"Blood & Beauty" Novel On The Borgias Released

Wed, 09/25/2013 - 05:30
Portrait of Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) --------------------------------------------------------- Acclaimed novelist of the Italian Renaissance Sarah Dunant has turned her hand to the most notorious family of the period, the Borgias, in her latest book ‘Blood & Beauty’. The New York Times best-selling author of ‘The Birth of Venus’, ‘In the Company of the Courtesan’ and ‘Sacred Hearts’, is known for bringing the 15th century alive in her historical novels. Dunant achieves another success with ‘Blood & Beauty’ that tells the story of Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI. Dunant’s novel examines Rodrigo’s love of power and women, as well as his dynastic ambitions to secure his family’s future. Her scholarly grasp of historical detail helps create a vivid image of a violent turbulent period in Italy’s history, providing context to events and Rodrigo’s ruthless political manoeuvring. Dunant’s considerable skills as a writer means her characters are rounded individuals, portrayed in all their complexity. Rodrigo’s eldest son, Cesare, is intelligent, coldly calculating yet charismatic. Rodrigo’s daughter, Lucrezia, is depicted as smart and beautiful yet a young woman of her time and thus a victim to her father’s power games as she becomes a pawn used to consolidate her family’s influence by series of politically advantageous marriages. The result is a book that challenges popular notions regarding the Borgias and makes for compelling reading. Given the subject matter, ‘Blood & Beauty’ would never have been dull. However, Dunant manages to produce a historical novel with the pace of a thriller, the passion of a romance and the wealth of information of a biography. ‘Blood & Beauty’ does not tell the whole story of the Borgia family and Dunant will write a sequel, which is comforting to readers left wanting more after they have devoured the pages of what is an entertaining, insightful and thoughtful novel.