Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Lion and the Rose by Kate Quinn

From the national bestselling author of The Serpent and the Pearl comes the continuing saga of the ruthless family that holds all of Rome in its grasp, and the three outsiders thrust into their twisted web of blood and deceit . . .

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 . . .

Paperback, 464 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Berkley Trade 
(my copy provided by Edelweiss for my honest review)

The first book in this series, The Serpent and the Pearl, was an audio read (via Audible) for me.
The readers did a wonderful job of telling this story, I fell in love with Guilia, Leonello and
Camelina, their accents fit the characters perfectly and really brought that story to life.  I was 
hoping that this book would also be available in audio, but alas it isn't (at least at the time
of this review). 

Set in the late 1400's Rome during the reign of the Borgia's, Kate Quinn has delivered yet 
again.  Reading this book I could still visualize the accents and mannerisms of the 3 main 
protagonists. Continuing where The Serpent and the Pearl left off in the lives of Guila, 
Leonello and Carmelina. It was written in such a way that I had a hard time putting this book 
down. Full of corruption, deceit, murder, romance, mystery, power and much more at the
hands of Rodrigo Borgia (also known as Pope Alexander VI) and his children (who could 
do no wrong).  A book that shows the power of one family and the control and 
impact that they had over Rome.  A book that is fast paced and had me reading
late into the night. But at almost 500 pages, not a quick read though worth every
one of them.

Kate Quinn has been a favourite of mine ever since reading Mistress of Rome, I love her 
writing style and the way she develops her characters.  She brought them to life with the 
right amount of scandal, drama and a touch of humor.  Told from the point of view of Guila,
Leonella and Carmella I couldn't wait to see how their characters evolved and where the 
author was taking them.  Also watching minor characters from The Serpent take on a larger
role here, specifically Bartolomeo (I will never look at spuds the same way again) was

You can read this as a stand alone, but why? Read the first, you won't be disappointed!

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