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Monday, May 25, 2009

The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer

The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (303 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

An impetuous young lady and a fugitive nobleman…When spirited Eustacie stumbles into a band of smugglers, she is delighted to be having an adventure at last. Their leader, young heir Ludovic Lavenham, is in hiding, falsely accused of murder. Pursued by the law, Eustacie and Ludovic find refuge at an unassuming country inn.

And the delightfully sensible couple who try to keep them out of trouble...
The resourceful Miss Sarah Thane and the clear-thinking Sir Tristram Shield gamely endeavor to prevent Ludovic's arrest and Eustacie's ruin as the four conspire to recover the missing talisman ring that will clear Ludovic's name.
Delightful and witty The Talisman Ring sparkles with outrages plans of the half-French and half-English eighteen-year-old Eustacie de Vauban as she runs away to find “romance” and “adventure”, the kind she has read about in romance novels of her day. Intrepid but na├»ve about the ways of the world outside of her sheltered life, she soon has the countryside throbbing with intrigue.

Having agreed to marry Eustacie to please his dying uncle, thirty-one year old Sir Tristram Shield sets out to find her and send her to his mother until they wed. Wealthy, unemotional, cautious, and steeped in the habits of a bachelor, Tristram has no patience with reckless ventures, but when he finds Eustacie he also finds himself embroiled in a family tangle that demands his attention until it is unraveled and the rightful man inherits his uncle’s estate and title.

The conglomeration of characters that play havoc with Sir Tristram Shield’s orderly life run the gamut of society. The foppish Basil Lavenham (the Beau) and free trader Ludovic Laveham, both relatives who have agendas of their own, drag Tristram into finding the truth about a murder more than two years old. Sarah Thane, a single lady that befriends Eustacie, her self-centered brother Sir Hugh Thane, the Innkeeper Nye, along with Bow Street Runners and servants take part in the “adventure” Eustacie and Sarah are bent on having a part in.

Abel Bundy, a country fellow who works with Ludovic Laveham, says, “It ain’t no manner of use trying to keep out of trouble if so be you’re born to it. For why? Because if you don’t look for trouble, trouble will come a-looking for you…”, a statement that tells much about the motivation for many of the characters.

Georgette Heyer, known as the Queen of Regency, has a writing style that bubbles with humor, charm, understatement, and comedic timing. The subtle growth of two relationships during all the hullabaloo of searching for the Talisman Ring giving the novel a special richness that is so indicative of this author’s novels.

The Talisman Ring is a keeper for Regency Romance readers and readers who enjoy humor and subtle wit. It is splendid reading!