In the Name of the Family

In the Name of the Family

A Novel

Book - 2017
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1502 and Renaissance Italy is in turmoil. Backed by the money and power of his aging father, Pope Alexander VI, Cesare Borgia is soaring like a military comet, carving out a state for the Borgia dynasty. From Florence, a young diplomat, one Niccolo Machiavelli, is sent out to shadow him. The relationship he forges with the dynamic, violent young warrior allows him - and us - to see history in the making. At the same time, the pope's beloved daughter, Lucrezia, is on her way to a third dynastic marriage in the state of Ferrara, where she must quickly produce an heir for the Este family in order to survive.
Publisher: Toronto :, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd,, [2017]
Edition: First Canadian edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781443406475
Characteristics: 429 pages ; 24 cm

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tjdickey
Sep 25, 2017

A continuation of Dunant's "Blood and Beauty," and even better in the writing. We see the Borgias as somehow more human, though perhaps no less frightening in this vision: there are faint echoes of Hitler in some of the "diplomacy." The relationship between Lucrezia and poet Pietro Bembo is touchingly drawn, and the electric, emotional and intellectual chemistry between masterminds Cesare Borgia and Niccolo Machiavelli alone is worth the reading.

Chapel_Hill_AmandaG Feb 20, 2017

This dazzling historical tale continues the Borgia epic that began in Blood and Beauty. Lucrezia is now on marriage three and is the newly minted duchess of Ferrara. Cesare is as power hungry as ever and is at the pinnacle of his career. Alexander VI is now an aging pope who is concerned about his family’s legacy. We see an introduction of a new voice, Niccolo Machiavelli, who is representing Florence’s interests but cannot help but be impressed by the machinations of the Borgia family. As always, Sarah Dunant succeeds in bringing history to life with her attention to detail and her well-fleshed out characters. She is not trying to erase Borgia’s bad reputation, but instead shed light on their very human motivations and desires. I appreciated that the author did not go for the story with the most scandal. Instead, she used the historical record to create a plausible telling of these characters and events. I especially enjoyed Machiavelli’s outsider perspective because it gave me an understanding of how contemporaries viewed this family. I would be hard pressed to find a complaint of this book other than I was left wishing for even more. The Borgias might still be a family we love to hate, but thanks to Sarah Dunant we might understand them a little more.

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