The Scroll of Seduction (2006) Juana, third child of 15th-century Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, was so in love with her husband, Philippe the Handsome, she was jealous even of… 2006-09-19 Fiction Rayo
Book Review

The Scroll of Seduction (2006)

Details Release Date: Sep 19, 2006; Writer: Gioconda Belli; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Rayo

Juana, third child of 15th-century Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, was so in love with her husband, Philippe the Handsome, she was jealous even of his corpse. She was written off as insane, but Nicaraguan author Gioconda Belli tells a different tale in The Scroll of Seduction — of an outspoken woman whose passions so intimidated men that she was imprisoned rather than allowed to rule. In Belli's story-within-a-story, expertly translated by Lisa Dillman, a brooding historian uses Juana's saga to seduce a 16-year-old orphan at a Madrid boarding school. While the setup is a smidge hokey, once the alternating narratives are established the novel gallops along.

Originally posted Sep 22, 2006 Published in issue #899 Sep 29, 2006 Order article reprints