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Reviewed by Jennifer Ibiam for Readers' Favorite
Belladonna’s Kiss by Sylvia Prince is a historical novel that follows the life of Serena and her adventures with the Belladonna. Hidden within a section of the convent was the Belladonna, a group of elite female assassins, whom Serena called family. Headed by Bertha, their mission was to help the abused women of Florence get rid of their wicked husbands. That was justice, and Serena believed in it until the Medici patriarch and ruler of Florence died. Her mission was to work in the palace and gather information on the family. The Belladonna never concerned itself with politics, so why did Bertha derail from their core mission? Serena will dig deep to uncover webs of lies and tons of secrets that will either make her untouchable or take her head.
Belladonna’s Kiss by Sylvia Prince sheds some light on the elite society of Italy in the 1400s and the quest for power. They killed anything, including their kin, for a space at the top. The wise must remain a step ahead or else they become collateral damage. This novel explores deception to its fullest, with manipulation, scheming, courage, wit, and survival. The plot felt like a dance between fact and fiction. It was also unpredictable, which gave it a mysterious flavor. Sylvia was very thoughtful about development, as the characters and storyline were consistent. I’m curious about what the future has in store for the powerful Serena, sleek Matteo, and Piero the vindictive man-child. This is the first installment in the trilogy, and I can’t wait to read other works by Sylvia Prince.