I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while, given how epic Caterina Sforza is in the Assassin’s Creed games. I have read a biography of Caterina herself (Tigress of Forli, by Elizabeth Lev), so I didn’t read this so much for her as for the other women in its pages. I found it a little disorganised, really; it isn’t neatly divided into eight sections, and it’s sometimes hard to see exactly which woman is the key player. And Frieda is claiming to deal with women as key players in Renaissance Italy, and yet Clarice Orsini is exactly what the back blurb says these women are not, a “passive bystander”.
In fact, there’s a whole section that’s primarily about Lorenzo de’ Medici and the Pazzi Conspiracy. Which, shrug. Not what I’m here for, actually.
It’s a readable enough book, but there’s oddly judgemental bits about the women’s weight or appearance, or indeed intelligence if they’re not one of the precious women we’re supposed to view as a sisterhood, and it’s not very well proofread at all. Without looking for it, I found four typos in casual reading. Gah.