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Alan CarubaThose who love history will enjoy Maddalena by Eva Jana Siroka. Set in 16th century Rome, it tells the story of Maddalena who lives during the harsh days of the Catholic Inquisition. You will be introduced to Bartholomaeus Spranger, a handsome young man who is the official painter to his Eminence Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and to the Pope. He serves as the narrator. Despite the severe moral climate of the Church, the Vatican’s most powerful cardinal has an illegitimate son, a Jewish mistress, and an ongoing affair with a 16-year-old boy! The author deftly explores the cardinal’s illicit love for Maddalena and, within a few pages, you too will want to explore it with her.
—Editor, Bookviews, June 2005