Friday, March 25, 2011

Book Review: Light on Lucrezia

Ahh... those Borgias-Everywhere you read about them, it’s one scandal after another. As for Lucrezia, she’s dumped right in that whole mess.  But seriously, how much of that was actually true? How easy is it to believe that Lucrezia really was a devious, incestuous, poisonous murderess?  But if you expect to read any of that in Light on Lucrezia, you will be disappointed.  Or-should I say; like in my case, delightfully surprised.
Perhaps Lucrezia will appear differently in Madonna of the Seven Hills (hoping to read this one very soon too)- but not in Light on Lucrezia.  In this novel, Lucrezia is, yes, a devoted Borgia first; meaning she thinks the world of both her father, Pope Alexander, and Cesare, her brother; However, Lucrezia is determined to live a different life from the debauche family she grew up in.  She does want to be happily married.  She wants children and is devastated when they are taken from her. She was defintely the Borgia pawn.
Beautiful and serene, Lucrezia was very much loved by her family.  Plaidy often refers to this as a very strong love-passionate love- yet she never alludes to anything incestuous. Throughout the book this is more of hearsay and gossip about the evil family by others.  The reality was that poor Lucrezia was married off three times; grieved the loss of both her lover and loving husband (both slain), had her children taken from her and then was sent to a new husband whose family hated her.  Throughout it all, Lucrezia held her head high.  Even through the most devastating moments she kept her cool.  Lucrezia found solace in poetry and her great friend Strozzi.  But- this being a Borgia story...without telling you more- there is of course infidelity and forbidden love...
This is an excellent novel and a great introduction to the Borgias through the life (albeit condensed) of Lucrezia.  I especially appreciated Jean Plaidy’s Author’s Note at the beginning of the book where Plaidy specifically says she wrote this book to shed light on all the controversy surrounding Lucrezia. She also lists the works she used for her research; something I’ve not yet encountered in her other novels.  Being a great fan of Plaidy, I loved reading this introduction where I felt that Plaidy personalized this particular book by this time presenting it not only through historical fiction, but by actually taking a stand in her perception of the history. 
Can’t wait to read more about Lucrezia!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Starting a new Plaidy read...

I've just opened up Light on Lucrezia  and am actually on the first chapter. So far, not knowing that much about Lucrezia herself (except that she's from an incredibly horrible family..)I'm curious to see how this one turns out. I know there's mostly negative stuff written about her by other authors. But after reading Plaidy's foreword where she talks about seeing Lucrezia from another perspective- well, that kind of got me very interested. Isn't that so very Plaidy-like to capture the reader even before the book is even opened...

                 Looking forward to another exceptional read- let you know more along the way...

Monday, January 10, 2011

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If you haven't seen it yet, (our main website) has been completely revamped! We've also made a Facebook Fan Page and have a Twitter account. Please join!

Facebook: Royal Intrigue

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Jean Plaidy Challenge Winners!

The winners of the 2010 JP Challenge are Christina, Holly and Lizzy! Prizes this year are either:

1 copy of a brand new UK reprint from the list


2 copies of used paperbacks from the list

First to respond gets first choice! Please send an email to Arleigh at arleighjohnson(at)gmail(dot)com!

New UK Reprints

The Prince of Darkness

The Star of Lancaster

The Sun in Splendour

The Queen’s Husband

The Italian Woman

Queen Jezebel

Madame Serpent (claimed)

Light on Lucrezia

Defenders of the Faith

The Revolt of the Eaglets

The Red Rose of Anjou

The Heart of the Lion

The Hammer of the Scots

Castile for Isabella

Spain for the Sovereigns

The Vow on the Heron

The Battle of the Queens

The Follies of the King

Used paperbacks

The Goldsmith’s Wife

Louis the Well Beloved (claimed)

The Prince and the Quakeress

Victoria in the Wings

The Queen and Lord M

The Captive of Kensington Palace

The Murder in the Tower

The Queen’s Favorites (claimed)

Daughter of Satan

The Haunted Sisters

The Widow of Windsor

The Three Crowns

Beyond the Blue Mountains

The Plantagenet Prelude

The Lion of Justice

The Queen’s Devotion

Queen of This Realm

We've not scheduled a 2011 Challenge, but plan to revamp the site soon with more Plaidy fun! We hope everyone has a great 2011 with lots of Jean Plaidy books!