Blood & Beauty Paperback – 3 Apr 2014
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A wonderful novel - taking you deep into the world of Renaissance passion and the Renaissance papacy. Part of me was happily lost in the time travel, part of me repeatedly struck by how vividly ancient Rome met modern Rome, and how the city of history came to life. (Mary Beard)
Blood & Beauty is a fascinating read full of vivid detail and human pathos. Dunant opens a window into the extraordinary machinations and skullduggery of the Borgias and provides us with a richness of description that beautifully locates them within their own time. (Amanda Foreman)
What a marvellous feast of vices and desires Sarah Dunant gives us in Blood & Beauty - lust and ambition, passion and power, destiny born and bought. The Borgias are arguably the most intriguing and ruthless family in all of history, and Dunant brings them ravishingly, bristlingly to life. Absolutely convincing on every page. I was enthralled. (Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife)
An ambitious, thrilling read from a novelist at the height of her powers. The Borgias leap from the page . . . the book offers total immersion in an alien Rome (The Times)
Acclaimed novelist of the Italian Renaissance Sarah Dunant now takes on the era's most infamous family: the Borgias.See all Product description
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I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Dunant doesn't over-write these characters or their stories, which would have been easy to do, and I was engrossed from start to end. Admittedly, I found it mildly irking that there was a language inconsistency in names (some characters were lumped with the decidedly less sexy English equivalents whilst others were allowed to keep their Italian/Spanish originals). The story showed us the political intrigue and public lives of the characters, before letting us peep round a corner or a curtain to explore their private thoughts and desires.
The moral of the story? Relish in how gloriously bad the Borgias were, and be prepared for everybody you like to be murdered and thrown in the Tiber.
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