From the author of Poison and The Borgia Betrayal, comes a new historical thriller, featuring the same intriguing and beautiful heroine: Borgia court poisoner, Francesca Giordano.
Mistress of death Francesca Giordano—court poisoner to the House of Borgia—returns to confront an ancient atrocity that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance and plunge the world into eternal darkness. As the enemies of Pope Alexander VI close in and the papal court is forced to flee from Rome, Francesca joins forces with her lover, the brilliant and ruthless Cesare Borgia to unravel a conspiracy that strikes at the heart of Christendom. But when a shattering secret from her past imperils her precarious hold on sanity, only Francesca’s own courage and resolve can draw her back from the brink of madness to save all she values most.
The third installment of this series is almost as good as both of its predecessors. I was stoked about the opportunity to learn more about Francesca’s past and how it has molded her into the woman she has become. I think that the exploration of her past has helped her to develop as a character and it adds to her charm and personality from the previous two installments. The revelation of what happened to her mother has opened up a whole new mystery. The only problem that I had with this novel is the lack of contiguity from the previous two novels – the main antagonist in the first two novels was missing in the third and I also found myself missing some of the smaller characters who were not present in this novel either. I also found that the supporting characters (Vittorio, Lucrezia, Renaldo) that Ms. Poole has been magnificently developing over the course of this series were either absent or thrown in as an afterthought. Still, I find myself anxiously awaiting the next installment – it’s fun (and slightly annoying … I’m not overly patient) to slowly piece together Francesca’s puzzle one book at a time.