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 Niccolò 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. Cesare holds his sister dear, but obsessed by conquest rather than conciliation, he pays little mind to her precarious position. As the Borgia enemies gather in Rome, ready to strike, the pope grows older and more cantankerous.
With her dynamic prose and intimate knowledge of one of the most fascinating periods in Italian history, Sarah Dunant has produced a blockbuster thriller which charts the rise of one of history’s most fascinating characters, Niccolò Machiavelli, alongside the fall of one of its most spectacular dynasties, the Borgia.
In the name of the family: the richness of history told through the alchemy of fiction. Download and start listening now!