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1.0 out of 5 starshated it
Reviewed in the United States on August 24, 2019
i thought this book would at least follow what really happened in her life....but noooo so far from the truth i hated it...watched The Borgias on showtime and fell in love with this family so i thought this would be a good read...it did not follow the truth one bit..would not buy if i knew the story line was going to be so stupid...
A fun read for those of us who like historic novels. These books always send me on a search for the true historical facts which makes it a good learning experience for me. I am looking forward to reading more from M. G. Scarsbrook.
The story has only a few things based in fact. That there was a family called Borgia in Italy, and one was Pope, and one Lucrezia, a couple of brothers, etc. The story itself is pure fiction, Doesn't even follow the accepted timeline of her marriages (Hint: Alfonzo is NOT her first marriage)
Reviewed in the United States on December 18, 2011
NOTE TO AUTHOR: I bought this book as a birthday present for my husband John Quinn, who just inhales historical novels. This is his review:
"Poison in the Blood, the Memoirs of Lucrezia Borgia," by M.G. Scarsbrook is a tale of ambition, lust, intrigue and murder that riveted my attention from beginning to end. The fictionalized autobiography of the infamous Italian Duchess, her ruthlessly ambitious father, who hid behind a mask of piety as Pope Alexander VI, and her brother Cesare, a valiant warrior who was his father's pride and joy, until he started making friends in the wrong places. Along the way we meet Nicollo Machiavelli, whose philosophies set the blueprint for our modern day political leaders.
To my knowledge, none of the Borgia clan ever committed their memoirs to print, but Mr. Scarsbrook presents a very convincing argument of what they might have said if they had. With a writing style that shows strong character development, and a smoothly flowing storyline that has many surprising twists and turns, he actually has carefully researched his subject matter, and is very knowledgeable of this period of history. The dialogue rings true and the character motivations are always clearly understood.
"Poison in the Blood" is reading entertainment of the first order, combining interesting speculation and good old fashioned storytelling. As an added bonus, an excerpt of Scarsbrook's "The Marlowe Conspiracy" is included, which I look forward to reading in its entirety.
Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2012
I didn't like the characterizations, some of the dialogue felt unrealistic, and I couldn't get passed some of the major historical inaccuracies (which I realize were intentional). I don't consider myself a huge stickler for accuracy (some changes can be understandable) but this just went too far. I read historical fiction to get a dramatized idea of how actual historical events may have gone down or how actual historical figures may have felt and behaved - so when you change as much about history as this novel did, it's no longer even plausible.
The character development was also very poor. I do have to give the author credit for Lucrezia's acceptance of her arranged marriage. I'm sick of novels with women in history who object with shock to an arranged marriage as though it weren't common place. But that alone was not enough. Alfonso is weak and cowardly so I don't really understand why Lucrezia loves him. He's not corrupt but I found him annoying. For example, at one point, he actually kicks a piece of furniture and pouts "I won't do it! I won't!" Likewise, Cesare once stamps his foot in frustration like a child.
Alexander is cold and disrespectful of Lucrezia from the start yet she's later shocked by his heartlessness. Why? And why would she name her son after a father who constantly snaps at her for being too loud or asking a stupid question?
Of all the novels on Lucrezia out there, I wouldn't recommend this one, especially if you're looking for plausible historical fiction.
5.0 out of 5 starsBUY IT AND ENJOY A BRILLIANT NOVEL
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 28, 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.
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.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 12, 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.
4.0 out of 5 starsMs Borgia, a bit maligned it would seem!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 9, 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.
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.