Because SotHoB is artistically licentious. No one has the balls and/or inclination to write Famous Person’s story anymore, leaving us with a proliferations of Famous Person’s Story As Seen By The Lesser Sister/Bastard Son/One-time Lover, so SotHoB is told by Violante, Lucrezia Borgia’s Jewish-turned-Christian lady-in-waiting (those were, apparently, all the rage). The political wrangling is seen glancingly, which *phew* because my Politics Brain is pea-sized.
A dearth of politics leaves us with the gossipy bits. And it is gossipy. By the time Violante enters her service, Lucrezia is on her third husband. Her pope-father is ailing, her brother Cesare keeps sacking cities he promised he absolutely would not sack, and everyone’s situation is tenuous unless Lucrezia can produce a male heir and solidify her position as duchess. Very Philippa Gregory, but with better writing and less on-screen incest.
And obviously Violante falls for Cesare (who didn’t in those days, I’d like to know) and sexy times have a way of being had, and it is quite *hem* steamy for a bit. The first half led me to believe it was going to be all sexxors, but that tapers off after a while once a few people have been betrayed and locked up in towers or had their eyes put out, and we can get on with the business of soul-searching and saving our friends from themselves and endeavoring not to be murdered in our beds.
There are some mildly confusing moments, like I’ve gone to the can in the middle of a movie and have to pick up the loose mental threads when I get back, and I’m not sure if they’re intentional, but they aren’t ruinous. Ok and like one (eight) too many times Violante hears a scream rend the air only to realize that the voice raised in terror is her own. Seriously people, stop that. That never happens. And she does say things like ‘Looking back, that’s when everything changed for the worse’ a wacky amount, but ominous foreshadowing is like candy to me, so I sort of enjoyed it.
OOH, AND! If you click here (I am no one’s affiliate, more due to laziness than ethical qualms) and live either in Canada or Canada’s Basement you can ebook that shit for 2.99, which is frugal. But only until Monday, March 7th.
Seven caterpillars, and delightful.
Requisite ass-covering: book received from publisher.