In The Name of the Family is the second of Sarah Dunant’s duology about the Borgias, and Lucrezia in particular. The Pope and Cesare are tightening their grip on central Italy in their drive to gain ever more power for the papal states while Lucrezia is about to be married into the highly aristocratic d’Este family Dukes of Ferrara, who would never have a deigned to ally themselves with the bastard child of an upstart pope if it wasn’t for the size of her dowry.
One of the best parts, out of many good things, about this book is the charecterisation, no-one is two dimensional, they are absolutely of their time (no obviously modern thinking) and while she doesn’t shy away from the utter ruthlessness of many of those she’s writing about they’re also absolutely human.
This is historical fiction as it should be, you’ll finish it feeling as if you’ve just been to renaissance Italy. Highly recommended but do read Blood and Beauty its predecessor first.