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.


What the Critics Say

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


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Grocery list

This narrator sounds like she is reading a grocery list instead of telling a tale. Seems like she can't get to the end of the book quick enough and with as little emotion as possible
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- Cassandra

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 "Say something about yourself!"

Book Details

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