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The Borgia Bride Hardcover – 7 Feb 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Edition 1st Printing edition (7 Feb. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007148828
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007148820
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 844,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'The sumptuous story of a young woman ... The events of her life are gripping, from sexual passion to mortal danger.' -- Philippa Gregory

Book Description

Incest. Poison. Betrayal. Three wedding presents for the Borgia bride...

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I started this book first thing one morning and before I knew it it was 4pm and I was nearing the end!!!! Yes, it really is one of those books that you can't physically put down. The Borgia Bride tells the story of Sancha of Aragon who married into the Borgia family by way of Jofre Borgia. She left her native Naples and ended up in Rome living alongside the famous Borgia clan comprising Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander IV), the infamous Lucrezia Borgia, as well as her husbands brothers, Cesare and Juan who were both to take parts in her life. The authors portrayal of each and every character is incredible and you can really see the settings in your mind's eye. The story really goes full steam ahead when Sancha falls passionately in love with Cesare Borgia, a man she believes is perfect but unfortunately for her, her initial beliefs could not be further from the truth!!! It is in fact the author's portrayal of Lucrezia Borgia which I particularly liked, instead of portraying her as the black widow and evil woman she is usually portrayed as, Lucrezia is shown to be at times simply a political and sexual puppet for her father and brother Cesare. The plot is heart wrenching, gut wrenching, and at times so full of suspense you will find yourself holding your breath. An amazing must read book!!
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Format: Hardcover
I was looking forward to reading this but admit to being a little disappointed in this book. It charts part of the life of Sanchia of Aragon, the illegitimate princess of Naples who married into the notorious Borgia family. It brings to life the scandalous nature of the Borgias, particularly the alleged incestuous relationship between Lucrezia and her father Alexander VI and her brother (and Sanchia's lover) Cesare Borgia. However, the author has chosen to ignore some of the more scandalous facets to Sanchia's character, such as the alleged number of her pre-marital affairs, limiting these to one, and suggests that the only extra-martial love affair was with Cesare Borgia. Sanchia is not as politically scheming as she has been described, although it is pleasant for the protangonist to be someone other than a Borgia in a work of fiction about them. However, this is essentially the problem; the novel is supposed to be about Sanchia but it is actually about the Borgias. This is reinforced when the book ends prematurely (at the fall of the Borgias) and does not detail the remaining years of Sanchia's life, save a brief mention in a postscript to the novel. This feels unsatisfactory as throughout the novel the drama unfolds through Sanchia's eyes but there is no real sense of what Sanchia's conclusion is. It is a well paced and dramatic novel and is very easy to read - I finished it in a couple of days. However, as the book purports to tell Sanchia's story in her own voice, I anticipated a greater attempt to explain her reactions and emotions to the events as they unfolded. Sanchia's love for her younger brother is well developed, but her initial love / lust for Cesare is relatively unexplained and her sudden switching to hate for him lacks the sort of heartache I expected. Overall I would recommend reading this as it is an easy, pleasant read and anyone who enjoys historical fiction will like this a lot.
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Format: Paperback
If you like Phillipa Gregory - with a mix of sex, murder and politics - this is the book for you. Even if historical fiction is not generally your cup of tea, this book will keep you captivated.

The Borgias had always fascinated me with the sensational and often gruesome traces they had left in history - and none more so than Cesare Borgia. That is why I had picked up this book, hoping to gain a deeper understanding of Cesare and the rest of his family from a fiction perspective. I must say that overall, I was not disappointed. As can be seen from the afterword, the author had done her research very well. The Borgias are an enigmatic family - there is little known about the dynasty, save for the few scandalous facts which the author had used to create her scandalous story.

From the beginning the novel was mesmerising; compelling the reader to blindly keep turning the pages even through the night (I had managed to finish the novel in 2 days in between school) - finishing with a gripping finale. The atmosphere the author had built up sucks you in, succeeding in transporting you back to 16th century Italy.

However, I did knock off one star because of the few things that nagged me throughout the novel. First, the explicit sex scenes - though it adds to the whole 'sensational' aspect of the story it was altogether too graphic and degraded the novel. For this reason I cannot readily recommend the book to others as the sexual references can be downright embarrassing. Some parts of the novel I felt were distinctly mediocre, reading like a Hollywood melodrama or elaborate erotica.

Another point was the lack of buildup between Cesare and Sancha - after waiting pages and pages for Cesare to appear, they fall too quickly into love.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book on the basis of a lot of positive reviews and have rarely been so underwhelmed, despite the fact that this is a period of history and a set of characters which I find particularly fascinating.

The author is presented with a fantastic readymade story, and somehow fails to make a compelling novel out of. The best part of the book was the prologue, which doesn't even gel with the story in retrospect. The main character is a cardboard cut-out of a modern woman in Renaissance Italy. The author seems unsure who her villains are from one chapter to the next. I'm all in favour of complex characters, but characters whose motivations and behaviour seem to conflict and contradict one another are confused rather than complex. I would be unlikely to read this author again.
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