Book Review: The Serpent and The Pearl

Book Review of The Serpent and The Pearl, By: Kate Quinn

I give this book five out of five stars for immersing me in the 14th Century Vatican, exposing me to stunning characters, mesmerizing me with mystery and intrigue, and making me hungry like a culinary trained foodie. If you haven’t read a work by Kate Quinn you need to, the woman will wrap you up in a tale and leave you begging for more. I could not put this book down.

What I loved:
1) The pacing. Every scene is necessary to the story. Some scenes are lush and lovely, others are ruthless or funny, but all of it is relevant.

2) The characters. You enjoy coming to know them by their thoughts, but then love them more for what you see about them through the point of view of other characters. I enjoyed the way the work wove together the character’s lives. They were rooting for each other, their lives connected, and this also deepened my connection to them as a reader.

3) The story. There’s romance, a person on the run, a turn of good fortune, a murder mystery, and the reality of true historical events in the Vatican under a Borgia’s Pope. I was easily engaged in the plot, and then had the added bonus of exquisite descriptions of 14th Century fashion and food.

I had the added benefit of listening to the audio book version of this, and the three main characters each have their own narrator. Between the work and the actors, this is one of the best audio book I have listened to in years, fantastic.