Blood and Beauty: A Novel About the Borgias [Sarah Dunant] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF. As an acclaimed author of Italian historical novels, it was only a matter of time until Sarah Dunant turned her attention to the notorious Borgia. In her evocation of this scene in “Blood and Beauty,” her novel about the notorious Borgias, Sarah Dunant sends papal guards rushing to save.

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This novel will be most rewarding for those with a keen taste for darah and a willingness to stick with a lengthy story with no real heroes but plenty of fascinating and really bad behavior.

Lucrezia and Cesare have a very fraught relationship.

Review: Blood and Beauty, Sarah Dunant

Read it Forward Read it first. However, I wish we had gotten closer to the characters at the heart of the story, which was a failing I felt in the narrative device chosen. The gossip and the back and forth between the ambassadors, the warring factions in the papal court — it is all utterly fascinating. As she has commented in her epilogue, “The Borgias were victims of bad press” and history is written by the victors and overall The Borgias came up short in their ambitions, but what a ride they had on the way.

Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Jan 25, Sarah rated it liked it. This c Oh, the Borgias. What I did like was the story. If history has left some blanks in this regard, Dunant fills them.

I find it generally more difficult to follow what is happening especially in the beginning and they very clearly expose flaws in writing though, this book was well written so that is not a particular concern here. I kept losing my concentration, especially in the first part which I found quite dry.


Do you feel she truly found herself by the end of the book? Unfortunately this choice sometimes made the book read more “historical” than “historical fiction”. Aug 04, Elizabeth Sulzby rated it liked it Shelves: There were some rough patches here eunant there prose-wise, and many weird tense-related issues that made the syntax odd or cumbersome in places.

The story of the Borgia family is one of those episodes within history that truly is stranger than fiction.

Review: Blood and Beauty, Sarah Dunant – Girl with her Head in a Book

Ultimately, what irks me about this book is that Sarah Dunant comes very close to capturing these complex characters, but she doesn’t consistently deliver. He also openly maintains a household of four illegitimate children by Vannozza dei Catanei — among them the infamous Lucrezia, still a child but already being haggled over by rival dynasties — and a new and beautiful mistress.

So much of the content dunabt the author’s research showing and it didn’t digest well.

Part of me was happily lost in the time travel, and part of me was repeatedly struck by how vividly ancient Rome met modern Rome, and how the city of history came bllod life. Their interactions are what push the plot forward. How much do you think Lucrezia changes from the beginning of the novel to the end?

The citizens of Rome think you dumped your brother’s body in the Tiber? He is not an Italian, like so many who amd come before him, but a native of Spain.


The Borgia name instantly evokes images of glorious wealth and even more glorious power, corruption, poison, and incest. The real flaw I thought in the book was the choice to stage everything in third person present tense. Alexander was beautg known as a great administrator, accumulator and manager of wealth and he used those skills in his papacy.

All the Borgias share the stage in turn, shocking us and then pleasing us, but always entertaining us. Life, Love, and Death in Renaissance Bloood.

She does deal with Cesare in much more satisfying detail than she does Lucretia. Buy the selected items together This item: The author really makes this era come alive as she unravels the myths of the Borgia family and tells the story of their rise and the beginnings of their fall.

And how do you feel differently having read the novel? Sure, Lucretia has suffered from bad press for some centuries, but the 20th century revisionism of her character as Victim has shoved her too much in blold opposite direction. For a family whose power came from the Church, were you surprised by their seeming lack of piety?

All of this long, stupid intro is to say that I loved this book from Sarah Dunant. I’m easy when it comes to Borgia historical fiction.