Alexander and Cesare are reconciled at last. The Papal Armies have been fortified with the money saved from the Crusade and the proceeds of the Jubilee. Cesare marches his fearsome army to finish what Juan started - lay siege to Forli. Micheletto reappears. Following a scuffle with Cesare, a drunken Alfonso is near death and Lucrezia turns to her potions to end his life painlessly. Cesare vows that Lucrezia will now be his for good.
Set in 15th century Italy at the height of the Renaissance, The Borgias chronicles the corrupt rise of patriarch Rodrigo Borgia to the papacy, where he proceeds to commit every sin in the book to amass and retain power, influence and enormous wealth for himself and his family.
Aiding him in his endeavors are his sons Cesare, a ruthless operator who yearns fruitlessly to be released from the priesthood, and Juan, a feckless dilettante whom Rodrigo appoints to head the papal armies. Daughter Lucrezia and son Joffre are married off in early adolescence to members of powerful rival families - pawns in their family's fortunes.
Waging their own heated contest for Rodrigo's affections are Vanozza, his long-time mistress and mother of his children, and the younger Giulia Farnese, whose cunning is matched only by her astonishing beauty.