Thursday, July 29, 2010

Poison by Sara Poole

Poison: A Novel of the RenaissanceTitle: Poison
Author: Sara Poole
Published: August 1 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780312609832
Source: ARC from Around The World Tours

Description: In the simmering hot summer of 1492, a monstrous evil is stirring within the Eternal City of Rome. The brutal murder of an alchemist sets off a desperate race to uncover the plot that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance and plunge Europe back into medieval darkness.
Determined to avenge the killing of her father, Francesca Giordano defies all convention to claim for herself the position of poisoner serving Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, head of the most notorious and dangerous family in Italy. She becomes the confidante of Lucrezia Borgia and the lover of Cesare Borgia. At the same time, she is drawn to the young renegade monk who yearns to save her life and her soul. Navigating a web of treachery and deceit, Francesca pursues her father’s killer from the depths of Rome’s Jewish ghetto to the heights of the Vatican itself. In so doing, she sets the stage for the ultimate confrontation with ancient forces that will seek to use her darkest desires to achieve their own catastrophic ends.

I Give This ...


If your looking for something fast paces this isn't it.  In fact, it took me awhile to get into the story.  But gradually the characters grew on me.  I found it very interesting that so many are actual figures in history and how much of their lives revolved around poisons.  So, it's only appropriate that the story be about the fictional poisoner.  I enjoyed Francesca's voice.  She questions her actions, but always continues on with what she thinks is right.  I liked her relationships with the characters around her.  People are both afraid and in awe of her and it shows in how the behave towards her.  She's got an end goal, and I don't think she cares how she gets there.  I do get the feeling the some of the "real" characters are played off as being a little bit less diabolical than they might have been in real life.  Cardinal Borgia is said to have been one of the most corrupt Pope's in Catholic history.  I did not get that impression from this story.      

The story is slow to build. It has to lay out all the details first.  I felt it did a good job of portraying Rome in the late 1400's.  It was also interesting reading about the Catholic church and how it may have functioned in a different era.  It's also an era I'm sure the church would like to forget.  The inclusion of the Jewish people and some of their strife's during this time make the story very real.  Some of the events may be fiction, but it seems like this could have happened.  Overall, I liked it quite a bit more than I thought I would.  The ending leaves an opening for a sequel and I would love to see more of the Borgia family and of Francesca.


1 comment:

  1. I have this but I haven't had time to read it yet. I am glad you liked it. It does sound really interesting. I read another book earlier this year that featured Lucretia Borgia. I think the Borgias and the Medicis are fascinating. Good review!


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