Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Royal Escape - Georgette Heyer

royal escape
georgette heyer
c. 1938
464 pages
completed 4/7/2009

read for: read your own books challenge

*may contain spoilers*

This was an area of history I've never really read about so I was pretty excited going in. Royal Escape tells the story of King Charles II's flight out of England after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester. I was somewhat disappointed. I think this book could have been better if it had covered more time...more of what led up to the battle of Worcester or more of what happened after he made his way to France. Why did Charles II have to battle at Worcester for his crown? Did he ever come to power after he fled England? I know the answer to these questions, but I think the book might have been better had it tried to cover them a little more.

As it was, just the escaping and hiding all over England, the book was pretty repetitive. The King needs to get to France, he's taken to a safe house near a port of some kind, they make plans, the plans fail, start again. Several times over. At each stop we lost the last set of characters and gained a new set, but soon it was hard to distinguish between each stop. There's always a old mother who treats the King more like a son than royalty, there's a wife who's afraid for or angry with her husband for endangering himself and his family, there's a young girl who wants an adventure with the King, there's a gentleman who is in some kind of legal trouble who's making the plans, etc. Even some of the mishaps that happened were similar. By the third time the King and his party had to ride through a troop of soldiers, hoping the King wouldn't be recognized, it just wasn't exciting anymore.

I don't imagine my disappointment will deter me from reading more by Georgette Heyer. Before I realized the book was so repetitive, I was enjoying it quite a bit. I just think this was not the best bit of history to single out.


1 comment:

Sara said...

I'll admit that I haven't read any of Ms Heyer's historical novels - or, at least, the novels that concentrate more on history, rather than simply being set in the past - but I can assure you that her romances are really quite well done. I think that you'd like The Grand Sophy and The Masqueraders a great deal. I very much liked The Devil's Cub, as well, but I think that the hero of that one is a bit more up my street than yours.

I've heard that her book about Waterloo - An Infamous Army - is quite good. It is, however, the third volume of a sort of trilogy, where the first two are more straight romances.