The Scarlett Contessa….A Book Review


The scarlett contessa……..Another great historical fiction novel by Jeanne Kalogridis! This one was about the greatest woman warrior of Renaissance Italy, Caterina Sforza. Caterina was a woman definely ahead of her time….not only was she extremely beautiful, but she was a strong and very intelligent woman who ruled her small kingdom and led her armies to defend her land. She was the illigitimate daughter of Galeazzo Sforza, ruler of Milan, and she inherited her father’s courage and strength. Fortunately, she didn’t inherit his monstous personality!

This story is told in the person of Caterina’s fictionalized lady-in-waiting , Dea, which made the story a bit more romanticized! Of course, that is the beauty of historical FICTION….you can get the basic historical facts in a juicier, more interesting fashion!

The book portrays the relationships between the varying rulers of Italy during the Renaissance….and they were all the powerful names of Italian history. There were the Sforzas of Milan, the de Medici’s of Florence, the Borgias from Spain who later took over the Vatican, as well as the King of Naples and the Doges from Venice. The alliances as well as the oh so treacherous betrayals and skirmishes were outlined and described throughout the story. Murders and deceptions in the name of power and control seemed to be the rule of the day! Italy was definitely not a safe and idyllic place back then…and the Vatican was not exempt from the
corruption, either!

This book was very enjoyable, not only for all the historical information, but also for all the romance! I can highly recommend it!

Italy in Books Challenge 2011

2 responses »

  1. Yes, I’ve read that book and loved it. It acted as a sort of tour guide for me when I visited Milan a few years ago because it told me about works of art by Leonardo which I didn’t know existed! That’s why I love historical fiction!!!

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