My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The cover of this is lovely but I'm being rather generous with the stars. More like 2.5. The art inside is pretty nice, along You Higuri's usual lines. THe storyline is still a mix of history and fantasy but it hangs together a bit better in this one than the first.
Between his father and his brother, Juan's treachery and rejection, young Cesare grows despondent and when Michelotto refuses to take his life, he tries to do it himself. During this Michelotto meets the magician who can turn himself into a butterfly (seen in vol 1 as well) who explains why injured, naked Cesare is being attacked/ravished by a smokey black demonic wolf (it's the demons Cesare's father attached to him, healing him but making him more under their control.) Michelotto ignores the advice to kill him now but does plan to kill Cesare if he goes too evil.
The rest of the book deals with family problems, Michelotto's captive father and Cesare's father's Machiavellian manipulations that lead him to being pope while he marries off both Lucrezia and Juan to royalty. Cesare is moved up the ladder in the priesthood. The story of course flirts with the rumors of Lucrezia and Cesare being in love (or at least she is in love with him, though ignores the historical rumors of her being involved with her father. Current thought is lucrezia was much maligned in her day and neither rumor is true). It also flirts with the closeness of Michelotto and Cesare (though Michelotto is also drawn to Lucrezia).
If you're looking for flat out yaoi, so far this will disappoint you. Storywise, it's not bad but I never bought more than this back when I first got it. I'm reviewing it now, years later as I purge my collection.
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