Book, I am indeed enjoying reading you, it's just that this little 3+ pages or so description you've decided to go on and on about with this execution by whateveryoucallit - tying the dude's four limbs to four separate horses and making them run and thus pull off said limbs (I am so not in the mood to google that!).* Even though you're not being uber gorey about describing it, when I got to the part about the execution not working no matter how much the horses keep pulling... Just, no, not putting me in a happy place. So you're going into the time out box for the moment.
Oddly the dude being executed really has nothing to do with the duc de Richelieu. I assume it's just being thrown in for local color. And the line about the aristocrats hanging around to watch the execution and feeling sorry for the horses because they were getting tired - oh yeah, that's indeed colorful. (Ugh.)
This is actually a great example of why I'll sometimes set a book aside and pick up another. And how I end up reading so many books at once. That time out box (or shelf or pile) is always full of a few books for various reasons.
This is going to be such a weird book to review. I'm going to have to write two reviews in one:
1) bemused discussion of the constant bed-hopping stories (there are some truly good ones in there - using disguises and hidden doors) and egotism of the duc de Richelieu, and
2) a rant in which I want to smack all the men in the entire century (starting with the French court and working my way through the continent) for their treatment of women, not to mention wanting to give a stern talk to the women who continually put up with Richelieu as long as he keeps sleeping with them.
(That's a seriously long commitment to smacking people around that I'm proposing. Er, along with the time travel.)
I have looked at lots of paintings of this man. I just do not see what all these women are falling all over themselves about. Though everyone does keep saying that it's his way of talking people into things that keeps him popular, both politically and with the ladies.
*Is there another term besides drawing and quartering when you're not going to do any slicing up and parts removal, just the horse and limbs bit? As I said, sooo not in the mood to research this atm. I have to get into a Ready For Gross Stories mode. Which I was not in when this delightful execution segment decided to get lengthy.