Had enough of the Borgia’s yet?? After so many books out there, and now a TV series to complement...it almost seems like we’ve captured every angle of this outrageous family. But - Not so fast...Matthew Scarsbrook has put a twist to the story. When you think of Borgia, does the word “poison” ever come to mind? Hold that thought; Matthew Scarsbrook’s new novel is entitled:
I didn’t know quite what to expect when I began reading Scarsbrook’s new novel: Poison in The Blood. How was this historical novel going to be any different from the one (by a different author) I just recently read on Lucrezia? Honestly, I often find it difficult to read same subject- character books, one right after the other. So, needless to say, my excitement was not that great- but, I was on for the ride.
Well, I couldn’t have been more surprised! Not only did I get a novel filled with more than the basic history as I know it (perfect timeframe, setting and figures) but this one is also a memoir. Written in the first person, Poison in the Blood brilliantly portrays Lucrezia’s smarts, her compassion, love, strength of character and wit; something that is not always easily achieved when writing in this perspective.
But really, the thing that I found most interesting in this novel was the poison twist. Historically, the Borgias have always been suspected of dabbling in this area- so why not a novel exposing this? Scarsbrook is brilliant in weaving a plot that ties fiction and history together. Granted, the ending (which I will not give away!) is different from the real history; nevertheless, it could have been quite plausible, with the outcome of Lucrezia definitely being a less-maligned historical heroine.
I particularly enjoyed scenes involving Lucrezia’s estranged mother, as well as the famous Machiavelli himself. These touches within the book brought Lucrezia to life for me. Her thoughts, emotions and actions made her so real that I began to empathize with her. Her father, the grand schemer of things was as brutal and conniving as we know. But, Cesare shows another side of his, as well (Though don’t get fooled he’s still bad!). Living such a twisted life, Lucrezia, who is usually portrayed as a pawn, was clever and strong in reversing her fate. And, that’s what I loved most.
Brilliantly crafted, Poison in the Blood is a quick and engaging read that does not feign its way through the history. Rather, it brings an element of ‘what if’ that is splendidly interpreted into something more than just plain history. Scarsbrook has re-invented the past in this work of fiction by bringing in suspense with a twist to create a book that is well worth reading.
The Borgia Fest ends with a GIVEAWAY of 1 e-book of Poison in the Blood, by Matthew Scarsbrook to another of my lucky followers!! Thank you Matthew:)
1) You must be a follower of this blog.
2) For extra chances please post on your sidebar, Twitter and FB.
3) Extra chance for also commenting on Interview Post Here, and on The Life And Legend of Lucrezia Borgia post HERE
Thanks for entering. Winner will be announced on May 16th as well.