Wednesday, February 24, 2016

REVIEW: Blog Tour - The Vatican Princess by C.W. Gortner

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


02_The Vatican Princess

Publication Date: February 9, 2016 
Ballantine Books 
Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook 
400 Pages 
 Genre: Historical Fiction


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Blurb



Infamy is no accident. It is a poison in our blood. It is the price of being a Borgia.

Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias fascinated and terrorized 15th-century Renaissance Italy. Lucrezia Borgia, beloved daughter of the pope, was at the center of the dynasty’s ambitions. Slandered as a heartless seductress who lured men to their doom, was she in fact the villainess of legend, or was she trapped in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and survival? With the ascension of the Spaniard Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI, the new pope’s illegitimate children—his rival sons, Cesare and Juan, and beautiful young daughter Lucrezia—assume an exalted position in the papal court. Privileged and adored, Lucrezia yearns to escape her childhood and play a part in her family’s fortunes. But Rome is seductive and dangerous: Alliances shift at a moment’s notice as Italy’s ruling dynasties strive to keep rivals at bay. As Lucrezia’s father faces challenges from all sides, he’s obliged to marry her off to a powerful adversary. But when she discovers the brutal truth behind her alliance, Lucrezia is plunged into a perilous gambit that will require all her wits, cunning, and guile. Escaping her marriage offers the chance of happiness with a passionate prince of Naples, yet as scandalous accusations of murder and incest build against her, menacing those she loves, Lucrezia must risk everything to overcome the lethal fate imposed upon her by her Borgia blood. Beautifully wrought, rich with fascinating historical detail, The Vatican Princess is the first novel to describe Lucrezia’s coming-of-age in her own voice—a dramatic, vivid tale set in an era of savagery and unparalleled splendor, where enemies and allies can be one and the same, and where loyalty to family can ultimately be a curse.


AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INDIEBOUND



My Review



The Vatican Princess by C.W. Gortner was a five star read right from the beginning. I was completely pulled into the time of the Borgias, and I loved every minute of it! I have read several historical fiction novels about the Borgias, and this is by far my favorite. I love that it’s told from Lucrezia’s point of view, rather than a secondary (or made up) historical figure. With the amount of research that the author obviously put into writing this novel, you can really allow yourself to believe that Lucrezia is truly telling the story, and that it is HER voice. Rather than portray Lucrezia as a ‘man-eater’, evil, or disdainful and conceited, as some other novels about the Borgias do, this novel shows her almost as a victim (though she's not weak) of a family who has controlled and mapped out her entire life. Her father has the power to give her happiness or to take it away, and her brothers are men used to getting what they want, even if it is forbidden. The power these men have over her life could have destroyed her, but she refused to let it. To me, this version of Lucrezia makes the most sense. The idea that she was a shrewd and vindictive woman who poisoned her enemies never felt right to me. I always envisioned her as a strong and intelligent female who was held back due to the era in which she lived. Through this novel I felt like I really was able to really get to ‘know’ the different members of her family as well Lucrezia. I must be honest though, in my mind as I was reading, I was picturing the actors from the Showtime series The Borgias!

Any fan of historical fiction will love this novel. I have read elsewhere that books about the Borgias are overdone recently, but I cannot agree. C.W. Gortner shows the Borgias through a fresh lens, and has created a novel that brings this fascinating family back to life. Five out of Five stars without a doubt!


Praise


"Assiduously researched and expertly crafted . . . . This unholy plunge into Rome's darkest dynasty is wholly engrossing." - Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author 


"A spider web of Renaissance intrigue with a legendary cast . . . Impressive research, a lush background, and deft characterization make for a fascinating read." - Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author 


"Elegantly written and deeply researched . . . Renaissance Italy is vividly brought to life. I’m captivated by this knowledgeable author’s take on the controversial Borgias." - Alison Weir, NYT bestselling author



About the Author



03_CW GortnerC.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco. After an eleven year-long career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding. Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats. For more information visit C.W. Gortner’s website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twittter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and YouTube. Sign up for C.W. Gortner’s Newsletter for updates.



Blog Tour Schedule



Monday, February 15
Blog Tour Kick-Off at The Maiden's Court
Tuesday, February 16
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Interview at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, February 17
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, February 18
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Monday, February 22
Review at Luxury Reading
Tuesday, February 23
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Wednesday, February 24
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, February 25
Review at A Bookish Affair
Friday, February 26
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at To Read, Or Not to Read
Interview at A Bookish Affair



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