The story contains elements of Ann Radcliff's gothic suspense, Frances Burney's mannerly romance, and Baroness Orczy's mystery-laden intrigue; but the author seems unable to decide which of these themes demand dominance in the story, and the result is a confusing mess. On the other hand, I must give credit for the good aspects of the book that kept me reading despite the meandering storyline--well developed characters, spot-on historical research, and very fine writing style from the author.
Plus, I thought Sovay was a nitwit and couldn't warm to her at all (perhaps it was the repeated descriptions of her amazing beauty, boundless courage, dazzling figure, silken hair etc ad nauseum) and the tacked-on romance at the end with Mr Monobrow was the last straw.
Sovay by Celia Rees is an ambitious novel with such a disappointing execution. It was more work than what I wanted to commit into figuring out a book that was a hodge-podge of romance, suspense, intrigue, and historical recount of England and the French Revolution.
The antagonist that is introduced in the first 50 pages is not the real villain, he is not actually introduced until almost halfway through the book. Then there is a sloppy tacked on ending, which answers none of the real questions you have about what happens to the characters and bizarrely marries her off to some guy who only shows up at the very end after you have spent almost 300 pages reading about how every guy is in love with her.
For Sovay Middleton, life as the daughter of a kind, wise landlord is not very adventurous at all. From posing as a highwayman, dodging a spymasters evil and intricate schemes, to facing the sideways traps of the French Revolution, Sovay will do whatever it takes to find her father and bring justice to light. Sovay is not just a tale of a highway robbery nor a daring story of villainous spies, but a tale more intricate than any reader would suspect. While the plot is very long and the characters many, Sovay is one of the best reads Ive read this year. I'm very glad she did though; I believe Rees is speaking to her readers through many of the characters in Sovay. I highly recommend reading Sovay for not only the exciting historical adventure, but for understanding why people fought for Independence and Freedom. This Book is For: Young Adults who enjoy historical fiction or fans of Celia Rees This Book is Not For: Those who get easily scared by 400 pages or those you don't like history (but you should!) Content: Some graphic violence (PG) Cover: I don't like faces on covers!
England) will end up with one of two gentlemen.
In this suspenseful and romantic historical novel comes an unforgettable tale of danger and love. Obviously well researched and well referenced, historical drama Sovay takes readers back to the romantic era of Dickens A Tale of Two Cities. Sovays tale of romance and suspense with a historical edge was a thrill to read.
Greenwood would have been the most likely choice--but obviously he couldn't marry her because of status and his criminal status although he starts working HONESTLY by the end, there's Gabriel who's a perfect hottie devoted to her well-being except of course he has no space for a wife and kids in his life because he's so devoted to the revolution, and then there's the American who ALSO had a good chance and he seemed interested in her, but wow...he already has someone as they mentioned in ONE line at the end of the book. Dude...like...NO. -.- B- Wow...nice way to end Dysart. Now, I don't mind descriptive language--but there comes a time...when you have to put story and not pointless detail to every.single.little.thing.that.exists. I'm so sorry for not liking this book Ms. Rees :(
And the final part sees Sovay in France during the end of the Reign of Terror, and saved from the guillotine at the last moment. The evil antagonist from the second part of the story is dealt a hasty, 'oh-and-by-the-way' comeuppance (death by guillotine) that is only mentioned in the final 'tying up of loose ends' summary.
Celia Rees (born 1949) is an English author of children's literature, including some horror and fantasy books.