" I enjoyed this after getting through the first 100 pages. Up until then all the names and politics and history just made my head spin. I knew nothing about the Middle Ages, which complicated following the early parts of the book. By then end, though, I was engrossed. What an amazing story! I learned a lot, and it made me want even more to head off to Italy. I'd often heard about the corruption, power, and influence of the church and the pope in history, but never was it so well documented in anything I'd read. The influence of illness and intrigue on history was explained beautifully. "
— Julia, 12/28/2013