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BlueBeard by Valerie Ogden


by Valerie Ogden

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312,001,085 (3.5)1
Recently added byharrispsu, Traciinaz, readafew



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Bluebeard is a famous 15th Century psychopath that I only heard of through a fairy tale. The man actually existed and he was much worse than the Brothers Grime tale. Bluebeard, a.k.a Baron Gilles de Rais lost his parents when he was only 11. His grandfather, a rather unscrupulous man, made himself custodian of Gilles and his younger brother and all the property that they owned, which was quite considerable. Gilles was raised as the epitome of the rich spoiled and entitled brat. He was a bit of a bully and the only person who could tell him no was his grandfather, and that was fairly rare. Gilles excelled at arms training and it came to serve him well.

So after Gilles grandfather died and he became Baron, he went and spent time in the French court begging the Dauphine to let him lead an assault against invaders. He got his chance when a little waif peasant girl showed up in court claiming she was sent by angels to lead French troops into battle and win against the English. He became a Hero fighting alongside Joan de Arc. But after her trial and sentence, Gilles spirals into madness. He spends several years brutally raping, torturing, murdering and mutilating children. Mostly young boys, but girls as well.

The books is meant to be a historical look at Gilles de Rais, and an attempt was made to make it a story. It certainly read much better than a history book, but it was a long way from a nice well told story. It jumped around a lot, as if the author was telling you the story, not a nice narrative well thought out in advance. It could get a little irritating when she was just getting on a role and we jump to another scene with no immediate connection. It wasn’t until near the end when Gilles was facing the court before we really started learning what depraved acts them man had committed. But for all that, I still learned A LOT about France at the time of the 100 years war, the atrocities committed on all sides and I found it very interesting. I just think the author could have done a little better job putting it all together. ( )
  readafew | Nov 16, 2014 |
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