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Rinn

Rinn Reads

I've always been a big reader - it runs in the family. I read pretty much every genre, but my particular favourites are sci-fi and fantasy, with the occasional thriller, historical fiction or YA novel thrown in.

Currently reading

Dear Fatty
Dawn French
Progress: 37/368 pages
Throne of Glass II
Sarah J. Maas
Progress: 233/432 pages
I am Venus: A Novel - Bárbara Mujica Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me with a PDF of this book. This review is also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.Narrated by the woman who posed for his portrait of Venus, this semi-biographical novel of Diego Velázquez is a wonderful piece of historical fiction. Mujica's writing flows very smoothy, apart from the occasional untranslated Spanish word which may cause the reader to falter. I loved the tone of the book, it was both easy to read and informative.I can't fault Mujica's descriptive writing. She creates some wonderfully vivid images of seventeenth century Spain, causing the reader to experience the smells and sights of Madrid. She also clearly sets out current events at the time, meaning that any reader who does not know too much about seventeenth century European history should be able to follow the story with few issues. As I studied this period of history in school, it was really fun to see familiar names and figures brought to life. The one thing that may confuse the reader at some points however, are the similar names and rather wide cast of characters. Whilst this is obviously not the fault of the author, the characters having been real people four hundred years ago, it would have perhaps been nice to have a list of characters in the book somewhere.The major issue I had with the book is that the point of view was often confusing. I understand that the author wanted the identity of Venus to be a mystery (she is unknown to this day) whilst also having her narrate the book. This lead to some odd narratives, often switching between first and third person and in fact making the book feel like it had several narrators. I think the idea behind it was good, but it perhaps was not pulled off correctly.I wouldn't so much refer to this book as a 'story of scandal' - especially when in the context of history that makes me think of things like the corruption of the Borgias or the supposedly inbred Hapsburgs - and the book doesn't actually focus too much on what is going on in the wide world, but more on domestic and smaller issues relating to Velázquez. And whilst the book is about Velázquez, he is often absent for many chapters - as he was often absent from the lives of his loved ones - so it is more a story about the people in his life.I particularly enjoyed this one because most historical fiction that I read is either ancient history, or based in medieval or Tudor England. So this was a nice change, and is definitely a recommended read for anyone with an interest in seventeenth century European art or history, or the Baroque period.