A young Jewish woman is drawn into the splendor and corruption surrounding the court ofthe Borgia pope, Alexander VI, in Bower's debut, a slick historical soap opera. After Esther Sarfati is baptized and becomes alady-in-waiting to the widowed Lucrezia Borgia, the pope's illegitimate daughter, she is attracted to Lucrezia's seductive and cruel brother, Cesare. Esther becomes ensnared in a web of deceit and betrayal as Lucrezia issent in a political marriage to the powerful Alfonso d'Este, heir to the dukedom of Ferrara. Determined to pursue aromance with the elusive Cesare, Esther is increasinglydrawn into the schemes and passions of the Ferrara and Borgiafamilies. While Esther's blind love for the careless and usuallyabsent Cesare strains belief, the sheer grandeur of the papal andFerrara courts, and the spectacle of the Borgia and Ferrarasiblings' rivalries and revenges form a glittering take on one of the most notorious families of the Italian Renaissance.
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