dangermousie: (HYD: Rui book)
[personal profile] dangermousie
I have been reading Lauren Willig's The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, a sort of romantic adventure novel. It's part of a loosely-connected series about spying and romance in turn of 19th century England and France. It won't be winning any awards but it's a fun fast read and I like the two main characters, Vaughn and Mary, because neither is a typical virtuous, patriotic, romantic soul (the way the protagonists in Willig's other novels are). Vaughn is jaded and decidedly cynical, and also rather older than Willig's other heroes, being 35 if he is a day. Mary is mercenary and hard-headed and when the novel opens, she is still reeling that her sister married her suitor: not because she loved the suitor, as she did not, but because she wanted the suitor's position and money. Vaughn and Mary come to an agreement: Vaughn is returning a favor of an aquainance by recruiting Mary to help catch a French spy and Mary agrees because she is promised a hefty sum. The story goes from there and I am pleased to say neither Mary nor Vaughn (though they inevitably fall in love) become mushy, sappy, or noble under the influence of romance - they are hard-bitten pragmatic cynics till the end, only cynics in love. I approve. My favorite bit is Mary's love confession when, in return to Vaughn's comment that he can't marry her, she says that she doesn't care for his money or title, and then corrects herself matter-of-factly, that of course she'd love to have them and much prefer to take him with them attached, but if she can't, she'll take him without. Heh.

I have also been reading David Gemmell's trilogy about Troy, starting with the first novel in the series, Lord of the Silver Bow. I am madly in love with it - it's a really fun, fast-paced novel with cool men and awesome women to start with, but it's also interesting to see a new retelling of the old story. The protagonists are not really who you'd think, either - the main character is Aeneas (who also likes to use an alternate name Helikaon). If anyone told me I'd have a literary crush on the bore from the Aeneid, I would have been amused, but here I am. The other main characters so far are Andromache and Odysseus. If you want a fast-paced read with sword fights, naval battles, some angst and an awesome OTP, do check it out. The whole trilogy is complete.

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dangermousie

November 2012

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