This book reimagines the story of Francis Bacon. This is a very entertaining book. It is easy to read and the pacing is perfect. It is very action packed.
The Dangerous Kingdom of Love by Neil Blackmore. Frances Bacon is an interesting guy living in a time I previously haven’t given a single thought to but anyway he’s annoyed about James V1’s boyfriend and he’s going to change that. George Villers is a man I’ve seen written in one other book I half read once so my opinions on this man are limited but this was very well written and the characters are wonderfully flawed. You want to hate Francis Bacon but you can’t and this masterpiece of historical writing means that you feel very quickly an expert on this very silly affair. I’ve seen people say it’s too vulgar for them but I watched Sex and the City before Gossip Girl so I’m well hard. My take away from this is shag who you want to shag.
I appreciate the publisher allowing me to read this book. I really enjoyed reading it the plot was interesting and the characters made me want to know more about them. I highly recommend.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free advanced copy of this book to read and review.
This was a masterclass in the creation of an unreliable and manipulative narrator - with the power dynamics of the c17th examined for the #MeToo era, without the social commentary being overly obvious or heavy handed. With the added drama of court scandal, betrayal and LGBT+ rights when such things were illegal. Coarse and crass, like the protagonist Bacon, this book is also very intelligent. I really enjoyed this!
NOTE: Thank you to Random House UK and NetGalley for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
There isn't much to say about this without going into a long, rambling, un-follow-able essay but - The Dangerous Kingdom of Love.
I felt as though the story was being told to me, like I was sitting across a table with a tankard of mead listening to his life-story. It felt personal, and real and raw.
It was wonderful.
DNF at 48%
I'm sorry, I really tried to give this book a chance. It has everything I should like in a book: history, evil gays, lot's of gays at that, explicit sex, fun characters, court plots.. and yet. I don't know. It might just be me, I just wasn't enthralled by the writing style I guess. Sorry Francis, nothing personal against you <3
I found this book really interesting, loved the historical accuracy, whilst also remaining humorous. The characters whilst all well-known were given new depths and angles. The narrative of Francis Bacon was really well-written. A very entertaining book and a hugely interesting insight into court life.
Was not able to read the entirety of the book and cannot give an accurate or overall rating/review . As a librarian for a big library system, we most likely have a copy of this item. I will look forward to reading it in future since I am sure I will. We have gotten positive feedback for this title thus far and I am excited to read it when possible.
This is a salacious, exciting and invite full look at 17th century court life!
Although a historical fiction novel, and I know the author has taken artistic license with the facts I can tell the author has a passion and knowledge of the happenings at the time and that this novel has been well researched.
Francis is a brilliant narrator and main protagonist. He is funny, sharp witted and the author has captured his true intelligence. Power as a plot device is strong in this novel and you get a real feel for how important it was at the time.
For those who love Philippa Gregory with some spice and sauciness then you will love this!
This book! I found in in “The Dangerous Kingdom of love” all I love about reading historical fiction. The author managed to transport me to a different time and place, introduced me to fascinating characters and their predicaments. Reading good historical fiction always makes me realise that times might change, but not human nature. The story is narrated by no one other but Francis Bacon himself. He was extremely amusing and I enjoyed his dry wit. The way he described king James I and Shakespeare, that was enough to make this book worth reading. I was chuckling and smiling, although the story was kind of devastating and sad especially towards the end. It was also a love story, beautifully told and I felt touched by it. To sum it up, I had so much fun with this book, but it was so sad of course... as lost and wasted love always is. I am definitely going to read more historical fiction by Neil Blackmore.
I received "The Dangerous Kingdom of Love" from the publisher via NetGalley. I would like to thank the author and the publisher for providing me with the advance reader copy of the book.
This was brilliant! And I am going to need a minute.
The narration from Francis Bacon's perspective was light hearted and engaging and charming and just generally delightful. The characters were complex, and the world textured and believable. The language and direct conversation with the reader made it feel playful and easy to read. Bacon was easy to sympathize with and to see and feel from his perspective. BUT, with one small shift in perspective, the entire narrative flips on it's head. The same situation is not delightful or charming, but manipulative and non-consensual. Just masterfully written.
Just absolutely brilliant. I am slightly emotionally scarred, but since that was somewhat the point, mission accomplished!
This book is the second historical tale from the excellent Neil Blackmore with this story set during the reign of King James I but this is no ordinary tale and one of the top oops I have read this year.
Francis Bacon, we learn, is a power hungry man eager to climb in King James’ court, no matter what the cost and boy is there a cost to be paid.
The tale takes us through the mind of Bacon, which becomes more distorted and unpalatable as Dorian Gray’s portrait making a gripping and absorbing read.
Bacon is a man who believes he is the only person who is able to know what is best for England masking his revenge against those who have slighted him. This gives us a study of love, life, ambition, power and abject loneliness.
This really should be a lesson to today’s politicians, influencers that there is no solace in chasing the ever changing court of popular opinion.
This novel was a real page-turner and a fascinating insight into the life of Francis Bacon. The narrative was compelling and I lost track of time as I read this book. A wonderfully written novel that delves deep into the court of King James I.
If you enjoy quality historical fiction then this book really has to be on your to-read list. I highly recommend this novel.
Wickedly waspish and cleverly anarchical- Frances Bacon is a schemer and conniver determined to flourish in the court of King James 6th & 1st. This novel is bawdy, amusing and educational ( in so many ways!) . I enjoyed it immensely.
I *loved* this. Power, sex, and a doomed love affair in the court of James I, as narrated (with questionable reliability) by Francis Bacon. It plays fast and loose with actual history but the machinations of courting power ring so true. And the ending packs a brutal punch.
It reminds me bit of Hermione Eyres’s Viper Wine and tv’s The Great. Huzzah.
“Everyone says I am the cleverest man in England. *Everyone*. But in this country, it’s a worthless thing to be clever. Which books you’ve read, which poets you can quote, matter nothing…
Because in England, in our times at least, only two things matter: the nobility of one’s lineage and the exquisiteness of a boy’s face.”
Set in the Jacobean Court of King James 1st, this is a raunchy, sarcastic, lewd , crude and honest portrayal of gay life amongst the nobility of this age. Only two things matter, nobility of lineage and a pretty face. Power is all, and both sexes are used to gain advantageous marriages, titles, and sometimes to oust a family that is becoming too powerful, by promoting others that are more pliable in certain aspects in order to keep the status quo.
Francis Bacon is the narrator of this tale. He is a writer, MP, later promoted to the post of Solicitor General, and he is a closet homosexual, so he lives dangerously and carefully. His sexual preference leaves him vulnerable to rumour and blackmail, prison for this habit is to be avoided at all costs. Francis Bacon tells a hilarious tale, much of this humour is tongue in cheek, it’s a most unusual love story, and based upon true events, really well researched and told. The descriptions of famous people of this time, make you see them in a new, and sometimes very unflattering light. This shows a hidden side of history, certainly not taught at school!
It’s not always full of happy endings, but the journey is hilarious, full of strong language and very thought provoking.
A five star read. A definite eye opener of a book.
Loved the narration of Francis Bacon which was engaging, witty and crass in the best way. I wasn’t overly familiar with this area of British history but this book gave enough background whilst simultaneously dropping you straight in the thick of it. So many things happened where I had to go google to see if they were true and apparently they were which made this book extra awesome. I also found it much better written than the author’s previous work The Intoxicating Mr Lavelle which I had previously DNFd.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I can't say I liked it but that isn't for any fault of the book, just that it isn't what I thought it would be and definitely not in my range. That said, I still give it 4 stars because I can recognise that it's incredible and wonderfully written book, with one of the most well-done examples of an unreliable narrator, to the point that you really care, feel and support Francis Bacon, and he's a full-time b*stard XD.
While I was not too fond of the anachronistic style of Francis' narrator voice (and a little too many swear words for my taste) it is a splendid narrative of the historical events and while not necessarily accurate, they are definitely possible or at least plausible, allowing you to enjoy the intrigues of the court and the terrible people that make it up.
And on the topic, I want to make it very clear that most/all the characters of this book are either awful, terrible with each other, egocentric or just in such a position to have to do quite awful things, and while it can be a very funny book in some place (because of the narration) it's also heartbreaking and quite dark in other.
I went into this book completely blind with regards to any knowledge of the time period or the real people who the characters in this novel represent, but after a frantic google search of Sir Francis Bacon, I felt like I had enough information to be going on with!
As someone who isn't a huge fan of historical romance fiction, I was worried this book might not be for me (but I'm a sucker for anything LGBTQIA+ so decided to give it a try - it IS pride month after all)... however, I was proven entirely wrong and I loved it.
It's absolutely chock-a-block with political intrigue, mystery and conniving plots, which gave a dark, creepy vibe to the prose, whilst at the same time is entirely lighthearted and whimsical at times with a lot of humour. It also raises a lot of serious questions about the treatment of women and also LGBTQIA+ individuals in that time period but also shows the (barely hidden) hypocrisy; we'll tolerate your queer quirks if you're powerful and rich, but otherwise you'll burn in hell.
Without giving anything away, I also loved the ending. I like the idea that as we see the story from only one perspective and sympathise with Sir Bacon as the story progresses (to the point of rooting for him), we only get to see one side of the story and the other characters involved may have different viewpoints. Not everyone roots for the same hero.
So glad I picked this one up. Would love to read more about that period of history and will definitely be picking up some of Neil Blackmores other titles in the future!