Monday, December 2, 2013

Blood and Beauty

Hey guys, I'm revisiting my love of the Borgias. Shocking, I know.

Recently I ranted about The Borgia Apocalypse by Neil Jordan so you can review that for my fangirling of the family. For this, let's hop into the book, shall we?

I waited for this book for what seemed to be ages. I don't know if goodreads was just mucking up or if there was actual indecisive planning on the publisher's part but the release date kept changing. I wanted this book and I wanted it as soon as possible and yet when I thought the book was finally out I would be told by a friendly book seller that nope, it wasn't released yet.

When I went to my local Barnes and Noble and spotted this book on a display I gasped and lunged for it, causing a middle-aged gentleman to stop and stare, and bounced about when I had it in my hands. I put all books aside and began reading this book immediately.

In some ways, this book seems to be more historically accurate than what I've read before and certainly more so than the show. The little known details I have found about the Borgias seemed to all be hit on in this novel and while the author made this a fictional retelling of history, I feel that she did so with a gentleness and respect for details. It wasn't wild or something you would find in the depths of a fan fiction database.

I find non-fiction books to often be dry. I'm a fiction-loving girl, what can I say? I like to have emotions and creative language put into my books. So maybe that's why I enjoy fictional historic books more than a non-fiction piece. Really, it's hard for me to spot non-fiction that I enjoy. 

The only thing I disliked about this book is that Dunant made Lucrezia's hair much darker than it was. Hell, there are pieces of Lucrezia's hair on display and it is blonde, not a light brown or auburn or any of that. She seemed to put emphasis on Rodrigo Borgia's lover's hair and not as much on Lucrezia's. 

Lucrezia begins the novel at the young age of 12 and grows into a woman that is used as a pawn in political strategies of her brother and father. Cesare is as cold as ever, but still loving to his younger sister, as is Rodrigo who at times seems to be the typical oblivious father many readers will be familiar with from their own lives.

Dunant portrays these characters wonderfully. It's clear how they behave in addition to their strength and weaknesses. When I would sit the book down due to real life getting in the way I often found myself thinking of them and wondering what would happen next within the book. 

If you are familiar with the Borgia history, you know how this book will go, but if you aren't it is within my opinion that this would be a fabulous way to be introduced to the saucy history of this historic family. While the author took creative liberties with some of the details it is an interesting story and, to my knowledge, pretty close to the facts that historians have been able to provide.

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