The Serpent and the Pearl

The Serpent and the Pearl One powerful family holds a city a faith and a woman in its grasp from the national bestselling author of Daughters of Rome and Mistress of Rome Rome The Holy City is drenched with blood and t

One powerful family holds a city, a faith, and a woman in its grasp from the national bestselling author of Daughters of Rome and Mistress of Rome Rome, 1492 The Holy City is drenched with blood and teeming with secrets A pope lies dying and the throne of God is left vacant, a prize awarded only to the most virtuous or the most ruthless The Borgia family beginsOne powerful family holds a city, a faith, and a woman in its grasp from the national bestselling author of Daughters of Rome and Mistress of Rome Rome, 1492 The Holy City is drenched with blood and teeming with secrets A pope lies dying and the throne of God is left vacant, a prize awarded only to the most virtuous or the most ruthless The Borgia family begins its legendary rise, chronicled by an innocent girl who finds herself drawn into their dangerous web Vivacious Giulia Farnese has floor length golden hair and the world at her feet beauty, wealth, and a handsome young husband But she is stunned to discover that her glittering marriage is a sham, and she is to be given as a concubine to the ruthless, charismatic Cardinal Borgia Spaniard, sensualist, candidate for Pope and passionately in love with her Two trusted companions will follow her into the Pope s shadowy harem Leonello, a cynical bodyguard bent on bloody revenge against a mysterious killer, and Carmelina, a fiery cook with a past full of secrets But as corruption thickens in the Vatican and the enemies begin to circle, Giulia and her friends will need all their wits to survive in the world of the Borgias.

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The Serpent and the Pearl

  1. Kate Quinn is a New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor s and Master s degree in Classical Voice A lifelong history buff, she has written seven historical novels, including the bestselling The Alice Network, the Empress of Rome Saga, and the Borgia Chronicle All have been translated into multiple languages Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with two black dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox.

722 Reply to “The Serpent and the Pearl”

  1. I will read anything this author writes She is just that good 4.5 stars A stunning story of love, passion, intrigue, and betrayal shrouded under the guise of politics and religion This book has so many twists and turns that it s almost impossible to predict where it will go next While each character is flawed, you can t help but love them all Giulia Farnese comes in close second in a list of my most favorite Kate Quinn characters Thea will always have the top spot Giulia is both gentle and feroc [...]

  2. Three and a half stars and if I hadn t read it right after a Georgette Heyer it would probably be four stars A very entertaining and surprisingly sympathetic novel about the Borgias set in Rome in the late 15th century Wonderfully atmospheric and those gowns Quinn sets the scene brilliantly and her characters and their motives are believable There was plenty of high fashion.And even delightfully there were lots of mouth watering dishes served up by the feisty cook, Carmelina, who became my favo [...]

  3. 3.5 Stars I freely admit that I knew next to nothing about the Borgias before reading this book I know a little bit now, because this book inspired me to do some reading about them, but I d say it s safe to assume I m not an expert So, I will not be critiquing this book based on any inaccuracies with the characters or liberties with the timelines, etc Though, to be fair, in the author s note at the end, Kate Quinn does mention taking some liberties with historical facts to fit her story Overall [...]

  4. A strange trio of main characters in this delightful telling of the era of the Borgia Pope Alexander the sixth from the eyes of his gorgeous lover the Venus of the Vatican, Guilia Farnese, her cook Carmelina and her bodyguard Leonella I have to tell you, they certainly made them pope s a bit different back then Holy moly This story revolves around the power and the politics, the fashion and the beauty and the many secrets that surround the main characters Carmelina will leave your mouth watering [...]

  5. Renaissance food in yummy detail, a sophisticated, lascivious pope and his gorgeous not to mention smart and courageous concubine, murders reflecting some fascinating if sick mental states, an ornery but lovable dwarf, a mummified saint s hand with strong opinions what is not to like about Kate Quinn s foray into the world of the Borgias I ve enjoyed Quinn s novels set in the Roman period and I viewed her defection from the ancient world with mixed feelings, but she is now forgiven The Serpent a [...]

  6. DNF at 25% because what the damn hell I feel like I m one of the few readers who is creeped the eff out by this pope guy His slimy flirting made me itchy and uncomfortable, but Giulia s allowance of it was even disturbing And in front of his young daughter While she made Giulia a crown of wildflowers While he talked about how he wanted her naked on her back in the meadow What the damm hell.I skimmed a few other reviews to see that Giulia even ends up falling for this creeper later on and that w [...]

  7. The Italian Renaissance is one of my favourite periods in history, so when novels that are set in this time are in s kindle sale offers me immediately downloading them is inevitable I ve also read three of Quinn s Ancient Rome novels, so was familiar with the author and thought my enjoyment of this story was secure This is a multiple POV story, the focus being on Guilia Farnese, the historical mistress of Rodrigo Borgia Pope Alexander VI , and the fictional characters Carmelina, a cook, and Leo [...]

  8. I am really beginning to love Kate Quinn s work I am starting to turn to her novels when I need a book that I know I will like They have yet to let me down.The characters in The Serpent and the Pearl definitely cannot claim to be very virtuous Each character, even if they have the best intentions in mind, has a bit of a corrupted side Not that I mind The ill mannered do know how to bring the drama to the table I found myself really liking Leonello at the beginning, but my feelings started to tur [...]

  9. If only I had time, I would have completed this much faster This was an engrossing read, that I never wanted to put it down It involved the real family of the Borgias in the late 15th century who were responsible for scandal in the papacy They had illegitimate children, concubines, wealth, and plenty of malice The characters, both fictional and historical, were dynamic people with independent thoughts and humor The only reason it is missing that last star is because she didn t clarify Italian w [...]

  10. I received this book as a part of a Goodread s First Reads giveaway.The Serpent and the Pearl by Kate Quinn is fantastic historical fiction novel set in the late 15th century Italy.This book has drama, murder, romance, humor, and a dash of hunger by this I mean at points the descriptions of the delicious food will make you hungry various character viewpoints including Rome s most beautiful woman stuck in an adulterous relationship, A runaway chef with a stolen mummified hand, and a knife throwin [...]

  11. This book was really wonderful Kate Quinn has such an ability to create an atmosphere in a specific time period Carmelita s dishes were mouth watering, Leonello was funny with his sharp mind, and Giulia was a very endearing character I liked the entire Borgia family descriptions Lucrezia, Cesara, Rodigo , they were really well done, and as I said before all the scandals and politics of Rome were present in the novel I can t wait to read The Serpent and The Pearl s sequel, but I m also planning t [...]

  12. The Borgias are one of those popular subjects in historical fiction that, for me, just don t captivate my imagination I know I m gaping at me in disbelief, too IT MAKES NO SENSE There is so much rich potential in the basic story for unending fascination the corruption of the Western world s greatest superpower the Vatican , plotting and scheming, sumptuous settings, rumors of all kinds of skeevy things like murders and incest and not just regular incest but ornate polygons formed of super incest [...]

  13. So I ll be honest I wasn t paying attention when I entered this giveaway, and I mistook this novel as a fantasy story judging by the very lovely cover and title When I won, I found out it was historical fiction, set in the 1400 s Borgia era in Italy I wasn t disappointed, but I certainly didn t know what to expect when I started it, as I have zero knowledge of that time period.But holy shit, The Serpent and the Pearl is one bad ass novel.Some may see a book like this and pawn it off as historica [...]

  14. 4 debauched stars for SP Rome, 1492.The runaway cook reached her destination, a long way from Venice She rapped at the door that opened to a bustling kitchen the cooks and the scullions scurrying about preparing dishes for the wedding feast At the same moment, a dwarf with his lady friend were walking along the crowded street the city peopled with curious onlookers A wedding procession everyone s craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the beauty Like everyone else, the dwarf gaped at the beau [...]

  15. A lively, humorous, rollicking read In fact, it was so good I didn t CARE whether or not it was historically accurate In fact, I would forgive Kate Quinn almost anything if she would just WRITE FASTER This is the first half of a pair about the mysteries around the Borgia family I like how Kate Quinn deals with the various issues, using her trademark irreverent prose The fictitious characters of Carmelina and Leonello are engaging and Giulia Farnese is as sympathetic a figure as a character can b [...]

  16. What a shame I enjoyed Quinn s previous books, but I yielded this one at 165 I was excited to read a book on Giulia Farnese, but Quinn fell flat I didn t care about Carmelina or the dwarf Leonello What is it with authors and dwarfs lately Being familiar with The Borgias and Renaissance Italy, I had a hard time believing this one It tried too hard to be authentic with basic Italian words italicized , which caused me to get annoyed I didn t care for any of the characters I simply did not enjoy thi [...]

  17. First off, I want to say how much I enjoy Kate Quinn s books She really knows how to draw a reader in and keep her interestedI purposely kept myself ignorant of the Borgia s once I knew she was writing a new series about them I had long been interested, but hadn t searched out a good book to help me learn of them That being said, I felt like the story we got in Serpent was great I m currently looking for other Borgia books to read until her next in the series comes out 2014 Another thing Quinn i [...]

  18. I knew absolutely nothing of the Borgias family and when I Googled them words like depravity, corruption, incest popped up Just don t Google what Pope Alexander IV looked like because he really was quite ugly, which goes against his reputation as ladies man with multiple mistresses.In Italy the Pope was the equivalent of the Royal family to England and he could basically do as he pleases, including taking another man s wife as his concubine AND moving her into a luxury house right next to the Va [...]

  19. This was a quick, easy introduction to the Borgias It was my first Kate Quinn book and for some reason I expected something a bit highbrow, instead it was fun, fast paced and entertaining I liked all three the main characters but Leonello, the dwarf bodyguard, was my firm favorite It felt a bit like Tyrion Lannester from Game of Thrones was making a guest appearance I definitely want to read about the Borgias, and think I will try Blood Beauty The Borgias quite soon For those of you who are no [...]

  20. I read this book for 2 reasons 1 I loved Kate Quinn s Rome series and will basically read anything she writes in the hope that it was good2 I m interested in the Borgias but know little about them and thought this might be a good place to start.Fortunately, I was right about both Quinn once again does a great job both world and character building, diving you straight into the politics and culture of the time while simultaneously getting you caught up in the characters The story is told from 3 PO [...]

  21. The Serpent and the Pearl is the first book in the Borgias series by Kate Quinn Like her Rome novels, it is written in a lovely, witty style, and it features a believable setting and very likeable characters It is a highly enjoyable read however, I found it to be a little weaker compared to the other books I have read by this author Mistress of Rome and Daughters of Rome The strongest point of the book are definitely the three narrators and protagonists Giulia Farnese, who was the notorious conc [...]

  22. So much fun 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 I really liked the first couple of books in Quinn s Empress of Rome series, but found the third dull this one reminded me what I enjoyed so much about those first two It also confirmed my suspicion also discussed in my review of Karen Maitland s The Vanishing Witch that I d rather read unashamedly trashy histor [...]

  23. I ll admit that I forgot the release date for this one, but as soon as my book deprived brain remembered, it was straight to the bookstore and home again with my prize, giggling maniacally and practically twitching with excitement Well, I m happy to say that once again, Kate Quinn has broken my bad book streak and vaulted me back into the reading saddle That being said, I didn t think this book was 100% as good as her previous works for reasons I ll get into later.The Serpent and the Pearl is ab [...]

  24. The Borgia family are always fascinating to read about, regardless of whether you take the rumours of incest and poison and other dark sins as gospel, or go digging a little further to provide an image that s a little human a little closer to the truth, perhaps Quinn has definitely given her readers a sympathetic portrait of her version of the famous family, but her characters are complex enough that it is very easy to imagine a cold, calculating side to her Rodrigo While her Lucrezia may sti [...]

  25. The Serpent and the Pearl is the first book in Kate Quinn s two part series on the infamous Borgia family The second book, The Lion and the Rose comes out very early in 2014 I am sooo excited for that book after reading this one If you like your historical fiction served with a side of deliciousness, this will be a good pick for you.The book follows three characters and I loved all three of them There is gorgeous Giulia, who is forced to become the mistress to Cardinal Borgia There is Carmelina, [...]

  26. Kate Quinn has reignited my love of historical romance I love how she sticks to the history without making it dry and boring.Giulia Farnese was just another pretty noble lady getting married when she discovered the duplicity behind her marriage Cardinal Borgia Spaniard, sensualist, candidate for Pope and passionately in love with her had convinced her coward of a husband to allow her to be his mistress.Of course Giulia refused, at first But the pope s adoration for her eventually wore down her d [...]

  27. Rating 3.5 starsI ve been a fan of Kate Quinn since I picked up her debut novel a few years back Her stories of ancient and historical Rome instantly made her a hit in my eyes and made her following novels must reads on my list The Serpent and the Pearl which debuts later this summer is no exception This time around, Quinn tells the story of the Borgia s one of the most truly infamous families of the time In The Serpent and the Pearl, Quinn very nicely illustrates the story of the lascivious Rod [...]

  28. The Serpent and the Pearl is Renaissance Rome as seen through the eyes of three disparate members of the Borgia entouragea fugitive cook, a murderous dwarf turned bodyguard, and the infamous Giulia Farnese, beauty of Rome, duped young bride, and ultimately mistress to a Pope and a woman to be reckoned with A fascinating story of love, lust, corruption, murder, and intrigue, Kate Quinn does not just tell a story her humor, meticulous research, vivid prose, and beautifully crafted characters provi [...]

  29. Having just finished watching the last season of HBO s The Borgias , I couldn t help but picture the characters in this book like the actors in the show I enjoyed this book very much 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 andLeonello the dwarf in service of the Borgia women for protection who also has an agenda of his own.Leonello was my favorite character I loved his [...]

  30. I loved having the lives of the late 15th century Borgias fleshed out into a possible reality that kind of stuff is always fun and the author does it really well Was I p ed off that the book didn t really end Yup Will I look for the sequel Definitely.

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