THE SERPENT AND THE PEARL
All the passion and pageantry of Quinn’s previous series set in ancient Rome are transferred to the era of the Borgias. This is a dazzling portrait of a time when beauty and corruption lived side by side. The story teems with the driving forces of greed, possession, power and desire, and it features a cast that brings history to full-blooded life. Three singular characters each tell their part of a captivating tale of a young woman unwillingly drawn into the Borgias’ power struggle.
It is 1492, and Rome and the Vatican are in turmoil. A new pope must be chosen, and Rodrigo Borgia believes it’s his turn. Giulia Farnese is living the ideal life. She has no idea that her marriage is a ruse and that her handsome young husband will give her to Cardinal Borgia. Giulia brings her trusted bodyguard and cook with her to the Vatican when the cardinal rises to Pope. Caught in a tight web of corruption and entangled in the Borgias’ schemes, Giulia and her companions watch as murder and danger mount, and they wonder if they will survive the family’s reign. (BERKLEY, Aug., 452 pp., $15.00)