Cantarella Vol. #03 -

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Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Go! Comi
  • MSRP: 10.99
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-0976895787
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Cantarella

Cantarella Vol. #03

By Danielle Van Gorder     June 11, 2008
Release Date: April 25, 2006

Cantarella Vol.#03
© Go! Comi

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:You Higuri
Translated by:Kayoko Dietsche
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
Drink from the Cup of the Borgias... if you dare. Renaissance Italy is rushing headlong toward war, but Cardinal Cesare Borgia has other things on his mind. Burdened with the tempestuous affections of his younger sister Lucrezia and the ever-increasing tension between himself and his reluctant right-hand assassin Chiaro, he's caught by surprise in the clutches of a woman whose desire for him is surpassed only by her fear of what he will do to her if she doesn't see to his immediate and painful death...

The Review
Cardinal Rovere has escaped Rome, but he only barely escaped the assassins that the Pope sent after him. Searching for a strong protector, he winds up by the side of Charles VIII of France, who is seeking to take the throne of Naples from Spanish hands. As his armies sweep Italy, he presses for the Pope to abdicate - all, apparently, according to Cesare's mysterious plans.

Meanwhile, Cesare is sent to Colonna Fortress as a hostage, where he is approached by an old acquaintance - and not one that Cesare cares to renew, to her rage and dismay. Fearing for his safety, Chiaro and the sorcerer Niccolo rescue him, but Cesare is far more concerned about the danger to Vanozza, and rides like a madman to save her from the French army, with the demonic forces contained within him just barely held at bay.

Chiaro has to do some things that he finds morally questionable, but it won't be the last time that he'll be asked to make difficult choices if he remains in Cesare's service. At the same time, he seems to be the only person who still sees Cesare's basic humanity, and not just the cold scheming face that he shows to the rest of the world.

Cesare Borgia is, without a doubt, my favorite historical character - calculating, cold, and enigmatic, with as much myth surrounding him as there is actual history. This fantasy reimagining of his story is everything I could have asked for, full of politics and intrigue, complicated characters with obscure motivations of their own, and absolutely gorgeous artwork. Higuri's Cesare is at once the ice-cold schemer who plots out the moves of entire nations and a very vulnerable and human young man who struggles to come to terms with his own identity. Highly recommended.


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