Bel Reviews: Fiona Paul's - "Belladonna"
In Belladonna we’re heading away from the lustre of Venice and the elusive and anonymous happenings at glamorous masquerade parties of the top echelon of Venetian society. Cassandra is in a life or death struggle to find out who and why her fiancé Luca was arrested for heresy. To clear his name, she travels to Florence in search for the Book of the Eternal Rose.
As with the Fiona’s first book, Venom, nobody can be trusted and all are suspected of hindering Cass’ progress. Falco is still driving me crazy as a character. I don’t know where he stands and what his motives are, and it makes my blood boil.
The use of Florence as a backdrop takes me back to my art theory days in high school and grabs me in a way I wasn’t expecting. I love the opulence of high society and the lavish way a good proportion of the characters live.
Medical science was still in its infancy in these historical mysteries, and if you have a weak stomach, beware; do not snack while reading these books. There are entries from The Book of Eternal Rose at the commencement of each chapter and the clinical nature of them certainly adds to the mood and the relevancy of Cass’ plight.
If you’re in the mood for something a little different, a little posh, and a little gory, go find Fiona’s Secrets of the Eternal Rose series.
Belladonna was released in the middle of last year, so I feel like I’m playing catch up on this series. I saw book 3, Starling, on the shelves this week and I’m very, very, tempted to spend the 14 dollars to find out what happens to Cassandra, and what the hell Falco is playing at.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 1st 2013 by HarperCollinsPublishers Australia
ISBN 0732295939 (ISBN13: 9780732295936)