Best book of the year.

Blood and BeautyGranted it isn’t the end of the year yet, but I doubt I will be lucky enough to find a better book than this in the remaining months,

Sarah Dunant’s latest book gives us an interesting view of the Borgias. First we meet Rodrigo as he successfully pursues election to the empty St. Peter’s chair to become Pope Alexander VI, the first ever Spanish pope in a place where Italian families dominate. He has something to prove. Alexander is cunning, decadent and as land-hungry as any medieval prince – none of which was unusual in popes of those times. Furthermore, he is redeemed by his true piety and his love for his family. Next we meet Lucrezia as she approaches her first wedding at the age of twelve. Far from being a poisoner (perhaps that will come later) she is a sweet girl who is devoted to her family and understands that her duty is to serve them. Which is not always easy to do. Father and brother use her as a marriage tool to further their ambitions, but toward the end Lucrezia begins to emerge as a player in her own right.Then there is Cesar who remains throughout the book an enigmatic and sinister figure. He is his father’s strong right hand (often with a dagger in it.) There are hints that his love for his sister isn’t entirely brotherly. Juan, Alexander’s favorite, is flamboyant, charming and fatally reckless. The third brother, Jofre, and Alexander’s two mistresses, the former and the present, round out the Borgia family.

While working to expand the papacy’s power and influence in Italy and build his own dynasty, Alexander must deal with an invasion by the French. At this time the Italian states were in flux but, happily, the intrigues are not difficult to follow.

This is a book about power and its uses, and about family unity, an irresistible combination.

Ms. Dunant promises us a sequel ‘in a few years’. I hope we don’t have to wait so long for another book of this caliber.

Author: susanappleyardwriter

I am a writer and reader of historical fiction. In the eighties I had 2 books published traditionally and recently 8 books self-published. I live in Canada for half the year - the warm half - and Mexico for the other half.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sisi the Queen - Sisi, a magyarok királynéja

A blog dedicated to Empress Elisabeth - Sisi

A Writer of History

The World of Historical Fiction

The History Jar

English History from 1066

Exploring London

A blog about London and its history...

Catherine Meyrick

Historical Fiction with a touch of Romance

Pam Lecky Books

Historical Fiction

Charlene Newcomb

welcome to my worlds...

Layered Pages

Artist by Day, Book Nerd by Night

%d bloggers like this: