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The Scroll of Seduction
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The Scroll of Seduction

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  765 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Manuel is a man of many talents; an art historian and professor, he is also an exquisite storyteller. When he meets 16-year-old Lucía on an outing from her boarding school, he offers to narrate a story of dire consequences—that of the Spanish Queen Juana of Castile and her legendary love for her husband, Philippe the Handsome.

Promised to Prince Philippe the Handsome to sol
ebook, 352 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2005)
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I never realized that eroticism and history could mix together and form a very interesting novel. If one wants to have that combination, then this should be the book that one should read.

So, what is this about? This is a book written by Gioconda Belli, one of Central America's great writers. This tells the story of Juana La Loca and Philippe the Handsome. Juana is the daughter of Queen Isabella of Spain, while Philippe is from Flanders. The story begins along the time when Juana was arranged to
It seemed to me that this book was divided into two stories. There is the medieval story of Juana la loca (Juana of Castile) and then there is the fictional story of a 17 year old orphan (Lucia) who is at a boarding school run by Nun's in Spain. She meets a 40 something professor (Maunel) and he seduces her while telling her the story of Juana. Belli tries to model Lucia's story after Juana's and tries to draw parallels between the two, but Lucia's story just left me feeling wired-ed out.

I would
Judith Barbara Gargallo Duchident
I always considered Juana La Loca as an interesting figure, well in this book she isn’t treated like one. She is portrayed as a hysterical, ignorant nymph who only takes pride in being plumbered by her hermosito. Also disappointing is that the historical setting is just that: a mere setting. The characters could also have been on heat in Budapest in the 23. century, wouldn’t have changed a thing. The minor and her lecturer are just as boring. Young girl with nothing on her mind than mounting an ...more
A Pretty Cover Can Only Take Me So Far

I was very curious about "Juana the Mad" and was looking forward to reading that portion of this story. I wasn't as interesting in reading about the more contemporary seduction of the seventeen year old girl by her adult professor but I thought I would give the book a try anyway.

There were things that got in the way of my enjoyment and I didn't finish this book. The seduction part of the story would have been just fine if it weren't for the strange and disor
Very sensual. Great history on Queen Juana the Mad from Spain. A tad on the odd side. A history professor who's studying Juana meets a 17 year old girl. He dresses her up like Juana and tells her the story. Lucia tells the professor how she would have felt if she were Juana.
I like historical fiction so reading another book about a figure in history was interesting but I did not care much for the modern story much at all. Without the 40 year old man sleeping with the 17 year old girl I think I would have given it a higher rating.
I officially give up on this book, after having read more than a third of it. I really wanted to finish it, but it is irritating me more and more as I go on. It is made up of two stories: one in the present (well, sort of, in the 60s) and one dealing with Juana la Loca, queen of Spain in the 16th century. The first is decidedly creepy (I think mostly for the way it's presented, because I have certainly read much creepier things than a relationship between a 17-year-old and an older man and it ha ...more
From "Erk" to "Ewwwwww!" in 63 pages. I think that may be a record. This book was a $2 special at Big Lots, so I wasn't expecting phenomenal fiction, but I was expecting some decent historial fiction. Instead, what I got was a framing story about (view spoiler) ...more
Oct 21, 2014 Bian marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Lo dejé en poco menos de la mitad. No me gustó hasta donde leí.
Juana "La Loca" siempre me pareció interesante, pero no me gustó que la autora agregara una historia de ""amor"" entre una alumna y un profesor.
Me pareció algo retorcido, un tipo de 40 abusando de una nena de 17 huérfana y seduciéndola con la historia de Juana.
Además, me adelante y (view spoiler)
Gracias pero no gracia
El pergamino de la seducción narra la historia de Lucía, una estudiante en un internado de monjas, que seducida por Manuel (historiador cuarentón) se viste con un traje de la época (terciopelo rojo) y escucha la historia de Juana de Castilla de los labios del historiador. La idea es que Lucia, por el vestido y su juventud, pueda expresar cómo se siente Juana en las distintas situaciones en las que se encuentra.
El libro presenta una muy buena narración-interpretación de la historia de "Juana La
With how much I love South American poetry, you'd think I'm love novels by South American writers as well. But between this book and Daughter of Fortune, I think I'm going to have to pass on them in the future. Maybe I'm too much of a prude (not that anyone has ever accused me of being that), but I was disturbed by the graphic descriptions of what amounts to statutory rape between a professor and a 17-year-old student. Although I have to admit the subject matter was fascinating, which is what ke ...more
Mirah W
Interesting topic...not knowing a lot about Juana (the Mad) and Philippe and I found their story very interesting. It was really sad the way Juana's family depicted her and used her in their quest for power. I agree with another reviewer who thought the story of Lucia and Manuel was unnecessary. I appreciated the author trying to create the parallels between their lives and the lives of Juana and Philippe, but I really didn't care for them much as characters and thought their story was unresolve ...more

This book was a book club suggestion. And I wholly abhorred it.

If you have a deep knowledge of Spanish monarchy/history, you may very well enjoy it. Basically it traverses 2 times; the 40s and medieval. In the 40s, pedophilia runs rampant in a storyline between a young girl and an ancient, obsessive historian. In medieval, about 4,000 characters are introduced in rapid succession. It’s lacking 3-dimensional qualities, identifiable characters (or even likable characters!), and a cohesive storyli
Sabrina Bullock
I love historical fiction. This was a very interesting book, but had an unusual ending. It paralleled the life of a sixteen year old girl in the 60's with the life of a young renaissance princess who becomes a queen. It was intriguing and kept my interest. When I had to put it down, I couldn't wait to pick it back up to learn more about what was happening. It was rich with details and not just with regards to scenery, but with details even in the thought processes of the characters. It is a book ...more
Der Klappentext hat mich sehr neugierig gemacht, denn ich liebe historische Romane und auch, wenn verschiedene Zeitebenen miteinander verstrickt sind. Und das ist der Autorin in diesem Buch auch wirklich gut gelungen. Zwar ist die Geschichte der Vergangenheit eine völlig unabhängige und hat nichts gemein mit der der Gegenwart, nur die Charaktere scheinen zu verschmelzen: Aus der Schülerin Lucia der Gegenwart scheint die spanische Königin Johanna aus dem 16. Jahrhundert zu werden. Während der Do ...more
Catherine Gentry
Interesting reinterpretation of "Juana the Mad" from a woman's perspective. History has been written largely by misognistic men who demean women and their contributions. Here the novelist takes us through the historical events and we are meant to understand the feelings of Juana as she confronts the political machinations of her day. Was she truly mad (as insane) or perhaps really, more appropriately pissed off as she was used as a pawn by her parents and her husband? You decide.
Jeff Nail
The Scroll of Seduction is a very bad story framing a good story. For some reason, Belli felt that she needed to tell the story of Juana the Mad by way of a very creepy 40 something man using using the story to seduce a teenaged orphan.
Had she just stuck to the story of Juana, this would have been a great book. Juana's story, told in first person, is engaging with just the right amount of detail to set the stage, but not bog down the story.
Interessante e ben narrata la storia di Giovanna la pazza: descritta in modo semplice ed immediato. La psicologia dei personaggi (storici) �� delineata ottimamente e Giovanna appare in tutta la sua forza e intelligenza. Purtroppo non si pu�� dire lo stesso della storia (ambientata nel presente) che dovrebbe fare da filo conduttore: fastidiosa, banale, inutile. Personaggi piatti e senza personalit��.
Meh. Disappointed because I love Gioconda Belli's poetry and I loved Country Under My Skin. In the notes in the back, the author says that modern readers need a modern story or otherwise they wouldn't be interested in Juana La Loca, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabel, sister to Katherine of Aragon (Henry VII's first wife). Philippa Gregory's enormous popularity belies that statement, and if a potboiler is needed for Queen Juana then it would be great if Ms. Gregory wrote it. The modern story - wei ...more
Brigitt Ramírez
Este libro es demasiado inesperado.
Al principio la trama avanza lento y sin ningún objeto especial en la historia, pero conforme van pasando las páginas llega a captar la atención del lector (por lo menos para mí), es un libro muy histórico y contiene mucha información sobre el el siglo 15 y 16. En lo personal fué un libro intrigante y de aquellos que te dejan con un inesperado final.
Así se califica como una verdadera novela histórica y contemporánea.
Aunque contiene un léxico desarrollado, vale
Nachdem ich eher zufällig den spanischen Spielfilm "Juana la Loca" im TV sah, lies mich die Lebens- und Liebesgeschichte der Königin Johanna von Kastilien nicht mehr los.

Gioconda Belli führt den Leser in dieser faszinierenden Geschichte nicht nur in das tragische Schicksal und die leidenschaftliche Persönlichkeit der "wahnsinnigen" Königin ein, sondern beschreibt auf poetische Weise die unsterblichen universellen Lebensthemen der Menschheit:

"Die Liebe durchbricht die Schranken der Identität. Wer
OK. Let's see. How can I put this kindly? This book has a lot in common with Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code... but Brown's the better writer.

Alright. Before anyone goes crazy (no pun intended), I know that Belli is a renowned author, but every writer can have a bad day... or weeks. She writes good poetry, but this book was a big stretch. Here's why:

It's hard to write stories within stories (or frame stories, as they are also know). It doesn't matter the genre. It's very difficult to tell two stori
Jean Marie
First impressions of this book was that the translation from Spanish to English were done incredibly well. I've read some translated novels in the past and they can get a bit choppy in parts but this was done well. There were some misprintings a few times in the book. Towards the first half of the book, when referring the Catalina, Juana's sister, her English name, Catherine is used with a "C" while later in the book when refering to the same person, Katherine is spelled with a "K". Also there's ...more
Yolanda Rodríguez romero
Al principio el libro no me convenció mucho por la historia del profesor y la adolescente pero, después de que empezara el relato de Juana, quedé enganchada. Creo que Gioconda ha sabido mostrar a la mujer, a la persona, con todas sus contradicciones, sin convertirla ni en heroína ni en sumisa sino en una mezcla de las dos cosas, de debilidad inexplicable y de independencia y fuerte carácter. El hecho de que sea contada en primera persona le da todavía más interés. Además deja bien claro que de l ...more
I particularly enjoyed the historic tale of Juana the Mad, whom I admittedly knew little about before reading this novel. The frame story surrounding it, where an adult dressed up a cloistered underage girl as Juana and seduces her while telling the story of Juana is much less enjoyable, particularly because he was trying too hard to have her emulate the entire story. Overall, it kept my interest, however, primarily because there was enough of the Juana tale to return to.
It was interesting book...I had never thought that maybe Juana of Castile perhap wasn't so mad....Stuff she did that was "mad" was the same as any other women would have done.

The Scroll of Seduction is a very turbulent and haunting novel that tells the story of the Spanish Queen known as 'Juana the Mad' and her husband 'Philippe the Handsome'. I was as entranced with this part of the story. A secondary story in this book is about Lucia, a young orphan living in a boarding school in Madrid. Lucia
Diana Castilblanco
Si hay un libro que sea mi preferido de Gioconda Belli es el mismo pergamino de la seducción. Explora la cara de Juana de Castilla o Juana la loca, una mujer demasiado apasionada e incomprendida y mm al interpretada
I really wanted to give this book four stars. It was really well written, however, I really don't like the modern day setting. Manuel's stubbornness and the whole casual sex thing that was going on between him and Lucia really turned me off. I really did love the historical facts and the story of Juana and Philippe. The book was definitely well researched, but I feel Gioconda Belli should have just let Juana's story tell itself. I enjoy good historical fiction, but I really couldn't like Manuel ...more
Lidia Guerra
Una reivindicación a la reina Juana, desde la perspectiva femenina, para hacer comprender que rebelarse contra lo establecido y actuar según lo sentido no es locura!
Si preferir amar a gobernar, si ser mujer rebelde implica locura, pues ¡qué vivan las locas!

"Malhadada suerte la nuestra de mujeres fuertes y temidas de los hombres! ¡Tenían que encerrarnos, humillarnos, para olvidar el temor que les inspirábamos y sentirse reyes"

"Al menos, en el proceso de ser anulada, gritó y pateó lo suficiente
Kay Cid
i love all of Gicoconda Belli's work,although this is not my very best favorite by her, i enjoyed the description of the european reality at the time the colonizers arrived to America (America the whole hemisphere, not the US), it is based in the myth of Juana La Loca, the heiress of the spanish empire at the time. And how sexist the world was and still is. I usually don't like fiction novels but I read this one in two days. What i like a lot about Belli is that she has a different approach to t ...more
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