A self-serving political player in sixteenth-century Rome is caught up in the ruthless and powerful Borgia family’s deadly intrigues of murder and betrayal
It is known as the City of God—but Rome at the dawn of the sixteenth century is an unholy place where opulence, poverty, and decadence cohabitate sinfully under the ruthless rule of Rodrigo Borgia, the debauched Pope Alexander VI. Englishman Nicholas Dawson is secretary to the ineffectual ambassador of Florence and, as such, finds himself linked to Borgias’ murderous machinations, specifically the brutal power plays of the warlord Cesare, the pope’s bastard son. A skilled liar, conspirator, spy, and manipulator—a man drawn to power and the pleasures of excess—Dawson coolly plays his part in Rome’s draconian political dramas with an eye to personal gain and no true allegiance to any side or player. But his attraction to a beautiful and very dangerous young man soon threatens to bring Dawson’s secret enterprises crashing down around him, dooming him to a brutal and ignoble fate.
The great Cecelia Holland is acclaimed as one of America’s premier creators of historical fiction. With City of God she brings a remarkable epoch and a legendary family of scoundrels and murderers to breathtaking life—the corrupt patriarch pope; the suspiciously widowed and incestuous daughter, Lucrezia; Cesare, the bloodthirsty conqueror; and the tragically imprisoned and damned Caterina Sforza. Holland has written a stunning tale of betrayal, deception, and blood.