Another great book from Kate Quinn. This is the second book in the story of the Borgia’s of Rome in the 1490’s, following the first, ‘The Serpent and the Pearl’. I read very late to finish this – I could not go to sleep until I knew how it would end. This is a shade darker than the first book, as it deals with Rodrigo and his grown up family and their total lack of conscience when it comes to what they want. But it is the wonderful Guilia Farnese and her loyal retainers and friends, Carmelina the cook, and Leonella her little ‘Lion Man’ and bodyguard, who steal the book. I could not help loving them, and their stories. The historical research is excellent, and events such as the impact of Fra Savonarola and the Bonfire of the Vanities in Florence are enlightening. I am sorry there is not another book in the series.