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The Borgia Confessions

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  462 ratings  ·  199 reviews
'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 pow
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

Oh my goodness, I loved this book! In The Borgia Confessions, Alyssa Palombo travels back to Italy in the late 15th century as Pope Alexander VI becomes head of the Church in 1492. The events that follow are told from the perspective of an illegitimate son, Cesare, who becomes a Cardinal in the Church and Maddalena Morretti, a widowed country girl that becomes a servant in the House of Borgia. As the Po
Jennie Damron
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the first time ever where I loved a book, but did not like any of the characters; real and fake. The writing was superb and the research and passion she showed in this work is incredible. I loved learning about the Borgia's. The family is fascinating in their quest of love and power, but not a single one had integrity or like ability. The character of Maddalena was well thought and believable, but I wanted to shake her sometimes. She would drive me half mad with her decisions and then ag ...more
Cesare Borgia (1475-1507) as a boy dreams of becoming a soldier and conqueror like the great Roman conqueror, Giulio Cesare. But his father has a different plan for him – to join the Church and follow in his footsteps. This strategic plan of Rodrigo Borgia is for him to reach his goal of becoming pope.

Rome, 1492: Maddalena Moretti is a maid serving in the Holy Father’s house. She takes great pride in it. Now, the death of the Pope Innocent brings her a step closer to another historical event of
~Annabelle~ ♥♠
I think every book lover needs a healthy dose of family drama, politics, romance and scandal once in a while to stay book fit.
Allison Keith
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For anyone whose shelves are steeped in the World Wars, slipping into the intrigue, tumult, and beauty of the Italian Renaissance with this tale will provide a nice break from the current driving trend in the market. As expected with a story set in 1492, this book is filled with politics in a time in which the church was deeply enmeshed in the intrigue. Cesare provides a tantalizing glimpse into the powerful Borgias. The characters are complex, richly detailed, and wonderfully authentic to the e ...more
The Celtic Rebel (Richard)
Original ~ Informative ~ Entertaining ~ Twisted ~ Haunting ~ Great World Building ~ Realistic ~ Easy To Read ~ Page-Turner ~ Steamy - Wonderful Characters

I have always had a historical fascination with the scheming Borgia family and when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. I was really happy when I won it in a giveaway.

Alyssa Palumbo has been added to my favorite authors list because she did a really good job here of portraying the political schemes of the Borgias that keeps you interested
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
It is 1492 and we meet Rodrigo Borgia - Pope Alexander VI who has four children and a mistress.

The children must do what their father says so the Borgia family can become more powerful.

His son, Cesare, must become a cardinal when he really wants to be in the military.

His son, Juan, must go to the military when he really isn't suited for it.

His daughter, Lucrezia, is thirteen and must marry a man 20 years older than she is so two powerful families can advance together.

The fourth child, Jofre, was
Feb 24, 2020 added it
this is a new book from my library and I thought I would like it -- turns out it is very flowery and overly dramatic in its presentation of what seems to be a romance rather than serious historical fiction as I had wrongly thought it was when I checked it out.
I am reading another book instead of this one and will reserve the right to change my view if I try it on another day when I am in a different mood. I am feeling Poped out at present.
Later maybe.
Later Update 2/27: I did open up the book, to
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...

Alyssa Palombo’s The Borgia Confessions invites readers to explore the halls of the Vatican Palace, peek behind its decadent curtains, and glimpse its most exclusive chambers to understand the rise of notorious Borgia scion, Cesare.

Written as a sort of bad boy origins story, The Borgia Confessions illustrates Cesare’s world as well as the politics and personalities that shaped him into Machiavelli’s quintessential Prince. Pa
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: italy, hf
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway and appreciate the opportunity to read ahead of publication.
2.5 stars. I REALLY wanted to like this more. The first half moved pretty slowly for me, the 2nd half more interesting. The Borgia's are such a fascinating family in Italian history and I've read both non-fiction and fiction about them. This story didn't add much to what I already knew, nor did the imagined MC of Maddalena provide much interest for me. The chapters are short and alternate between Madda
The Lit Bitch
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have been a fan of Alyssa Palombo since her very first book. I think she is absolutely a fresh voice in historical fiction and I am always down to read one of her new books.

Last year her book on Katrina Van Tassel was so fun and I was eager to see where her next story might take place. When I saw that it was in Italy featuring one of the most notorious families in history, I was so here for it!

Palombo always does a marvelous job researching her novels so that they please history fans but they
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rich, fascinating, and immersive!

The Borgia Confessions is a compelling, informative tale set in Rome from 1492 to 1498 that tells the story of Rodrigo Borgia’s children, primarily Cesare, the Archbishop of Valencia who entered the church to please his father against his own true passion for battle and desire to become a condottiere; as well as that of Maddalena, a pious, palace servant who was not only loyal and friendly but a temptation too strong to resist.

The prose is vivid and alluring. The
Deanne Patterson
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Deanne by:
Thought provoking book set in fifteenth century Italy.
There was a lot of information to wade through and the book is based on a real family and events taking place.
Descriptive writing that kept me engrossed .

Pub Date: 11 Feb 2020
I was given a complimentary copy. Thank you.
All opinions expressed are my own.

Kathi Hanaka
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and the story of the Borgia's. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. Alyssa Palombo's story of the Borgia's quest for power was enhanced wonderfully by her talent to use a historical setting and entwining it with a story of a servant having inside access to the Borgia's plots and schemes to gain power in Rome. Her research and attention to detail of the time period, allowed you to vividly imagine what it was like during the Renaissance. You could easily step into Mad ...more
Adrienne Carrick
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is how I want to learn about history! This was a very fascinating look at the history of the church and how ambition and desire for power changed what it was meant to be. The author clearly did a great deal of research to make the story as authentic as possible.
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Everyone has heard of the infamous Borgia family who held a lot of power in Italy during the 15th century and Palombo dives even deeper into their tumultuous reign by telling us a story from Cesare's viewpoint as well as Maddalena, a servant to the Borgia family. Cesare, the Pope's son, isn't interested in becoming an Archbishop, but he knows that he has no choice as his purpose in life is to serve the Borgia family and his father. He wishes that he was given the task of controlling the military ...more
Alyssa Palombo
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my fourth novel, and I'm so excited it's out in the world! I feel it's the best one I've written so far, and I'm thrilled to be able to share it with you all.

Trigger warnings for the book: Attempted sexual assault, violence, murder, mention of incest
Robin Loves Reading
I admit that I must have fallen asleep during history class at one point, because when I picked up this historical fiction for review, I was not prepared. I was not prepared to learn of Papal history in Rome during 1492. I was not prepared to discover that priests, Cardinals and even the Pope had wives and mistresses. I was not prepared for the lot of it. But I could not put it down - and read it from cover to cover - a fact that has already been disputed despite its length. But I digress.

The mo
I was provided an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was well written, and you can tell that the author did her research. I had alway heard of the Borgia's but I never really knew much about them. I learned a great deal from this book, and it prompted me to look up more about them and the actual events that took place. I always knew that the church was corrupt, but this take the hypocrisy to another level

This book takes place in the 1490s, when Rodrigo Borg
Diane Standish
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin's Press for
the opportunity to read and review this book.
(Pub date Feb 11, 2020)
I've always been fascinated by the Borgias. The author writes from the POV of Cesare and a fictional servant girl Maddelina. It is fiction, but lots of factual history included.
Pope Alexander had just ascended the papacy, and he has plans to create a dynasty through his 4 children.
Cesare is forced to become an archbishop, then cardinal at 18. The book then tells of Juan, Lucrezia
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Borgia's Confession by Alyssia Palombo

The Borgia's are a family that history remembers as infamous.Rodrigo Borgia becomes pope in 1492. Rodrigo’s eldest son Cesare, is 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.

Palombo does a magnificent job of researching the infamous House of Borgia and
This was an excellent, excellent book! There were a lot of chapters, but they were short, and I flew through the story. While I had some knowledge of the Borgia family prior to reading this, Alyssa Palombo was undoubtedly able to provide a fresh take on Cesare's life. I really enjoyed reading about sweet Maddalena. Alyssa is an author I repeatedly recommend for great historical fiction -- every one of her novels are great, and this one stands strong.

Thank you, Netgalley, for this arc.
Sydney Young
Who could help but be fascinated with the Borgias? Especially in the hands of an adept author.

The dialogue and detail for this book feel so true as to not be given even a second thought. So that leaves the story of the ever fascinating Borgias, and their triumphs and failings. What really happened between those three siblings? Who knows, but it’s fascinating.

I loved how it played out here, with a MALE protagonist for one! (Why can’t we have more of these!) I’m so glad it was Cesare. Also it wa
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Palombo's books are so well researched and this one is no exception. The Borgia Confessions takes a piece of history and weaves it into a story with interesting (yet very flawed!) characters and vivid details of the setting throughout. A great read for historical fiction fans!
Susan Graves
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh gosh the Borgias. There is so much juicy drama here left for us to uncover. I love how centuries after they lived they are still a source of intrigue and wonder. With that being said I loved this book. I read it after a difficult surgery when I was stuck in bed and I love how much this story transported and captivated me. The Borgia confessions are filled with power, love, ambition and of course scandal. Words cannot express how much I loved this book. Incredible.
Dan Curnutt
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an intriguing historical novel. The Borgia family is fully committed to the Roman Catholic Church. So much so that Cardinal Borgia wants to be the Pope and he wants his eldest son to be in the church and eventually take the role of The Pope when the time comes.

Now that may sound strange to most of us, how can The Pope have a son? Aren't the Catholic Priests Celibate? If so, then there can not be a "family" succession from father to son. But that is where things become tangled. It is apparen
Stephanie Storey
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this wildly entertaining book set during the Italian Renaissance. I, too, am obsessed with this era, and I thought Alyssa Palombo did a magnificent job of bringing the culture, places, and people to life in all of their vicious drama! Like others, I wanted to shake my fists at the main character Maddalena (a servant in the Borgia household) quite often, but it just made me want to keep reading to see how she would turn out... I also LOVED getting to slip into the skin of Ces ...more
Miriam Meza
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book, then read it again, and again... and every single time I felt captivated for the writer's narrative voice, the way she constructed her characters and how history and fiction mixed together to bring us a fascinating tale of love, lust, ambition and faith.

It was my first time reading this author, but not the first time reading about the Borgias. Yet somehow this read felt different to me, and I loved that. I enjoyed to be surprised in every turn of the page, and can't wait to see
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2019
A well written, well researched book! The book alternated chapters and I found each storyline interesting. I enjoyed the book and liked the characters even tho I didn’t agree with the things they did. Thanks to Netgalley and St Martin’s press for the early copy.
Usually historical fiction falls flat in terms of the writing style, but I have to say that I'm quite a big fan of Alyssa Palombo's novels as she manages to make the characters as well as the featured historical figures come alive. The Borgia Confessions is no exception to this writing asset of hers: it proves to be a rather politically intriguing body of work which is also carefully researched.

So let me reiterate what I particularly enjoyed in The Borgia Confessions:

+ Characterisation: The Borg
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My name is Alyssa Palombo, and I am a writer living and working in Buffalo, NY. I attended Canisius College in Buffalo, where I majored in English and creative writing with a minor in music. I’m a classically trained mezzo-soprano who also dabbles in playing piano. When not writing, I can usually be found reading, hanging out and laughing way too hard at nonsensical inside jokes with friends, trav ...more

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