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The Talisman Ring (2005)

The Talisman Ring (2005)

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3.62 of 5 Votes: 3
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0099474395 (ISBN13: 9780099474395)

About book The Talisman Ring (2005)

*slight spoilers*The Talisman Ring repeatedly brought to mind the last Heyer novel I read – The Unknown Ajax – except there were more of the fun parts and less of the parts I had found boring. Admittedly, I found the first quarter of Talisman to be dull and somewhat frustrating. The stage is set slowly, and part of this exposition is an arranged marriage that almost takes place between the hero and his young French cousin. Neither of the individuals respects the other, and it is rather painful to watch them nonsensically approach a marriage of convenience that nobody except the hero’s great uncle really wants. Throughout this the cousin acts in a very childish manner – in fact, both of the young secondary leads in the novel act well below their age. It's annoying. At the 25% mark, however, everything changes. The action begins, the heroine is (finally!) introduced, and the hero gives up almost instantly on his betrothal to his cousin. I had mixed feelings on this third change – on the one hand, this is probably the only story in the history of regency novels in which common sense effortlessly prevails against a marriage that was promised to a dying relative (the hero had promised his dying great uncle to marry his cousin). At the same time, it seemed pointless to make such a big deal of the arranged betrothal only to immediately throw it away. I think Heyer might have been going for irony. My feelings were much less conflicted about the other changes made in the novel. The action takes the form of a plot of intrigue, in which the villain is determined quickly but the main characters have to figure out how to prove it. This allows Heyer to be at her best in terms of comedy, having her characters playact various farces to dupe the villain and excisemen alike… with hilarious results. Scenes not dedicated to dramatic displays and scheming consisted of equally enjoyable bantering between the hero and the heroine. I really liked the heroine. I had formed the mistaken impression from reviews that the heroine was of a somewhat staid nature. Instead, she has a romantic sense of the adventure that could rival anyone – it’s just that she’s also more sensible and good-natured than the rest of the characters put together. The last scene between the hero and heroine was anticlimactic, but everything else between them was really fun and witty.So overall: the story started really slowly, and certain elements were botched or dragged out too much. But there were also plenty of fun and amusing scenes throughout the novel. It definitely wasn't Heyer’s best in terms of eloquent and well thought out writing, but it might have been her best in terms of full-out comedy.

I picked this at random from a list of the most popular books by Georgette Heyer, and I am very glad I did. It was incredibly funny, well written, I couldn’t put it down and didn’t want it to end. The two sets of lovers in this book couldn’t be more difficult: On the one hand, we have Eustacie, who runs away from a marriage of convenience to find adventure, and her cousin Ludovic, who had to leave the country because he was suspected of murdering someone. (To me, those two were, at times, almost nauseating in their naiveté and sense of romance, but I guess that was sort of the point.) On the other hand we have Sara Thane, a young lady traveling with her brother and also longing for an adventure, and Sir Tristram Shield, the man Eustacie was supposed to marry. These two are by far one of my favorite Heyer couples. With Sara’s more down-to-earth attitude and Sir Tristram being decidedly unromantic (which the poor man was reminded of over and over again), it was incredibly sweet to see how they slowly fell in love, both shining more and more with happiness with each page. The mystery of Ludovic’s stolen Talisman ring also fitted in nicely. The two couples set out to prove that Ludovic did not commit the murder he was accused of and at the same time searched for the only missing piece of evidence, the ring that Ludovic lost to the murder victim and that had vanished. The mystery, even if it is really not much of a mystery, was nevertheless very entertaining and didn’t distract from the love stories at all, because they were finely interwoven. My favorite quote: “‘Have you no sense of romance? I won’t – no, I won’t be proposed to with my hair falling down my back, a bandage round my head, and very likely a black eye as well! It is quite monstrous of you!’ He smiled. ‘Indeed, you will. You look delightfully. Will you marry me?’ ‘I have wronged you. If you think I look delightfully at this present, you must be a great deal more romantic than I had supposed.’”

Do You like book The Talisman Ring (2005)?

Ah, now here is a worthy successor to Mary Stewart for my bathtime reading. For god's sake, tell me which other Heyer books are like this so I can besiege the library for them. It's funny, it laughs at itself, the characters are ridiculous, the hero initially seems forbidding and then turns out to be a good sport after all, in a rather severe and cautious way. I fell for him totally. Eustacie and Ludovico weren't my interest at all: Miss Thane and Sir Tristram were much more my speed -- and I did enjoy background characters too, like Sylvester and Nye and Clem and Sir Hugo.I used to sneer at reading romances. More fool me. This is immense fun. It's not precisely intellectual, but it's well written and self-aware, and deeply involving. I'm honestly tempted to give it a five star rating, even though it doesn't hold up against other books I've rated five stars, because I smiled so much reading it, and giggled a fair amount too.Heyer's detective type novels are okay, but shockingly, I think I might find myself preferring her other work, if they're all like this.

Read for the Bodice Rippers.When I was a girl we turned up our noses at romance novels. In fact, if I remember correctly, Mills and Boon was a sort of general epithet. My first adult contact came in my late thirties, during a lengthy recuperation when I badly needed escapist literature. I think I started with contemporary romance novels,and didn't even consider historical romance until someone mentioned Georgette Heyer in the same breath as Jane Austen. I've read several Heyers since, but this one is new to me.There was a story that after Senator Obama met with Leader of the Opposition David Cameron, he summed him up thusly; 'What a lightweight!' (Of course any hack worth his salt can concoct six such quotes before breakfast, so I doubt it's true.) Cameron does seem light, but charming, like this pretty little piece. It sagged in the middle and I may not have bothered to finish it if it weren't a group read. But it rallied in the end. I can imagine the story as a pleasant 1940s film with Leslie Howard. I haven't decided who should play the leading lady.

Another charming and somewhat insubstantial romp from Georgette Heyer, involving a wrongly accused heir to a title, a staid and sober, but secretly rather dashing older gentleman, an eighteen-year-old heiress with a vivid imagination and an extremely charming and sensible lady in her twenties. If you've read Heyer before, you'll realize how they all pair off. The charm of Heyer for me lies in her lovely language, in the fact that her novels are quite often very funny, and that she doesn't appear to take herself too seriously. In all of these factors, The Talisman Ring fit the bill perfectly.

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