Poison, A Novel of the Renaissance by Sara Poole

Read: May 22 - June 7
Format: E- book 416 pages
Source: Nook - B&N
Subject: Poisoner, Borgia Papacy
Challenges: 11 in 11, 75 Book, TIOLI, BOYS
Category: Honeymoon - foreign settings/thrillers
Genre: Historical Fiction/Thriller
Stars: ★★★½

The Borgias have been well-hyped historical figures for many years but recently they have been front and center so there is no surprise that more and more books are being written with them as main characters. This book is the first in a series with the Borgias in the forefront. In 1492 when this book is set, Rodrigo Borgia, a cardinal in the Catholic Church, is startled when his Poisoner is poisoned by the daughter of his former poisoner. (Are there enough poisoners to go around?) When Francesca Giodano explains that she needs to avenge her father's death she is placed in the envious/not so envious position of protecting Il Cardinale and assisting him in his efforts to be the next Pope.

The story-telling is so well structured that one wonders if it could be true. What fascinates me the most about this book and the story it tells is how Ms Poole exposes the corruption of the Church's upper echelon as well as interweaving anti-Semitism and the Spanish Inquisition. MS Poole also has an interesting style of writing with this tale coming directly from the central character as if it were a very long letter being written to a friend.

To be honest, I won the second book in the series Borgia Betrayal and figured that I should probably read the first in the series as preparation. Now I am really looking forward to the Borgia Betrayal if it would just get here!

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