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.
I am one of those people who is drawn to a book by it's cover. So, if I had never read anything by Celia Rees, I still would have wanted to read this book.
As it is, I am a big fan of hers, and so I wanted to read this book even more.
Sovay started out fairly decently. There's this girl named Sovay who is basically getting revenge on her fiance... so she dresses as a guy, pretends to be a highwayman, and steals all of his money. Which is good... an interesting and intriguing start to a novel. Right away I realized something about Celia Rees and why I like her books so much: she always has a strong female main character. At least out of all of her books I've read. And so I instantly liked Sovay: she was strong, and fascinating to learn about.
As the story progressed, I found myself... somewhat less drawn to it. Don't get me wrong, it was still good. But it was all over the place for me. One second it's about the revolution, the next it's about this guy or that guy, then it's about the revolution again, then it's about Sovay's most recent cross-dressing and robbing adventure. All of that in one book doesn't bother me, but it seemed like there was no decent transition. The point of the novel was lost on me... was it to emphasis the horrors of the French Revolution? Or was it a story about Sovay and a brief period of her life?
It didn't make much sense to me. It wasn't a bad book, by any means... and who knows, maybe I'm just being picky and judgemental. The book just didn't do it for me, sorry to say. So, if you're looking for a Celia Rees book to read, the one I would recommend would be Pirates!. It's definitely way better than Sovay.