'Under Palombo’s skillful hand, the entangled world of the Borgias comes vividly to life, exposing the dark facets of class structure and the all-consuming greed that comes with ambition--and love." - Heather Webb, internationally bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris and Meet Me in Monaco
During the sweltering Roman summer of 1492, Rodrigo Borgia has risen to power as pope. Rodrigo’s eldest son Cesare, forced to follow his father into the church and newly made the Archbishop of Valencia, chafes at his ecclesiastical role and fumes with jealousy and resentment at the way that his foolish brother has been chosen for the military greatness he desired.
Maddalena Moretti comes from the countryside, where she has seen how the whims of powerful men wreak havoc on the lives of ordinary people. But now, employed as a servant in the Vatican Palace, she cannot help but be entranced by Cesare Borgia’s handsome face and manner and finds her faith and conviction crumbling in her want of him.
As war rages and shifting alliances challenge the pope’s authority, Maddalena and Cesare's lives grow inexplicably entwined. Maddalena becomes a keeper of dangerous Borgia secrets, and must decide if she is willing to be a pawn in the power games of the man she loves. And as jealousy and betrayal threaten to tear apart the Borgia family from within, Cesare is forced to reckon with his seemingly limitless ambition.
Alyssa Palombo's captivating new novel, The Borgia Confessions, is a story of passion, politics, and class, set against the rise and fall of one of Italy's most infamous families--the Borgias.
Palombo (The Violinist of Venice) returns to historical Italy in this vivacious tale of power and love set in 1492. When Rodrigo Borgia becomes Pope Alexander VI, he finds himself surrounded by enemies as he assumes control of the Catholic Church. To insulate himself, he places his adult children in influential positions throughout Europe, making his son Juan a powerful general and appointing his eldest son, Cesare, to be Archbishop of Valencia. While Cesare's heart belongs to the battlefield, Cesare realizes his father wishes to begin a reign of the Borgia family in the Vatican and reluctantly does his bidding. Maddalena, a servant from the countryside unfamiliar with the culture of Rome, comes to serve in the Vatican and has her faith tested by the prurient nature of city life. When Maddalena and Cesare meet, they are immediately drawn to one another, and as Cesare, who spends most of his time in Rome, attempts to consolidate his power within the Vatican, Maddalena witnesses the consequences such political dealings have on the lower classes of Rome. Excavating the personal relationships and petty disagreements that fueled Pope Alexander VI's controversial reign, Palombo's enticing tale will please fans of Sharon Kay Penman.