Review: In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

`It is better to be feared than loved’ – Niccolo Machiavelli

In the bear pit of renaissance politics, a young Florentine diplomat finds himself first hand observer on the history’s most notorious family – the Borgias.

In the Name of the Family – as Blood and Beauty did before – holds up a mirror to a turbulent moment of history, sweeping aside the myths to bring alive the real Borgia family; complicated, brutal, passionate and glorious. Here is a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia’s doomed years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli.

It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womaniser and master of political corruption is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two, already thrice married and a pawn in her father’s plans, is discovering her own power. And then there is Cesare Borgia: brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with the diplomat Machiavelli which offers a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What Machiavelli learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince.

But while the pope rails against old age and his son’s increasing maverick behavior, it is Lucrezia who will become the Borgia survivor: taking on her enemies and creating her own place in history.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunate is deep political read. A family swamped with political tension, betrayal, and revenge. A daughter who helps her father as much as her brother tries to destroy their father.  So many themes are found inside this book…it was an adventure of a lifetime. The historical novel captured the time period and politics down perfectly. It felt as though I traveled back in time. There was plenty of action to keep me attention. Murder, corruption, and power were the central themes featured on every page. The children of the Pope felt more like pawns than anything else. The daughter was a pawn for the Pope’s own gain. The son became a hungry Mongolia for more power and influence. The level that each of these three main characters stooped to was engaging as it was sad. Too many viewpoints were told in this book. I would have enjoyed it more if there just two different viewpoints at most telling their side of the story. The historical time period was what made this an entertaining tale. I couldn’t connect with the main characters, which was really disappointing. Overall, good but could have been better.

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