Continuing with my new obsession of the Borgia family I happily grabbed Rafael Sabatini's biography of one of my favorite Borgia family members and devoured it over the course of a Friday night (a glass of wine was included in this adventure).
I had just finished reading The Family when I dove into a more factual telling of Cesare's life. However, I was pleasantly surprised that when Mario Puzo wrote The Family he really did stick to the facts of what happened to Cesare as he grew up and conquered so many lands. Sabantini is straight to the point with each important event that occurred during Cesare's life however he makes sure to also include all of the rumors that surrounded the family.
Now, if you do not know of the Borgia family, allow me to mention once more that this family was forever being followed by tales that completely conflict one another. Many times the supposive 'crimes' that the Borgia's committed were never true or at the very least suspected not to be. This family was powerful and this family, much like anyone with power, had a lot of enemies. If you were to have an enemy would you not suspect them to try and destroy you in any way possible? So why not use what you can against that whom you want to destroy?
So much of the more terrible things that Cesare Borgia and his family 'did' are suspected to be nasty rumors derived by their enemies and Sabatini makes it pretty clear that all negative talk about the family was just that- rumors. Sabatini does a great job knocking down every single rumor that was mentioned with a list of arguments that left me, as the reader, thinking "How could people believe these rumors in the first place?"
I'm partial to any information about Cesare and his relationship with Lucrezia. I am an only child and have fantasized that if I had a sibling we would be incredibly close to one another and I feel that these two siblings embodied that love. (No, not incest, head out of the gutter, please). However, there was very little mention about Lucrezia other than when something in her life directly affected Cesare himself. But, this is the life of Cesare so I guess it makes sense and if I want to learn more about their friendship I'll have to look elsewhere.
The fact is that I felt I got as much information about Cesare Borgia and his history as I could within this book. It did what it was made to do: Inform me on this man who was said to be incredibly handsome and filled with determination. If you are interested in the Borgia family and would like to know more about my favorite Borgia guy, I suggest you get thee to a bookstore or amazon and get this book.