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VINE VOICEon 30 May 2012
Yet another Lucrezia Bogia is presented here: a faithful spouse, showing great courage and enterprise to protect her husband against the murderous instincts of her brother and father: very different from the popular image of Lucrezia as poisoner; or alternatively, as a mere pawn pushed around to advance the dynastic ambitions of her family through marriage.

A previous reviewer found this Lucrezia very different from the one featured in the recent TV series, though it fact it is the same person, but the husband is the next on from Giovanni Sforza, who was obliged by the Borgias to sign of confession of sexual impotence. Alfonso of Aragon indeed remains a shadowy figure, and Scarsbrook has provided an entertaining tale of his life as Lucrezia's second husband, trying to survive in an atmosphere of murder and intrigue. The account of Lucrezia presiding over a meeting of cardinals in the absence of her father and brother Cesare, away on military campaign, may seem to be far-fetched, but is a matter of record.

I thought this a much better book than the author's 'Marlowe Conspiracy': more satisfactory plotting and a credible story line.
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on 28 May 2011
Until fairly recently the only historical novels I read on any sort of regular basis were those of Philippa Gregory but thanks to the opportunity to review some other historical writers my horizons have been expanded. I have always considered my tastes very eclectic but am nowadays more likely to consider reading this genre, than I have been for years. With the themes of the stories based on real life characters it can be an interesting way to learn a little history. I admit to knowing very little about the historical background surrounding Lucrezia Borgia before reading this novel, so this easy and quick read was a pleasurable way to learn a little more about her.

Set in Renaissance Rome in 1497 it also was a good choice for my May entry for the Italy in Books - Reading Challenge 2011 The daughter of Pope Alexander VI, Lucrezia Borgia leads a sheltered life amongst the glamour of the Vatican City. Yet after a brutal killing shocks the city, she learns that all is not as it seems and that her father's court holds dark secrets. She discovers that her own brother, Cesare and father are willing to commit murder to protect their own lifestyle and love of power.
Written as a memoir narrated by Lucrezia in the first person the blend of fiction and historical fact makes her come alive on the pages as she relates to us the intrigue and tragedy of her fathers court. There is no doubt in my mind that Pope Alexander VI was a nasty and brutal man, I disliked his character immensely. Even I knew of the historical connections of the Borgia family to poison, plus the title of the book so it was no surprise that the poison aspect brings the suspense to a story which I recommend to fans of historical novels looking for a quick read.
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on 28 January 2012
I downloaded this book in December 2011 and read it within a few days. I enjoyed history at school so often read this genre, both novels and factual books to keep the grey matter alive! M G Scarsbrook really brings this era to life, I don't want to write about the story line as there is already a very good synopsis as well as other good reviews but think it's worth mentioning that this portrays Lucrezia as a compassionate, sensitive and loyal person which I liked. I found it hard to put down and when I had to on a night I even put my Kindle on "text to speech" with my earphones in and drifted off to sleep still listening!!

The thing to remember is that this is a novel so although there is some fact in there it sometimes, omits and changes details around.

I enjoyed this so much I've now downloaded The Life & Legend of Lucrezia Borgia by the same author for the unbelievable price of just 89p, less than half the price of a latte!! Only just started this but there appears to be an awful lot of work and effort involved in this book and I'm looking forward to reading a purely factual account of the Borgia lives. It looks good so far.
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on 12 January 2012
I am a huge fan of historical books and when i came upon this one about the Borgias i was intrested from the start.

I found this book very much a page turner and i struggled to put it down!!!

OK so this is a brief description of the book, The story revolves around the Borgias family, the head of this family is Pope Alexander. You learn about the pope and his children, Juan, Caesar and Madonna.

From the outside the Borgias family are strong and powerful, but how strong and ruthless are some of them?

As you read the book a plot arises that has you waiting in anticipation for the next stage, this book shows how Rome once was, how a strong family can be and the secrets hidden to everyone.

The family Borgias may not be what they all appear.

This book has love, strength of charcter, tyranny deception and also loyalty.

I would really reccommend this book to any one who is interested in this sort of book.
I will definately be looking into other books by this author.
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on 13 December 2011
I really enjoyed this book. It was atmospheric and I found myself transported to Rome 1500. Very readable leaving you wanting more!
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on 25 June 2014
This is an exciting yet easy read on an extremely interesting family, to say the least. Well written with excellent imagery, wonderful story telling and descriptive flare. I am enjoying every page and never want to put it down.
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on 9 August 2013
Total fiction, (in fairness, this is declared at the start of the book), involving some real characters from the Borgia clan and some actual events. Some siblings and marriages are omitted and sequences of events are altered for the sake of the story. You won't learn too much about the Borgia clan here but it is a good story and I enjoyed reading it.
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on 4 April 2013
Took this on holiday and thoroughly enjoyed it. Will definetly read more in the series as soon as I have the time
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on 2 June 2015
fascinating book, thanks
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on 10 July 2015
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