From the national best-selling author of The Serpent and the Pearl comes the continuing saga of the ruthless family that holds all of Rome in its grasp, and the three outsiders thrust into their twisted web of blood and deceit....
As the cherished concubine of the Borgia Pope Alexander VI, Giulia Farnese has Rome at her feet. But after narrowly escaping a sinister captor, she realizes that the danger she faces is far from over - and now, it threatens from within. The Holy City of Rome is still under Alexander's thrall, but enemies of the Borgias are starting to circle. In need of trusted allies, Giulia turns to her sharp-tongued bodyguard, Leonello, and her fiery cook and confidante, Carmelina.
Caught in the deadly world of the Renaissance's most notorious family, Giulia, Leonello, and Carmelina must decide if they will flee the dangerous dream of power. But as the shadows of murder and corruption rise through the Vatican, they must learn who to trust when every face wears a mask....
©2013 Kate Quinn (P)2013 Penguin Audio
Mills & Boone readers.
What could have been a thrilling story in an era rich with intrigue and drama ended up being a clicheed romance.
Narrator(s) were not at all bad.
I would and will!! It's just the most lovely story ever. I am obsessed with The Borgias after watching the TV series but this goes off at a tangent and is a great story in it's own right - the Borgia characters are second to the book's three lead characters.
The three leads were equally charismatic - loved all three the same.
As I said in my review of the previous book The Serpent and the Pearl: Borgias, Book 1 - the narrators sound exactly as you imagine the characters to be - I watched a few episodes of the Borgias this week again and you just think that Neil Jordan should have written the character of Leonello into the series - but Ronan Vibert who reads Leonello in this version does make an amazing Lord Giovanni Sforza in the series!!
Yes if I could have I would have - I listened to it way into the night and missed huge chunks because of that when I fell asleep - oh damn will just have to listen to it again soon (YAY!!!)
This and Kate Quinn's The Serpent and the Pearl were the first two books I bought on Audible and it's spoilt me a little bit. As I enjoyed them so much I really am not sure how I am going to top them but going to try with Game Of Thrones all a million hours of it!!
"This Lady Can Wright"
Narration was perfect. The story was a keeper. I fell into the three main character with pure enjoyment.
I don't know. I loved them all. As I said they were a joy to spend time with. It is fiction with a twist of history and a very beautiful love story. No smut. Just pretty.
They were talent. They were art in action. They took pride in their performance. A real pleasure.
Oh, I smiled and I laughed.
I do wish she had more audible books out.
"Utterly Absurd Ending!!!!"
What a disappointment! I can't believe I sat through both these books (Serpent and the Pearl, and Lion and the Rose), only to reach a completely ridiculous and unbelievable conclusion! What a waste of 35 hours! In fact, the ending is so absurd and inane that I thought it was just a dream sequence, and that the character would wake up to reality. I don't want to give any spoilers so I won't give more detail, except to say that the 'happily ever after' is unreasonably absurd.
The books were interesting and held my attention till the end, but then the author made a wreckless decision with the characters that defies belief. Also the narrator who reads for Giuilia is terrible. She's hard to understand and reads in a flat boring voice without proper attention to sentence structure. I was able to overcome the flat narration, I got used to it after a while. But the ending is not easy to overlook. I can't stress how bizarre the last hour and a half is. This forced happy ending completely ruined this series for me.
"Loved this book and series"
Really enjoyed listening to this and The Serpent and the Pearl. Two fantastic books, storyline and readers got you hooked. Just as you were immersed in one story line the reader would change and you had that "oh no moment" only to be quickly caught up in the next readers story. Of the characters I think Carmelina was my favourite but only just. Sad that this series has finished
"Worth A Listen"
Loved it. Was a little concerned about previous comments, but shouldn't have been. Interesting readers, but got the flavor of a foreign accent without frustration of misspoke words.
"If you are looking for an upscale guilty pleasure"
No, it's not War and Peace, but as light listening goes, this book has good character development, great settings, and offers a nice diversion.
"A Masterpiece with fun twists"
Listen if you really like historical fiction with well developed characters; don't miss this. In fact, I strongly suggest you buy all Kate Quinn 's novels. You won't be sorry.
You will fall in love with the characters. Her writing is so detailed. It makes the book come to life.
"Best audiobook ever!!"
Besides the great story... So fun to hear the different voices and get to know the characters through them. I will really miss this book!!
"A fun conclusion"
Even though the end was pretty unbelievable with its "happily ever after", I really enjoyed this finale to the Serpent and the Pearl. It was just fun and even had me laughing out loud a few times. This isn't heavy reading (or listening, as the case may be) but it's entertaining and worth the read if you just want to be transported to somewhere else for a little while.
"What's wrong with the narrator???"
I enjoy the audio version because of the narrators. I have read some negative comments about the narrator who played the part of Giulia Farnese - but I have to say she has a beautiful voice and is superb with her Italian translation. I would listen to more of her books just for that reason. Too bad there isn't a third book in this series! The narrator who was Leonello was also wonderful - rich, deep voice.
I loved the history - although the author took a bit of liberty with serious true history. It is always fascinating to hear about other cultures and other eras.
I found myself sitting in my car once I reached home to listen to just a bit more. I was sorry to come to the end - which to me is a good sign of a good book!
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