The Lion and the Rose
By Kate Quinn
(Berkley Books, Paperback, 9780425268766, 464pp.)
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
List Price: $16.00*
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As the cherished concubine of the Borgia Pope Alexander VI, Giulia Farnese has Rome at her feet. But after narrowly escaping a sinister captor, she realizes that the danger she faces is far from over and now, it threatens from within. The Holy City of Rome is still under Alexander's thrall, but enemies of the Borgias are starting to circle. In need of trusted allies, Giulia turns to her sharp-tongued bodyguard, Leonello, and her fiery cook and confidante, Carmelina.
Caught in the deadly world of the Renaissance's most notorious family, Giulia, Leonello, and Carmelina must decide if they will flee the dangerous dream of power. But as the shadows of murder and corruption rise through the Vatican, they must learn who to trust when every face wears a mask . . .
- The novel opens in the middle of the action, as the Pope's mistress and her friends are hostages from the French army. Did you come to their story fresh, or did you read The Serpent and the Pearl, which came before it? How did this affect your enjoyment of The Lion and the Rose? Did you have any other preconceptions about the Borgia family from legends, rumors, television, or other books?