The Scarlet Contessa

  • by Jeanne Kalogridis
  • Narrated by Wanda McCaddon
  • 15 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Daughter of the Duke of Milan and wife of the conniving Count Girolamo Riario, Caterina Sforza was the bravest warrior Renaissance Italy ever knew. She ruled her own lands, fought her own battles, and openly took lovers whenever she pleased. Her remarkable tale is told by her lady-in-waiting, Dea, a woman knowledgeable in reading the "triumph cards", the predecessor of modern-day Tarot.
As Dea tries to unravel the truth about her husband's murder, Caterina single-handedly holds off invaders who would steal her title and lands. However, Dea's reading of the cards reveals that Caterina cannot withstand a third and final invader - none other than Cesare Borgia, son of the corrupt Pope Alexander VI, who has an old score to settle with Caterina.
Trapped inside the Fortress at Ravaldino as Borgia's cannons pound the walls, Dea reviews Caterina's scandalous past and struggles to understand their joint destiny, while Caterina valiantly tries to fight off Borgia's unconquerable army.

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What the Critics Say

"[A] vividly rendered historical." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An Unfortunate Sideshow

Wanted to like this one as Caterina Sforza is easily one of the most fascinating people in Renaissance Italy, but I couldn't finish it. For starters, the book isn't about her, and that's my own fault for not taking other reviews to heart first. It's about her fictional, intolerably new-agey handmaiden Dea. I didn't pick this book to read about Dea, and I especially don't care about Dea's tarot readings as a plot device.

At some point I may come back to this one and give it another try now that I know what to expect, but right now... so many better books await.

Wanda McCaddon, by any name she uses, is always a superb narrator. Her talents are wasted on this one, but you can't win them all. I trust she got paid well anyway.
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- Troy

Worth my time, loved it.

I really could not put this book down. I was really happy with the blend of fictional illustrative talenets and the use of historical accuracy the author used to tell the story. I will definitely be reading more books by Jeanne Kalogridis. However it looks like Audible only has one more of her books.
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- Layla Mabbitt

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-20-2010
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio