.0 out of 5 stars Quite bad
This book is quite bad. I'm only 40 pages in, so if I change my mind later on I'll come back and revise this review. Read more
Published 13 months ago by imelda
5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend reading this before "Light on Lucrezia"
This book begins with Lucrezia Borgia's birth. Jean Plaidy details Lucrezia's upbringing beautifully. Read more
Published 13 months ago by megan
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it
If you love watching the Borgia's on Showtime, you'll love reading this book. More information than is revealed in the series.
Published 14 months ago by Connie
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