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Friday, February 19, 2010
Review: The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer
Genre: Fiction, romance
Trade paperback 368 pages
Book source: Sourcebooks (They have reprinted, I think, most of her books.)
Jack Carstares—an Earl turned highwayman—and his enemy—the enigmatic Duke of Andover—who engage in an intense rivalry over society beauty Diana Beauleigh…
Seven years before our story opens, Carstares protected his brother by allowing himself to be disgraced for cheating at cards. His brother, suffering intense guilt, isn't aware that they played right into the hands of the Duke of Andover.
The disgraced Earl now roams the countryside until a confrontation with his rival thwarts the attempt to kidnap the lovely Diana. But now the Duke is more determined than ever to have Diana for his own, and the two men will meet at sword point before the Earl's name can be cleared and he can claim his fair lady.
What a great introduction into the world of Georgette Heyer! How appropriate is it that my first time reading Heyer starts with her first book ever? I read somewhere that Heyer wrote The Black Moth as a means of entertainment for her brother while he was recuperating from an illness in 1921. She was 19 years old at the time and I think she did a fantastic job her first time out.
This story has a little bit of everything:
*A disgraced Earl
*An evil villain
*A damsel in distress
*Rescuing and sword fights
*And of course a happily ever after
Reading this book reminded me of old swashbuckler movies I have seen, like Ivanhoe, or something with Errol Flynn in it. Heyer's work starts by introducing the players in the story one by one with some depiction of their character. Her physical descriptions are quite good as well, because I was able to visualize the Duke of Andover and his sardonic smile. The hero of the story is then introduced, the disgraced Earl of Wyncham, who is disgraced for the sake of his family. Little by little the scenes are played out and the story progresses. The sword fights were also quite entertaining and did have me anxiously reading especially towards the end.
The story is a bit simplistic and there is not an abundance of character development, but The Black Moth certainly provided me with some much needed entertainment. Although the plot is predictable, Heyer builds suspense into the story that kept me reading. This book was pure fun for me and has certainly made me a fan of Heyer. Why did I wait so long to read one of her books?
Researching on the Internet, I discovered that apparently these characters, or shades of them, come up again in three other Heyer works: These Old Shades, Devil’s Cub, and An Infamous Army. Guess which Heyer books I will be reading next?
My Rating: 97/100 I told you I loved this book!
Here's an interesting website that has tons of info about Heyer, and excerpts from her books.
This is her Wikipedia site.
A a heart felt thanks to Danielle from Sourcebooks for my review copy. She has made me a Heyer admirer :)
2010 Challenges Met: 100+, Historical Fiction, Reading Romance