I didn't care about Carmelina or the dwarf Leonello. Leonello was my favorite character. She stays pretty close to the history too, taking liberties only when necessary and filling in the historical gaps with her own ideas to keep the story moving along. Slandered as a heartless seductress who lured men to their doom, was she in fact the villainess of legend, or was she trapped in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and survival? A stunning story of love, passion, intrigue, and betrayal shrouded under the guise of politics and religion. She is just that good.
I will definitely be reading The Lion and the Rose. She seemed to grow into a character around the mid-point of the book, and I started to enjoy her sections of the book more. Each narrator has their own worries and goals, not necessarily in line with the wishes of those around them. If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be? There was plenty of high fashion. The Borgia family begins its legendary rise, chronicled by an innocent girl who finds herself drawn into their dangerous web.
I picked this out to read on a train because I was struggling to concentrate on anything 'heavier', and although I wasn't expecting much from it, I found it immensely enjoyable. A very entertaining and surprisingly sympathetic novel about the Borgias set in Rome in the late 15th century. Being familiar with The Borgias and Renaissance Italy, I had a hard time believing this one. I didn't care for any of the characters. The writer has an annoying tendency to harp on specific characterizations over and over again: Julia has long hair, the dwarf character is short and the cook is thin.
In her own way, each heroine starts out vulnerable and finds ways to make themselves strong. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betrayal. It certainly doesn't seem to be the Renaissance period. Does the electronic version of the book completely replace the paper version? Another thing Quinn is great at is creating secondary not actually historic figures that you really want to know about and get emotionally attached to. The sex is mostly fade-to-black, although there is plenty of off-color language.
Carmelina, too, learnt the skill and craft of fine cooking in her father's kitchen, though as a woman she could never have hoped to make a living from it, only a reasonable marriage. It tried too hard to be authentic with basic Italian words italicized , which caused me to get annoyed. I had my phone stuffed into my bra, blasting The Serpent and the Pearl in my face while I stood precariously on a chair to reach the very high ceiling with a roller. There is gorgeous Giulia, who is forced to become the mistress to Cardinal Borgia. Leonello was a poor dwarf who taught himself to read, while Tyrion was born with a silver spoon and had everything at his disposal. . Whereupon I got another email from the same individual, asking me for money.
She is just that good. She is kind, loving, passionate. Carmelina was just a little too one-note for my tastes. This is my first time reading a Kate Quinn novel, and I must say I'm very impressed. This was a wonderful read to absorb a mostly historically accurate story of a family I knew nothing about.
I cannot wait until the next book comes out. Read the book on paper - it is quite a powerful experience. The wedding is being held at the opulent home of Cardinal Borgia, Madonna Adriana's cousin, and Maestro Santini and his cooks have taken over the large kitchens to prepare an amazing feast. I feel like I'm one of the few readers who is creeped the eff out by this pope guy. The Holy City is drenched with blood and teeming with secrets. The author knew she was taking liberties and just went with it.
I can't wait to read The Serpent and The Pearl's sequel, but I'm also planning to purchase the entire Empress of Rome series. The Holy City is drenched with blood and teeming with secrets. She really knows how to draw a reader in and keep her interested. This story is just gorgeous - you close your eyes and you are back in 15th century Rome. It took me far less time to warm up to Leonello, though.
Giulia initially resists Rodrigo's courtship, but in the end she figures she does not really have much of a choice: her husband is a spineless man who won't fight Borgia for her, and she also starts to feel something for the unsettling, ambiguous but charming Rodrigo. Still I had great fun--it's a page-turner and I've already ordered the sequel. Readers who are less enthusiastic about food might find Carmelina's chapters a little tiresome, but for me they were a high point of the novel. I don't read historical fiction so that I can learn about history, but I really do enjoy being able to get a sense of a place and time other than my own here and now. The Borgias is the epitome of libertinism and nepotism. It comes from watching three ultimately powerless figures struggle to bring an untouchable criminal to justice in a world he very nearly controls. What did you like most about The Serpent and the Pearl? The story is written from the eyes of 3 main characters: Carmelina- the runaway cook who hides a dire secret of her own, Guilia Farnese- the beautiful concubine of the Pope and Leonello - the dwarf in service of the Borgia women for protection who also has an agenda of his own.