Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Review: The Borgia Mistress by Sara Poole

Description (from cover):

'Before the Tudors, there were the Bogias. Passionate. Dangerous. Deadly.

From the author of Poison and The Borgia Betrayal comes a new historical thriller, featuring the intriguing and beautiful Borgia court poisoner, Francesca Giordano.

Mistress of death Francesca Giordano--court poisoner to the House of Borgia--returns to confront an ancient atrocity that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance and plunge the world into eternal darkness.

As the enemies of Pope Alexander VI close in and the papal court is forced to flee from Rome, Francesca joins forces with her lover, the brilliant and ruthless Cesare Borgia, to unravel a conspiracy that strikes at the heart of Christendom. But when a shattering secret from her past imperils her precarious hold on sanity, only Francesca's own courage and resolve can draw her back from the brink of madness to save all she values most.'

My thoughts:

I absolutely love the opening line of the description. "Before the Tudors, there were the Borgias.' Heck yeah. The Borgias put the Tudors to shame. You thought the Tudors were the most dangerous family in history, but the Tudors are mild when compared with the Borgias. I absolutely love this family!. They were evil, ruthless and no one got in their way. If someone did, well let's just say, that person always met with an untimely death through an 'accident' or by using their favorite way to administer death--poison. The Borgias were notorious for being poisoners and used any means they could to make sure people bent to their will and they succeeded at any cost. They trusted no one and no one liked them or trusted them as well--if they knew what was good for them.

This novel is the third in the Poisoner series, featuring Francesca Giordano--Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI)'s personal poisoner. This story is an interesting spin on the Borgias and how they remained in power by the simple use of fear. Rome is besieged by conflicting religions and the Catholic Church reigns supreme. At the head of the Church is none other than Papa Borgia, himself. He must use political wiles and strategy to make sure that the safety net he has built up around him and his family comes to no harm. Plots to assassinate him are very common, as he is quite unlikeable, and he relies mainly on Francesca to protect him and to dish out punishment where he sees fit.

The Pope and his retinue flee Rome in order to keep the peace and word soon reaches him that an assassin is on the move. Francesca must use her powerful skills to make sure that the Pope retains his papal throne and that no one can do any harm to his plans. People in the Pope's household start turning up dead and Francesca must find out who is killing people and why. Francesca's past keeps popping up and she finds herself utterly confused and lost. She must figure out how to deal with her past in order to remain in the present to protect not only herself, but Papa Borgia himself.

Now onto my review: I was bored, bored, bored with this one. The plot was so obvious it was like a neon sign in the dark. I couldn't wait to finish it. I loved the Borgias and their evilness, but the story was just bland. Take one of the most infamous families of all times and turn it into a book and you think it would be captivating. Nope. The first two in this series were really good and I really enjoyed them, but this one lacked the essence its predecessors had. I really hope that this series revives itself or I will be very sad. A book about the Borgias should be nothing less than a thriller and this book was definitely not. I encourage readers to read Poison and The Borgia Betrayal, and if you want to skip this one, its not really a loss. Might save you from being disappointed actually. And to actually think that I was dying to read this one. Shame. Apparently readers on give it rave reviews and I'm really confused. Did I miss something here?

Overall Rating: 2

Title:  The Borgia Mistress
Author:  Sara Poole
Series:  Poisoner Mystery #3
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date:  May 22, 2012
Pages:  416
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.


  1. You write excellent reviews, Kimberlee! I appreciate honest feedback. Too bad this one was so disappointing.

    1. Thanks for the lovely compliment. I use honesty in my reviews because that is what I expect from other reviews!! Thanks so much for stopping by!


  2. I have been wanting to read a book about the Borgia's. I am going to check out the books you suggested and will not bother with this one. Thanks for the review!

    1. No problem. I hope you enjoy the Borgias as much as I do. They were such interesting people.


  3. Great review and an insightful opinion. Thanks, Kimberlee! I love your blog!! Thanks for visiting me, too. :]

  4. Thanks for stopping by!!


  5. I agree, great review. I have had Poison on my kindle for so long, I need to read it now. Thanks


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