Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant

“Most men need to be overwhelmed in order to appreciate the divine.”

I confess - my interest in the Borgia family stems from watching the current eponymous television series. Upon seeing this rather tasty cover in a bookstore on a quick trip to Bowral I was unable to resist the lure of its pages.

A historical novel is a strange beast. Married so tightly to known events in some instances, and yet taking strange flights of fancy to remain entertaining. Much of what is covered within the book is reminiscent of the television series and I would like to do a little more study to find out how much of both are products of the authors’ imaginations.

A little racy at times although, given the subject matter and the Borgia family reputation, the novel is practically puritanical in the most part. Lucrezia takes on a hopeless victim role, utilized as a pawn in the political machinations of her brother and father.

The novel was particularly easy to read, due no doubt in this instance, to a combination of large print and non-stop action. Given the title, I felt perhaps there was a little too much of the latter and not enough of the former within the story, if the infamous reputation of the family is to be believed. Having completed the weighty tome in four days of intermittent reading, I’d say it makes for a great airline companion. 4 out of 5 Machiavellian machinations make marvelous morsels.

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