Monday, July 23, 2012

Sovay by Celia Rees

It’s England, 1783. When the rich and beautiful Sovay isn’t sitting for portraits, she’s donning a man’s cloak and robbing travelers—in broad daylight. But in a time when political allegiances between France and England are strained, a rogue bandit is not the only thing travelers fear. Spies abound, and rumors of sedition can quickly lead to disappearances. So when Sovay lifts the wallet of one of England’s most powerful and dangerous men, it’s not just her own identity she must hide, but that of her father.


Genre: historical, adventure

Rating: 3/5 

I can't tell you how confused this book made me feel in whether I liked it or not. On the front some of the adventure was fun and enjoyable, but on the other hand everything felt very rushed and thrown together. One minute Sovay was acting as a bandit, the next minute there was a spy ring, the next minute Illuminati are going to sacrifice her. I felt like yelling at the author to slow down and maybe pick just one plot. Men are thrown around as possible love interests, then the actual love interest is introduced at the very end. Sovay is gifted with unbelievable luck in some circumstances, so much so that it starts to stretch the imagination. There's also the issue that the book leads you to believe that it's about a girl becoming a highwayman. That is actually very little of the subject. Most of it involves Sovay trying to find her brother and father (one of whom just shows up without her help eventually) and a few chapters at the beginning dealing with the handful of robberies Sovay actually did (lo and behold one happened to uncover the very papers that Sovay needs to help save her family). 

So there's the dilemma. The book isn't poorly written like some, but the plot is so all over the place I couldn't actually bring myself to really get on board with it. Maybe if it hadn't tried to do so much I would have enjoyed it just as much as the other French Revolution novels I read, but as it stands, this one was one of the more disjointed efforts.

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