I’m sorry, guys, I’m in a read-anything-but-the-book-you-should-be-reading (i.e. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) mood. So I read another Sabatini novel. :/
This particular novel is about another revolution: the American Revolution. Whilst Scaramouche was filled to overflowing with wit, this book is more…..adventurous, and maybe just a tad more emotionally involved.
The plot: 1775 Charles Town (Charleston), South Carolina is under British rule, a complacent governor over a simple people. Beneath the subtle quiet stirs a ripple of rebellion under the salient name of the Sons of Liberty. Harry Latimer (not quite the heroic name I was looking for, but okay) is one such rebel. When Latimer (for such will I call him) discovers that the Sons of Liberty have been betrayed he must find the traitor. In so doing he creates an archenemy, Major Mandeville. From there ensues a rollercoaster of emotions and adventure as we follow Latimer through the war. In the end (a most exciting climax) he must come to the realization that appearances are not always what they seem (i.e. don’t judge a book by it’s cover).
What I like:
#1. This is the second book during which tears formed in my eyes (I’m not one for crying during a book- sad or not). I was aghast at myself and astounded by the incredible author who wielded such power.
#2. Latimer himself; hot-headed, impulsive man though he was. He had a certain quality about him, trying to save others while it might bring hurt to himself.
#3. The duel thrust upon Latimer, his response was perfect.
#4. Sally was quite the intriguing woman. Her logic defied logic.
#5. Tom Izard was a staunch friend, albeit a tad lazy.
#6. Rutledge. I was stuck between admiring his reasoning and hating it. While he made sense, his utter absence of emotion drove me to an intense dislike for him. The end, though, brings you to a grudging acceptance of and even forgiveness for him.
#7. The crazy loops Sabatini made me go through. Goodness! ‘He’s right; no, she’s right; well, maybe he’s wrong.’ It keeps your mind on it’s feet.
#8. A capture, sword fight, and escape. Of course, sword fights are a must for a Sabatini novel.
#9. The well deserved, almost condemning look Latimer gave Moultrie…..
#10. Myrtle. While I didn’t like her, at least she tried to make herself so (likeable, that is).
#11. History. I love it when history and fiction are put together. It really enhances the novel.
#12. Sabatini knows how to end a book. Latimer, Moultrie, Myrtle, Rutledge, Andrew, Mandeville…. He ends a book in such a way that it could be an ending or the beginning of a sequel. It is perfect.
What I didn’t like:
#1. Latimer’s impulsiveness led to stupidity- twice. The second time I was ready to…er, try and make him think straight.
#2. Mandeville. Once again, Sabatini style, you are led to loathe the antagonist, and in the end Sabatini tries to reconcile you to him.
#3. Andrew is an awful father.
#4. I couldn’t believe what Moultrie said.
#5. A LOT of bad words.
#6. The names. I have a real thing for characters having the right names. Harry and Myrtle just didn’t fit their characters’ descriptions.
I would give this book about four books. The bad words were annoying, but the real gipper was the moment of insanity that ruined Latimer for me.
Still, given the chance I would read it again. That said, keep a black marker handy and be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster ride. This should be good for about 15/16 and up.