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The Borgia Bride

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  10,277 ratings  ·  533 reviews
A sumptuous historical novel of passion, betrayal, scheming and incest, set in the Vatican during the 15th century. Incest. Poison. Betrayal. Three wedding presents for the Borgia bride! Italy 1492 Pope Alexander VI is elected. And so begins the Borgia reign of terror. Alexander murders, bribes and betrays to establish his dynasty. No one is immune. Rome is a hotbed of acc ...more
Published February 7th 2005 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  10,277 ratings  ·  533 reviews

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Jun 26, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
The history fanatic in me looks at The Borgia Bride and thinks, "Oh, God, people are actually being led to believe that this is historical fact. The reader is more than happy to join in with a "Oh, and the rest of it's bad, too."

Like Philippa Gregory before her, Jeanne Kalogridis has the potential to write something interesting. The prose is nothing spectacular--it suffers from many historical fiction woes, such as trite dialogue and flowery, borderline-ridiculous descriptions--but it could do.
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
Vivacious Sancha of Aragon arrived in Rome newly wed to a member of the notorious Borgia dynasty. She finds herself involved with a family that is deceitful, immoral and scandalously corrupt. She falls in and out of love with Cesare, the eldest son.

So many events take place that are well detailed telling a story of conspiracy, sexual intrigue and loyalty. It is definitely a page turner and the writing enthralling.

I was particularly interested in this book since I had watched the HBO series, The
DNF'ed at 55%. Warning, there's a huge history rant in this review, but I'm so not apologising.

Historical fiction has a lot of emphasis on fiction, and no book shows this more aptly than the trainwreck that is The Borgia Bride. Let me tell you the stark difference between this and other historical fiction that I've read: it's worse. Not only are the characters unlikable and even mangled, but I'm a tiny bit obsessed with the Borgias, which means I knew quite a bit about the setting and characters
Jun 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my hobbies as a history student throughout high school and college was learning the sordid details of the corrupt ruling families of Europe. The Borgias of Italy were the epitome of fucked up, and I nearly peed myself when I saw the title of this novel at the bookstore. I enjoy historical fiction novels not only for the characters in them, but also because they're delightfully smutty and twisted. Kalogridis did not let me down with this book at all! There's graphic sex, murder, and incest ...more
I've been debating whether I should give this book 3 or 4 stars and I've decided on 4 because I really can't think of anything that I didn't enjoy about it. I loved the writing style and the characters, or in the case of many in this novel, loved to hate them.

This is my first time reading about the Borgias and I can't wait to get my hands on more about them. I thought the Tudors were corrupt!

What really amazed me was the afterward in this novel claiming that most of what was written actually h
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
"Incest. Poison. Betrayal. Three wedding presents for the Borgia Bride."

Ok, not exactly light hearted reading for a New Zealand beach holiday! But I was drawn to the very attractive cover anyway!

I did enjoy the start where Sancha is portrayed as a boldly curious youngster. Once Sancha is married to Joffre & embarks on her affair with Cesare, Kalogridis decides to make Sancha a handwringing hypocrite & I found the book less appealing. I didn't much like Dunant's Blood & Beauty, but I think Duna
If you want to know why this book is so wrong by so many aspects, read this and this reviews and do yourself a favour: never pick up this book.
If you want to know more about The Borgias, read Sarah Bradford's biographies on Lucrezia and Cesare or, if you want to pick up an historical fiction, read the exquisite Blood & Beauty: The Borgias by Sarah Dunant, which is well researched and, even with its creative license, tries to stay true to the historical facts. Unlike The Borgia Bride.
Stacie (MagicOfBooks)
I will also do a video review here at my channel:

In "The Borgia Bride" by Jeanne Kalogridis, Sancha of Aragon arrives in Rome newly married to a member of the notorious Borgia family. Sancha earns the respect of the beautiful, but deceitful, Lucrezia Borgia, and also finds herself falling in love with the ambitious Cesare Borgia. Sancha is quickly wrapped in a web of betrayal and politics, and she has to use her own cunning to outwit the Borgias at their own g
This book got me so into the Italian Renaissance and its politics that after finishing, I started watching the new Medici series on Netflix and from that I went into the Borgias. Let's just say, that watching that series after finishing this book was a real eye-opener and fun watch. LOL. This book was my first introduction to the author, and it was a beautiful one. The book draws you in with a lush setting and characters that never fall neatly into evil or good. I loved every aspect of it.

I don'
Jul 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The story of The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis is packed with historical facts but does not become bogged down in the breadth of details, the story flowing naturally from season to season through the life of Sancha of Aragon.

The young Sancha has a rebellious nature and is in a battle of wills with her father Alfonso II of Naples, although she completely loyal to her brother Alfonso. Retaliating against Sancha for her behaviour, her father contracts a marriage for her to the Borgia family of
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, I’d like to say that this review was a lot longer, but I trimmed it down ;-) I’ve been very interested in the Borgia family for the past few years, and they’re one of the most fascinating parts of European Renaissance history.
Okay, okay, I admit it. I’m in withdrawal after the first season of Showtime’s The Borgias ended a few weeks ago. I love Neil Jordan’s vision of Renaissance Italy, of what went on in Pope Alexander VI’s household, and, of course, the actor who portrays Ces
Mar 22, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This story is about Sancha of Aragon who married the youngest son of Rodrigo Borgia who was an ambitious pope, more dedicated to having mistresses and intervening in political affairs.
It had a few true historical facts- Sancha was married at 16 and her groom barely 12, her brother Alfonso married her sister in law Lucrezia who was also daughter of Borgia, Cesar did give Sancha Lucrezia’s son to raise, she was living as a prisoner after they killed her brother. I don’t agree with other details-
"The Borgia Bride" is a historical fiction about Sancha of Aragon, the woman who married Joffre Borgia; thus, even if the first quarter of the book is about Sancha alone, the most important part is about the infamous Borgia family. However, the book is not so much historical, but it definitely is fiction: it resembles quite closely a soap-opera, to be honest. There are betrayals, shocking reveals, sex scenes, and deaths: the result is entertaining, surely, but nothing more.

Kalogridis does not wo
This is an interesting novel, told from the point of view of Sancha of Aragon, who was the wife of Jofre Borgia, the youngest son of Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI). The marriage was arranged to set up an alliance between the papacy and Naples, and Sancha was caught up in the dealings of the Borgia family.

As far as the storytelling goes, the story was compelling. Some parts of it read like a historical romance novel rather than historical fiction, but I was willing to overlook that because th
I really enjoyed this more than "Devil's Queen" by the same author. Although it took a lot of liberties with the facts and supported the wildest rumors, it was a great work of fiction and very interesting to see the Borgia family from Sancha's point of view. My only criticism of the novel is that Sancha was a very similar character to Catherine de Medici in "Devil's Queen", which suggests the author doesn't know how to write a different type of main character.

My only other issue was not with th
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book I've read by Ms. Kalogridis and I have to say, it was EXACTLY the type of entertainment I was looking for! Exciting, suspenseful, thought-provoking. I knew little about the Borgia family before this book. After reading Tudor books almost exclusively for the past couple of years, I am thrilled to find another historical family as interesting, shocking and colorful as the Tudors - perhaps even more so! The Borgias' story is quite the historical soap opera!

In the book, the
Feb 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
The Borgia Bride
by Jeanne Kalogridis

Vivacious Sancha of Aragon arrives in Rome newly wed to a member of the notorious Borgia dynasty. Surrounded by the city's opulence and political corruption, she befriends her glamorous and deceitful sister-in-law, Lucrezia, whose jealousy is as legendary as her beauty. Some say Lucrezia has poisoned her rivals, particularly those to whom her handsome brother, Cesare, has given his heart. So when Sancha falls under Cesare's irresistible spell, she must
This book suffered from an aspiration to be a Philippa Gregory novel, which is not a healthy ambition for a book to have. Lucky for Jeane Kalogridis' readers, however, the subject matter dealt with here was blissfully less well known than anything written by Philippa Gregory, and the historical dictates of the plot drew it away froma conventional romance novel narrative, which would have been irritating beyond belief in the context. The political intrigue was intersting, and there were a few mom ...more
Aug 08, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First things first: a novel on Sancia is a brilliant idea. She's a very interesting figure, usually overlooked because, I guess, she might create trouble into the uber-popular incestous plot. This is why a clever author might take her and make a gorgeous book out of her story... A clever author. Not Kalogridis. Not with this book. I would love to help by providing motivations for the rate I gave to this, but I can't. Even remembering all the things that were wrong about it is almost phisically p ...more
Rio (Lynne)
OK, I marked 4 stars, but it was a 3 and 1/2 for me. I went back and forth. Great fiction, disturbing facts. This is not your typical historical fiction, even though that is what it is. The Borgias were demented and evil. Yes, this book has a lot of sex, mostly stomach hurling sex. Sadly, incest is believed to have happened in this family. Not a book for the squimish. Can't wait to watch the Showtime series starting next year. ...more
Jasmine Fenech
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was undoubtedly the fastest book I have ever read....incest, poison, betrayal, love..

You know the feeling you get when you go Mdina, the first breath you draw there makes you think of dukes and duchesses from previous books you have read.... well thanks to this novel, I long to go to Rome, where the Vatican and cappella Sistina, now convey a different aura about them ....

Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
Feb 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker by: LethalLovely~I'm Breaking Out. Last Chance to Lose Control.
After finishing this book, I spent another hour googling everything to see if it was true or not. I liked the book- the story that is, but the writing wasn't the best. The way the book was written, it felt like journal entries rather than a good flowing story.

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the story and it definitely was interesting!
Megan L (Iwanttoreadallthebooks)
Ooh boy, the author really played fast and loose with facts in this "historical fiction" novel. The author picked a fascinating historical figure to study, Sancha of Aragon, but did her a disservice by creating an unlikable one-dimensional personality. The Borgia family is one that has inspired much intrigue and wild rumors throughout history and I was hoping the author would bring the family's story to life. Instead, the author focused on the wildest (and unsubstantiated) rumors and merely had ...more
Danielle Gonzalez
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of the Borgias told through the eyes of Sancha of Aragon. She is sent to marry the "son" of Pope Alexander VI, Jofre for political reasons. I had to wonder at first if this was where George R. R. Martin got the names for the characters in Game of Thrones. She gets caught up in the evilness of the Borgia family and their quest to rule all of Italy. What a horrible, disgusting family they were, but the story was riveting. ...more
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warning: This book does contain explicit sex and rape scenes.

I picked this up at Half Price Books, expecting a quick historical retelling. What I ended up with was a nuanced, fairly accurate (from my admittedly limited knowledge), sympathetic retelling of Sancha of Aragon's tragic story. The tone of the novel changes from the bright, simple naivete of a young woman who is ready to be married, to that of a hardened and grieving woman who suffered through the ravages of the Borgia court. It deftl
This seemed like a good story as long as I read the first sentence of each paragraph and skipped the rest of the paragraph. I'm the first 50 pages I lost count of how many paragraphs were entirely descriptions of what every single person present was wearing. No, thanks. DNF. ...more
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unhaul
I kept imagining this as Game of Thrones. Pretty sure RR Martin must have been somewhat inspired by the Borgias. I've read other books about them as well, and I've seen the TV show. I'm giving it 4 stars but I'll also get rid of my copy as I don't think I'll ever reread this. ...more
I had read a few reviews of this book before I started it. And even seeing mention how scandalous the Borgia family was, I don't think I believed that that would in fact turn out to be the case. BOY! Was I ever wrong! Even with all of that going on it was still a very interesting novel. Very hard to put down, kind of like a train wreck you can't help but look at? It was very much like that.

I picked this book up, having read another one of Ms. Kalogridis' books before. And I admit to being curio
Against the backdrop of 15th-century Italian feuds, debauchery and Vatican corruption, "The Borgia Bride" chronicles the story of the ravishing and iron-willed Sancha de Aragon, princess of Naples. Illegitimate daughter to the cold-hearted Duke of Calabria (briefly king of Naples), she is used to establish ties to the feared and influential House of Borgia when her father betroths her to the younger scion, Jofre.

Much to the dismay of her beloved younger brother Alfonso, Sancha is sent from Napl
Marie Z. Johansen
I had had this book on my shelf for a bit and decided it was time to read it. I'm glad I did. This novel follows the life of a Bride to the powerful Borgia family. Ms. Kalogridis' summary of the book states:

"...THE BORGIA BRIDE is a sumptuous historical novel of passion, betrayal, scheming and incest, set in the Vatican during the 15th century, one of the most exciting, violent and also sensual times of European history. The plot and characters are based on actual historical personages and event
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 4 Feb 12, 2015 12:24PM  
European Royalty: The Borgia Bride - Overall 5 22 Nov 29, 2011 08:12AM  

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Jeanne was born in Florida , and has been interested in books ever since. Her interest in language led her to earn an M.A. in Linguistics. She taught English as a Second Language for eight years at The American University of Washington, D.C., before retiring to write full time.

She now lives in California with an overly adored Labrador retriever. Her outside interests include yoga and reading ever

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