27/11/2005

The Masqueraders (by Georgette Heyer)

I love Georgette Heyer's light historical novels. I try to limit myself to re-reading one per month, then they last a few years and when I've finished I can start over. I hadn't read this one for a long time and although I recalled the key plot points, there was a lot I had forgotten.

This wasn't one of my favourites when I first read it; I even noted in the front of the book that it was slow to get started. I suppose it was, but I very much enjoyed it when reading it this week. The slow start didn't matter too much as I knew roughly what was coming.

Oh, the plot... a bit difficult to say much without spoilers. But basically a brother and sister are involved in an incredible masquerade. They take London by storm, confusing many people. This book isn't in Heyer's usual Regency period, but in the time just following the Jacobite rebellion, so there are mentions of the tragedy of Culloden, albeit brief, and the horrors of executions. Perhaps that makes it slightly more thought-provoking than some of this author's books.

On the other hand, there are some delightful caricatured people, most of all the amazingly vain - but utterly charming - father of the two main characters. He's lived an adventurer's life, and likes events to be convulted and as complex as possible. His talk is so outrageous I found it very amusing.

There's romance too - as ever - and very likeable main characters who are quite distinct and very believable.

All in all, a good book. Some of the slang and other language used may seem archaic, but it's not necessary to understand every word to enjoy a great story. Recommended.

Note: You can also read a longer review of 'The Masqueraders', written on re-reading yet again in 2012. 

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