- Use promo code PRIMEBOOKS18 to save $5.00 when you spend $20.00 or more on Books offered by Amazon.com. Enter code PRIMEBOOKS18 at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.75 shipping
The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia Paperback – August 1, 2017
|New from||Used from|
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
“In a literary exploration riven with Shakespearean quantities of murder, lies, deceptions, and treachery, [C. W.] Gortner’s narrative gains veracity with his atmospheric exploration of fashion, architecture, and art on the stage of ‘loud, filthy, and dangerous’ Rome. Gortner has imagined Lucrezia Borgia’s life from a feminist perspective.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A sympathetic portrait of a woman who was treated badly both in life and by the historical record . . . [Gortner] has invested his novel with impressive historical detail that is woven neatly into the threads of the story, and his afterword and references offer excellent insight.”—Historical Novels Review
“The Vatican Princess is delicious. . . . Murder, passion, incest, betrayal: all of the elements that make for good story are here and perfectly applied for maximum impact.”—January Magazine
“Unapologetically pulpy and titillating . . . an engaging tale.”—Publishers Weekly
“C. W. Gortner’s The Vatican Princess is a tale of passion, political intrigue, and poisonous power. Assiduously researched and expertly crafted, this novel takes readers inside the treacherous world of the Borgias—one of history’s most dysfunctional ruling families—and brings to life the sympathetic and freshly imagined character of their leading lady, Lucrezia. This unholy plunge into Rome’s darkest dynasty is wholly engrossing.”—Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of Sisi: Empress on Her Own
“Elegantly written and deeply researched, with a pacy style and a fine eye for contemporary detail . . . The world of Renaissance Italy is vividly brought to life—I’m captivated by this knowledgeable author’s take on the controversial Borgias.”—Alison Weir, New York Times bestselling author of Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen
“A spiderweb of Renaissance intrigue with a cast of legendary characters, The Vatican Princess tells Lucrezia Borgia’s story in her own words. Impressive research, a lush background, and deft characterization of these turbulent times make for a fascinating read.”—Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth I
“The Vatican Princess immerses us in the vibrant, sometimes terrifying world of Renaissance Rome. Here is a marvelously evocative portrait of a young woman caught in a bewildering web of jealousy, family rivalry, vengeance, and papal politics. This is historical fiction at its best, written by a master of the genre.”—Patricia Bracewell, author of Shadow on the Crown
About the Author
C. W. Gortner holds an MFA in writing, with an emphasis on historical studies, from the New College of California and has taught university courses on women of power in the Renaissance. He is the internationally acclaimed author of Mademoiselle Chanel, The Queen’s Vow, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici, and The Last Queen, among other books. Gortner divides his time between Northern California and Antigua, Guatemala. To learn more about his work and to schedule a book group chat with him, please visit his website.
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book traced Lucrezia's development from a semi-innocent teen imbued with love for her father Rodrigo (Pope Alexander VI) and her brother Cesare to a disillusioned woman scarred by tragedy and her family's scheming. One historical point that Gortner emphasized quite well in this novel is that the papacy was not simply a religious position, but also a political one. Lucrezia became a pawn in her family's quest for power, getting caught up in intrigues and enduring an arranged marriage just like any noblewoman in Europe. There were a couple of intense scenes that I found very disturbing and difficult to read; they reflected some of the horrific consequences of the Borgia family's continuous scheming.
Overall, I would recommend this novel especially to anyone interested in the Borgia family for the fresh viewpoint it presented on Lucrezia Borgia. As mentioned above, the subject matter was intense at times, but the development of Lucrezia's character and the excellent historical detail had me turning pages well into the night.
(I also posted this review on Goodreads.)
First and last lines of the shiver-inducing prologue in Christopher W. Gortner's sumptuous THE VATICAN PRINCESS, a dark, troubling, sumptuous character dive into one of Gortner's most unique heroines. What struck me about Lucrezia Borgia as opposed to any of his other ladies (Juana la Loca, Catherine de'Medici, Isabella of Castile) is that for the most part, they viewed themselves as moral women doing their best with the circumstances they are given, surprised or despairing or grimly accepting of the evil rumors that end up clinging to their hems. They might do morally questionable things, but they are pushed into it by circumstance and still want to do right. They are for the most part unfairly painted black by rumor, and they know it.
Lucrezia, by contrast, does not view herself as unstained or slandered. She sees the capacity for violence rooted in her family and in her own nature; a concrete thing, not a product of the scandal machine. Her struggle isn't against revisionist history unfairly painting her as wicked and corrupt; her struggle is not to BECOME wicked and corrupt. This isn't a book about the politics of the day; who the French fought and what the papal rulings were--and it's not a book about a pretty girl wearing pretty dresses to pretty palace parties and looking for love, either. Inside the shell of papal politics and gorgeous Renaissance settings, it's an extremely personal story about a girl fighting to save her own soul. And yet it's done without painting Pope Alexander or Cesare Borgia as one-dimensional baddies, either - both are sympathetic in turn, as they struggle with the same dilemma as Lucrezia. They're just further along the same path. And it's a riveting path, watching to see where they all fetch up.
Incest and poison, murder and rape are all touched on here, though I'll leave the how, who, and why a mystery. They're dealt with unflinchingly, introduced for deep character reasons and not merely thrown in for titillation and shock value. These are violent times and violent people, and the story of one girl's struggle to transcend the violence. Marvelous.
*Note: I am acquainted with the author, but I was a fan of his work long before ever meeting him in person. My review is honest and unbiased.*