Against a teeming canvas of Borgia politics, NiccolO Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci come together to unmask an enigmatic serial killer, as we learn the secret history behind one of the most controversial works in the western canon, The Prince... When Pope Alexander dispatches a Vatican courtesan, Damiata, to the remote fortress city of Imola to learn the truth behind the murder of Juan, his most beloved illegitimate son, she cannot fail, for the scheming Borgia pope holds her own young son hostage. Once there, Damiata becomes a pawn in the political intrigues of the pope's surviving son, the charismatic Duke Valentino, whose own life is threatened by the condottieri, a powerful cabal of mercenary warlords. Damiata suspects that the killer she seeks is one of the brutal condottierri, and as the murders multiply, her quest grows more urgent. She enlists the help of an obscure Florentine diplomat, NiccolO Machiavelli, and Valentino's eccentric military engineer, Leonardo da Vinci, who together must struggle to decipher the killer's taunting riddles: Leonardo with his groundbreaking "science of observation" and Machiavelli with his new "science of men." Traveling across an Italy torn apart by war, they will enter a labyrinth of ancient superstition and erotic obsession to discover at its center a new face of evil-and a truth that will shake the foundations of western civilization.
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by Michael Palmer
by Michael Sears
by Michael Shelden
by Michael Landon, Jr., Cindy Kelley
by Jean Zimmerman
by Imogen Robertson
by Sandra Dallas
by Roberta Rich
by Janet Ellis
by Michael Simon
by Michael Pollan
"Although the Borgia family holds the papacy and parts of Italy, the pope's son Juan is murdered in 1497. When suspicion falls on Damiata, a courtesan, she is forced to clear her name and find the true killer. Actress Carlotta Montanari narrates Damiata's story with a noticeable accent that is difficult to understand. In addition, her weak characterizations and odd pauses pull listeners from the plot, disrupting their concentration. Narrator Adrian Paul reads the second half of the novel, told from Machiavelli's viewpoint. The appearance of fascinating historical figures is not enough to keep listeners from being distracted by Paul's overly dramatic narration and his high-pitched vocalization of several male characters. The introduction, section openers, and epilogue are beautifully read by John Lee and Fred Sanders. C.B.L. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine"
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