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Saturday, July 4, 2009

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. A dazzling historical saga in which the roles of thieves and gentry, good and bad, and men and women are interchanged to riveting effect.

Sovay is a strong, determined heroine that is like none I’ve encountered before. The story line, while it may not sound so, is incredibly imaginative. Celia Rees has blended the beliefs of freedom fighting revolutionists with the life of 16th century maidens. Like her father Sovay is a freedom fighter in her own way. Unable to conform to the simple tasks and restraints that society has forced upon her, Sovay is ready to fight for her family’s name and earn her freedom.

The beginning of the novel was great. I was intrigued by Sovay and her life, as well as the suspense that the plot promised. Yet, after awhile of reading, my interest waned. The novel was incredibly, almost painfully, detailed and the plot was constantly changing. The effect was that the story seemed to stretch on, and on, and on, and on…

Every time I thought “Okay, that’s a good resolution, the end,” I’d find I had a huge chunk of pages still left. The book had a ton of perfectly acceptable possible endings, but when the true ending came I felt nothing was resolved.

After pages and pages of heavy, drawn out details and outlandish twists, I felt cheated. The entire ending felt rushed, as if Rees suddenly realized she only had a few pages left to work with and needed to end the book quickly.

And don’t even get me started on the “romance,” or should I say rushmance.

In retrospect, Sovay was a novel with lots of potential and intrigue. Though the story that the jacket suggested had little to do with the overall plot of the book, I still enjoyed it.

2.5 Stars
If you liked this, you may like... The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap or The Queen's Soprano by Carol Dines.

1 comment:

  1. I love the cover but the book itself doesn't sound like something I would really like. Good review!



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