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Publisher's Summary

The author of Blood and Beauty returns with another captivating novel about Renaissance Italy and one of history's most notorious families. Before the Corleones, before the Lannisters, there were the Borgias.

Best-selling novelist Sarah Dunant has long been drawn to the high drama of Renaissance Italy: power, passion, beauty, brutality, and the ties of blood. With In the Name of the Family, she offers a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia's final years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolò Machiavelli.

It is 1502, and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womanizer and master of political corruption, is now on the papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, age 22 - already three times married and a pawn in her father's plans - is discovering her own power. And then there is his son Cesare Borgia, brilliant, ruthless, and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with Machiavelli that gives the Florentine diplomat a master class in 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 increasingly erratic behavior, it is Lucrezia who must navigate the treacherous court of Urbino, her new home, and another challenging marriage to create her own place in history.

Sarah Dunant again employs her remarkable gifts as a storyteller to bring to life the passionate men and women of the Borgia family as well as the ever-compelling figure of Machiavelli, through whom the listener will experience one of the most fascinating - and doomed - dynasties of all time.

©2017 Sarah Dunant (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Hedonism, lust, political intrigue.... With so much drama, readers won't want the era of Borgia rule to end." ( People)
"Dunant transforms the blackhearted Borgias and the conniving courtiers and cardinals of Renaissance Europe into fully rounded characters, brimming with life and lust." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"Compelling female players have been a characteristic of Dunant's earlier novels, and this new offering is no exception.... The members of this close-knit family emerge as dynamic characters, flawed but sympathetic, filled with fear and longing." ( The Seattle Times)

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

One of the best historical fiction novels

I love the mix of documented facts and details of the period. The book is both educational and entertaining. The narrator's voice is wonderful to listen to!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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What A Well Told Story!

Sarah does a wonderful job telling this story. She captures Lucrezia Borgia especially well.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Great Palace Intrigue

Really well written, with fantastic imagery and wonderful detail. Treacherous, duplicitous behavior by those high & holy - some things seem to never change, but was flagrantly vicious & violent in the Renaissance. I suggest first reading "Leonardo: The First Scientist" by Michael White ....great historical background accompaniment to this. Highly recommend both audiobooks!

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loved it

wonderful story enjoyed every minute of it very well read. narrated well will read again

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Outstanding Historical Treatment

I very nearly did not purchase this book having read a surfeit of Borgia (et al) history, but Dunant's book combined with the exceptionally talented performance of Nicholas Bolton brought astounding vitality to Machiavelli, the Borgias and all the many peripheral people of their time and place that, unlike so many a drier histories, I could not stop listening. They absolutely brought the era to life, alive and juicy!