Poison: A Novel of the Renaissance
by Sara Poole
The whole idea of "Poisoner" as heroine...begs the comparisons to the like-able serial killer Dexter. But in the Renaissance Era, the setting for this debut novel from Sara Poole, that is a legitimate profession.
Poison: A Novel of the Renaissance begins as our heroine, Francesca Giordano, takes over her father's job as head poisoner for the Borgia family (YES - those Borgias'). Cardinal Borgia wants to become pope, so this could be a deadly position that Francesca finds herself in. With her father recently killed under mysterious circumstances...threats to the Borgias' are numerous (meals and clothing must be routinely checked for poison planted by rival families). Francesca turns out to be one of the greatest poisoners in what was perhaps the most dangerous and corrupt eras, the late-fifteenth-century Rome.
Poole weaves history and fiction in a tale that will satisfy even the most discriminating follower of renaissance history...if you are a fan of Mistress of the Art of Death this should be right up your alley!
In the simmering hot summer of 1492, a monstrous evil is stirring within the Eternal City of Rome. The brutal murder of an alchemist sets off a desperate race to uncover the plot that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance and plunge Europe back into medieval darkness.
Determined to avenge the killing of her father, Francesca Giordano defies all convention to claim for herself the position of poisoner serving Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, head of the most notorious and dangerous family in Italy. She becomes the confidante of Lucrezia Borgia and the lover of Cesare Borgia. At the same time, she is drawn to the young renegade monk who yearns to save her life and her soul.
Navigating a web of treachery and deceit, Francesca pursues her father’s killer from the depths of Rome’s Jewish ghetto to the heights of the Vatican itself. In so doing, she sets the stage for the ultimate confrontation with ancient forces that will seek to use her darkest desires to achieve their own catastrophic ends.