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The Serpent and the Pearl (Novel of the Borgias) Library Binding – 6 Aug 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Library Binding: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books (6 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606316159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606316156
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,259,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A masterful storyteller." --Margaret George


The novels of Kate Quinn are...

"Full of great characters."--Diana Gabaldon, #1 "New York Times" bestselling author

"Epic, sexy."--"Publishers Weekly "(starred review)

"Deeply passionate."--Kate Furnivall, author of "The White Pearl"

"A riveting plunge into an ancient world."--C. W. Gortner, author of "The Queen's Vow"


"A masterful storyteller." --Margaret George

The novels of Kate Quinn are...
"Full of great characters."--Diana Gabaldon, #1 "New York Times" bestselling author
"Epic, sexy."--"Publishers Weekly "(starred review)
"Deeply passionate."--Kate Furnivall, author of "The White Pearl"
"A riveting plunge into an ancient world."--C. W. Gortner, author of "The Queen's Vow"


"A masterful storyteller." --Margaret George

The novels of Kate Quinn are...
"Full of great characters."--Diana Gabaldon, #1 "New York Times" bestselling author
"Epic, sexy."--"Publishers Weekly "(starred review)
"Deeply passionate."--Kate Furnivall, author of "The White Pearl"
"A riveting plunge into an ancient world."--C. W. Gortner, author of "The Queen's Vow"

A masterful storyteller. Margaret George

The novels of Kate Quinn are
Full of great characters. Diana Gabaldon, #1 "New York Times" bestselling author
Epic, sexy. "Publishers Weekly "(starred review)
Deeply passionate. Kate Furnivall, author of "The White Pearl"
A riveting plunge into an ancient world. C. W. Gortner, author of "The Queen s Vow"" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Kate Quinn is a native of Southern California . She attended Boston University, where she earned a bachelor's and master s degree in classical voice. A lifelong history buff, she s written three previous novels set in ancient Rome -- "Mistress of Rome," "Daughters of Rome," and" Empress of the Seven Hills" -- all of which have been translated into multiple languages. Kate lives in Maryland with her husband." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`The Serpent of and the Pearl' is the captivating tale of Giulia Farnese, mistress of Pope Alexander VI. The novel begins in 1492 with the wedding of eighteen-year-old beauty Giulia Farnese to Orsino Orsini and finishes with the invasion of the French in 1494. Carmelina, a spirited cook with secrets, and Leonello, a bodyguard with wits as sharp as his knives join sliver-tongued Giulia as narrators and witnesses to the rise of the infamous Borgia clan. The story is a mixture of surprising seductions, gruesome murders accompanied by a large dose of dark humour and no small amount of cooking. This book will shock you, make you laugh and it most certainly will ruin your diet.

The feel of Renaissance Rome is really well recreated in the story, especially by Carmelina and her amazing senses of smell and taste. I liked the musings on the Renaissance's very ridged roles for woman (nun, wife or whore) between Giulia and Carmelina, whether they had to pick and stick with one forever, as Giulia's mother believed, or if they could be more flexible, as Carmelina claimed. The confrontation between Giulia and Vannozza dei Cattani was delicious to read, I couldn't put the book down during that scene. I was trying to work out Carmelina's past throughout the whole book, while Leonello's hunt for a serial killer with a nasty habit for staking young women had me on the edge of my seat and biting my nails. I loved that for all her famed beauty Giulia, for whom every occasion is an occasion to eat, struggled to maintain her figure. Any scene in the kitchen Carmelina completely dominated and kept me giggling (if feeling slightly sorry for the apprentices).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was a bit cautious about this book before I started it - I have read too many so-called Historical novels that have been more akin to Mills and Boon. I need not have worried. The author uses three different viewpoints for the story, only one of which is from a real historical personage. The other two are fictional (I believe), but are thoroughly believable. The result is a cracking good novel set among some of the most dramatic events in Italian/Papal history, and told with a wry sense of humour which is really refreshing. There were a couple of places where the story slowed for me, but not many. My ideal score would be 4.5, and I will certainly be reading the sequal to this in the near future. If it is as good as this novel, I will be adding this author to my favourites.
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This is a marvellous read, telling the story of the Borgias through the eyes of three characters: Giulia Farnese, Carmelina the cook and the dwarf Leonello. Each character's narrative is compelling, and written in a style that their own. I was engrossed from the first page, and sorry to reach the end of the book; looking forward to reading the sequel. I would heartily recommend any of Kate Quinn's books - she has done a great job with this one!
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I don't normally like novels where the protagonist changes every few chapters but this one had me hooked. All three characters who tell their stories are interesting, and it is refreshing to see Rome and the Borgia Pope's rule from three unusual viewpoints….that of his young mistress Giulia Farnese, that of a dwarf who gets mixed up with the family, and that of a Venetian cook with secrets of her own. As usual Kate Quinn's style draws you in to the action and her descriptive writing, evocation of the Rome of the period and her characterisation are superb. The only gripe I have is the ending… various parts of the action are unresolved, and it seems likely to me that Quinn is setting the story up to be continued in the next novel. If that is the case however, I can't wait for the next instalment to appear!
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I nearly gave this one star but I so like KQ's work that my heart was not in it. Should have been one. Paid good money for this book and dropped it - well, deleted on Kindle - after chapter four. Just dull.

I loved the Roman books, oh, of course they were modern romps through Rome, but they were fresh and original and I liked the characters - even if they were a bit Creative Writing Class 101. I bought them all. If this is the future I won't buy again.

The Borgias should be rich in subject matter and as the story based on real people (in some cases) it should be an easy leap of imagination to get a page-turner. And here we have the wicked Cardinal and his sinful children and ways in the famous election. This isn't that exciting a book. This is an example of a writer who is churning out books and needs to take a step back.

The characters in each book are now becoming 'samey' - the rough edged bloke with problems, the working glass feisty maid, the rich girl and her problems and selfish ways. You can only do them so many times. And all in the first person, too.

I started by liking the three characters and the setting and raced through chapter one. And plodded through two. And in three did anything happen? This book lacks pace.

I'm sorry. Loved all the other books. Sure there will be fans who love this. Just not for Matron.
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