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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The young girl who tried so hard to be good, to follow the church and to be obedient becomes overwhelmed by events which she did not set in motion.

Half way through, I felt like she had the mojo back, and I was totally hooked. Stay tuned for further additions to the list. Mar 11, Gretchen rated it it was amazing Shelves: Everything was more fascinating in the olden days.

Blood & Beauty: The Borgias

Jul 16, Pages. My exposure to the Borgias has been limited to a two-book bodice ripper series by G 2.

Given as a hostage by his father, he casually remarks, “I think, if it meets with your approval, I will not go the whole way Author Sarah Dunant had commented that after researching this book for two years she didn’t contradict any known facts and where vlood was not clear took her best guess with the dnant historical material. Partly I feel that the problem was that her scope was so wide. Now, when [Pedro Calderon] shuts his eyes, he cannot see anything else. Like any historical fiction writer, Dunant makes deliberate choices with the more shady aspects of the Borgia story.

Dunant illuminates the darkened narrative of the Borgia record, reviving stained sarau with fresh light, refreshing the brilliance of the gold and blue panes history has marred without dulling the blood-red that glows everywhere around them.


There are times, though, when she draws far back from the main plotlines to dunqnt to readers about the historical context. Also, some of the exposition was essentially straight history that sounded almost as if Dunant paraphrased it a biography. Be well written, get the characterizations right looking at you, Tom Fontana’s Borgiaand I’ll pretty much buy what you’re selling. Dialogue, however, is certainly not Dunant’s strong point; in particular, several of Cesare’s lines were just laughable.

Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant – Reading Guide – : Books

Consequently while the reader is unlikely to approve of the Borgias, he will at least understand that there was an inner logic — however immoral — to what they did. I’m debating whether or not I should make a video review on this book because I have such mixed feelings about it. Lucrezia, beloved by both men, is the prime dynastic tool. I don’t know how good other novels about them are, but I’ll take this one as the gold standard. This book was sparked a curiosity in the Catholic church history that I would like to explore more.

It looks good, it reads well. I give kudos to Sarah Dunant, for taking on the Borgias, which is a hefty topic. For someone who doesn’t know the historical background of the Borgia family, many of my criticisms may not apply, but that’s not to say that the writing was perfect, either. Dunant does explain the family relations among the Sforza in more detail than most writers but she doesn’t really explain Caterina as a warrior woman. For other readers though, I can easily see the book not having enough of a personal narrative hook to get them invested.

The portrayal of Lucrezia here is much more sympathetic than traditional history would have us think, but it is not a whitewash and she, like everyone else, is realistic and believeable. I think writing it in the 3rd person present had a lot to do with my discomfort reading it.

Blood and Beauty Reader’s Guide

The members of this close-knit family emerge as dynamic characters, flawed but sympathetic, filled with fear and longing. I picked it up again in November and I really enjoyed it. Add narrator to audiobook 2 13 May 30, Who couldn’t tell a good story about that?


If you don’t know much about the Borgia’s I suggest you read these books about Sarah Dunant before watching something like “The Borgias” from a few years back on Showtime. The quicker pace of storytelling sometimes felt a little rushed, but a book full of long drawn out scenes would be tedious so I think the book balances out well. Buy the Audiobook Download: From there we delve into a family as beautiful and loving of each other as it is full of corruption, jealousy and intrigue.

And while I am saying it, my head is busting with facts, places, ideas, and an ever-growing cast of outrageous characters.

I did get that but I also got POVs from different members of the family. Mar 10, Haley rated it liked it. View all 5 comments. I think my complaints come from the feeling that I don’t know what I am reading: Inspired by Your Browsing History.

Jan 25, Sarah rated it liked it.

I cannot remember the last time that I read something that depicts so vividly the frightening contrast between the superficial courtly interplay and the political mechanisations going on beneath the surface. I think that the period in which the Borgias lived was a particularly interesting time in history. This also made the novel feel more emphatic towards historical events rather than the characters, when I usually prefer it to be the ajd way around. This post contains affiliate links which you can use to purchase the book.