City of God - Cecelia Holland

~First book of 2019~

 

I do not know too much about the Borgia family, who for a while ruled over large parts of Italy but had wider desires still. Much of what I know I got from watching Horrible Histories and playing Assassin's Creed (the one set in Rome being my favorite). City of God takes you along the path of the English Nicholas, as he tries to sneak his way in the Borgias good graces.

It is entirely my own fault that it stood on my shelves for so long, however, when I started reading I suddenly remembered why. There was an error in my e-copy, making that there wasn't a single pagebreak in the entire book. All text was pasted together, making me guess as to when the scenes had changed (considering this is a book filled with conspiracy and backstabbing, imagine my initial surprises when I missed a change of scene and thought someone present at the actual meeting where they discuss his murder). While annoying, the book was still more than readable.

While I enjoyed the setting, and the level of scheming is worthy of Game of Thrones, I missed a connection to the main character. Why does he do what he does? And more importantly, why should we, as readers, care? He always felt very distant and even when personal tragedy strikes, I didn't feel for him. I fear this will not be a book that stays with me over time.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!