As a fan of historical fiction I looked forward to this book. Since the HBO series The Borgias came out I have had a fascination with the Borgia family. Overall this book was engaging but I felt it was quite rushed. It crammed a lot of information and a large timescale (1492-1502) into 500 pages. On hearing that the author is planning a sequel I am somewhat bemused about the content. Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI) died in 1503 and his daughter Lucrezia was the only one of his children to survive him by any great length of time. How the author plans to fill another book on the same topic is hard to imagine.
Blood and Beauty has scope, interesting characters and a lively plot which is made all the more interesting by the fact it is based on real people and real events. It is unclear, however, who is the central character is which gives the novel a confusing nature. A decent ‘summer’ read but overall rather disappointing.