Before we begin:
Today my blog reached a hundred followers! Thank you guys! <3
This summer I have been quite the reader compared to during the semesters. I am very happy to have the time and inspiration to enjoy books for fun again! Since I have conquered a few books in July I thought I’d write a little something about them here. Nothing deep or fancy, just a few short sentences about the books and what I though. In the order I read them:
Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer
Jonathan L. Howard
Johannes Cabal is, as you might have guessed, and necromancer. He has made a deal with the Devil and sold his soul. Now he wants it back. To get it back the Devil makes him a wager: If Cabal can collect 100 souls for him within a year by operating a hellish carnival manned by living dead, demons and other weird creatures, he will give Cabal his soul back.
This was an easy and entertaining read. Cabal is a really cynical and sarcastic fellow, which made me like him even though he is highly unsympathetic. There are also a lot of other fun characters in this book, like Cabal’s vampire brother. I will probably buy the next book in the Johannes Cabal series when I am in the mood for some witty lines dripping with sarcasm. Maybe I can call this genre gothic comedy? Yes I think I can.
There was one thing though that bugged me when I read this book, was that the author never mentions when it takes place. I spent quite some time guessing from the settings and famous persons mentioned when this takes place. At last I let it go and just enjoyed the floating timelessness of it.
The Quiet Gentleman
If you read about Georgette Heyer on Wikipedia you’ll pick up that she’s a pioneer within historical fiction and lived 1902 – 1974. Most of her books, like this, take place in regency England, but she also wrote some contemporary detective/mystery novels. This is the first of her novels that I have read, and I really really enjoyed it!
It is about the dandy looking Earl of St Erth who comes home after the battle of Waterloo war to claim his inheritance. Being the son of his father’s first wife, his now dead father’s new family is not at all happy to see him claim the earldom. They had hoped he’d die in the war and thus letting the title go to the eldest son of his father’s second wife, a brother he hasn’t met since childhood.
The things I really like about this book are:
Heyer’s eye for historical details. And who doesn’t love to live in the regency era for a few hundred pages? I also love the mix of mystery, romance and humour. The love story in this novel is not too cheesy, which is important to keep me reading. I can’t take sappy romance! At least not a whole book based on that concept. The mystery bit gave it an interesting story line, and I also enjoy the characters and the wit some of them possess.
I really recommend this to anyone who’s interested in an easy to read historical fiction set in the Austen-era. (My boyfriend claims there’s no historical era called the Austen-era, but I’m the historical archaeologist so I should know, right?)
Augustus Card Esq.: The Autobiography of a Really Good Man
Henry Howarth Bashford
I bought this book on a whim after reading a review on goodreads about it. It’s written in the 1920’s with an anonymous author, but now we know it’s by Henry Howarth Bashford.
This book is a mock-autobiography by/about Augustus Carp. He’s a very pious and good man, and always act in the best intention. Or so he believes, and would have us believe. It covers the time from his birth to the birth of his own son, and we get to know how he was raised and how he makes his school years, his career and choice of church and wife.
It is a satire, and it drips with venom. Funny venom. I found it quite hilarious at some times, but a bit tedious now and then. All in all an interesting and entertaining contemporary comment on society in the 1920’s, and it’s not too long so it was worth it’s time.
So after reading The Quiet Gentleman I had to buy a few more novels by Georgette Heyer.
This one is about Kate, a girl from a good family, but she’s without fortune. Her father’s marriage was against his family’s wishes, and he became an outcast. This left Kate without any family connections and no one to provide for her when her father passed away. She has to WORK for a living! The horror! (Well, to be fair Kate doesn’t find this too horrible.)
In the start of the book she get sacked from a position as a governess, and she has nowhere to go but to her old nurse and the nurse’s family. There they decide to write to her aunt, whom Kate has never met, to tell her about her niece’s poor situation. This aunt comes along and invites Kate to her mansion, where she is to stay as long as she wish. Kate is incredibly grateful for this gesture, but can’t help feeling like her aunt’s home is not a very happy place.
This book has a love story, but is of a more gothic character than The Quiet Gentleman. I really liked the dark family drama. This is written from the heroine’s point of view, and Kate is a strong and slightly different woman from the females surrounding her. This, I think, is a typical thing for Heyer’s female protagonists.
Yes, another one by Heyer! I really like her books so far.
The Marquise of Vidal has a wild temper and wild habits. He is known as the “The Devil’s Cub”, because he is just as wild as his father was in his youth. He is flirting with a beautiful bourgeoisie girl named Sophia, and intends to bring her as a mistress to Paris. Sophia’s mother sees this as an opportunity for her daughter to shame him into marrying her daughter, and Sophia is quite excited about the prospect of becoming a Duchess one day. Sophia’s more sensible sister Mary realises that the marquise has no intention at all to marry her sister though, and that this adventure will lead to her sister’s ruin. So what does she do? She dresses up like her sister and fool the marquise into kidnapping her instead. Thus she is thrown into the power of the Devil’s Cub and find herself in France with him.
This one though was more focusing on the love story, and it was a little too cliché for my taste. You know with the dark and mysterious man, and the woman falling in love with him against her better senses. It still had the Heyer wit going for it, and the historical details and setting made it well worth the read. I must say though that Mary is the Heyer heroine so far that I’ve like the least.
Currently reading: The Toll-Gate, by Georgette Heyer. More on that in month :)