Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: "The Scarlet Pimpernel" by Emmuska Orzcy

From Goodreads:  In the year 1792, Sir Percy and Lady Marguerite Blakeney are the darlings of British society—he is known as one of the wealthiest men in England and a dimwit;she is French, a stunning former actress, and �the cleverest woman in Europe”—and they find themselves at the center of a deadly political intrigue. The Reign of Terror controls France, and every day aristocrats in Paris fall victim to Madame la Guillotine. Only one man can rescue them—the Scarlet Pimpernel—a master of disguises who leaves a calling card bearing only a signature red flower. As the fascinating connection between the Blakeneys and this mysterious hero is revealed, they are forced to choose between love and loyalty in order to avoid the French agent Chauvelin, who relentlessly hunts the Scarlet Pimpernel.

My Thoughts:  This was a surprisingly good book.  I usually expect a 'classic' to be a little difficult to read but this wasn't the case at all.  The Scarlet Pimpernel was an quick, easy and fun read.  I had a pretty good idea from the beginning who the Scarlet Pimpernel was but it still was pretty intriguing.  I loved watching Marguerite and Percy fall back in love with each other and I also loved all the little twists in the story.  The Blakeneys were such a cute couple and you could just see how much they loved each other and how much they managed to hurt each other by pretending they didn't.  The character Chauvelin was such a good villain and so full of himself and it was fun to see the Scarlet Pimpernel outsmart him every time. 

One of the main themes of the story is the idea that people where masks in order to hide who they truly are.  I found that be a really interesting idea and I thought Orzcy blended it into the story really well.  Marguerite pretended to dislike her husband to hide the fact that she felt rejected by him, Percy always played the fool and the Scarlet Pimpernel had everyone tricked as to his actual identity.  I liked that the author took this theme beyond the fact that the Scarlet Pimpernel was hiding who he was and pulled in the other characters and their issues. 

If you are looking for a light, exciting classic, I would highly recommend this one.  3 1/2 stars.

I read this book as part of the Classics Bribe.

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