17/08/2011

GEORGETTE HEYER, DEVIL'S CUB - MY REVIEW

Like father , like son. The Duke of Avon was “Satan” in These Old Shades  and, since the excesses of the young  Marquis of Vidal are even wilder than his father’s before him, the reckless duelist and gamester is called “the Devil’s Cub.”
Dominic is his name and he is  the protagonist of  Heyer 'sDevil's Cub.
The Duke and his Leonié are still among the protagonists of this second installment in the Alastair Trilogy and they are still very active between England and France -  each in his/her own peculiar way  - after 25 years.  With them,  many of the unforgettable characters of the previous novel,  involved someway or another,  in the adventures of the new ones:  young Marquis of Vidal and Miss Mary Challoner, Juliana Marling and Mr Comyn, young wench Sophia Challoner and her scheming , unscrupolous mother.
When lovely, saucy Mary Challoner had practised her bold deception upon the hot-blooded, fiery-tempered young Marquis of Vidal - substituting herself for her younger sister Sophia he had thought to carry off to France in an elopment-  she had little notion he would grimly hold her to her part of the bargain: he would take her in her sister’s place with him!


Mary, however, isn’t ready to sacrifice her virtue to the evil-but-highly-charming Marquis, so when Vidal begins to advance menacingly on the young woman after they come ashore, she shoots him. This extreme, brave action not only convinced Vidal of Mary’s virtue, but he now offers a different and far more threatening solution to the independent Mary: the Marquis wants to  marry her!
On the other hand, as she gazed defiantly into Vidal’s smouldering grey eyes, Mary’s heart melted. Against her will, against all her plans,the Marquis of Vidal had won her love forever. But she had tricked him, she had tried to make a fool of him and he was not a man who forgot or who gorgave easily. Was his offer of marriage part of a devilish design of revenge?
The abduction will bring forth the fast-paced events of this both  adventurous  and  humorous plot skilfully sewn with a thread of  smart, witty dialogue/narration.  I liked this Alaister Trilogy #2 but honestly less than its Prequel.  Though charming, young rake Vidal is so less smart and so less intriguing than his father! And Leonié as well. I had liked her sparkling temper in These Old Shades, now here in Devil’s Cub, reduced to her role of unobjective worshipping mother, she  loses all her verve and her liveliness.  Maybe now I understand better what I read about Leonié, that she is one of Heyer’s fans least favourite heroines. Maybe the opinion of the readers is deminished by her appearance in Devil’s Cub. Pity. I had liked her very much, but it happened to me too! I just couldn’t bear her behaviour in this story, especially her attitude to her son.
On the whole, I liked reading my latest Heyer, and I’m also sure I would have loved it much more if it hadn’t come after These Old Shades, which I had found simply irresistibile. Devil’s Cub features love, abduction and a dangerous masquerade as well as Heyer’s undeniable elegant  wit, so I’m very glad I  added  it to my “read in 2011 shelf”!

Good news for all the Georgette Heyer’s fond readers out there! 

In celebration of Georgette Heyer’s birthday (August 16) , Sourcebooks  is offering all 46 of the Heyer’s books that they publish in eBook format for $1.99 from August 15-August 21 ONLY .

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

SO you can see why, as a 13yo reading - devouring - her first Heyer, I was in love with Vidal ... until I had the chance to meet His Grace. Since then, I shamelessly switched my affections from son to father ;-), and fully appreciated DC's last scene at the Inn: as usual, Avon is absolutely fabulous with his coup-de-théatre!
xx K/V

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@K/V
Yes, you're perfectly right. The final scene at the Inn is so amusing and Avon so cunning and brilliant!
But, just make it clear and be honest: do you mean I couldn't appreciate Vidal because I am too old? :O

Anonymous said...

Your words, not mine! :-P
Honestly? I think that an incurably romantic teenager can easily fall in love with a reckless spoiled young boy like Vidal, whereas a "slightly more sophysticated" woman can't but appreciate his father's many virtues :)
K/V

Mulubinba said...

I absolutely loved Devil's Cub, Maria. I've read it many times and now have the unabridged audio narration to enjoy. I never tire of the scene at the end of the book where Mary tells the story of her abduction by Dominic to the "elderly gentleman" who comes to her aid at Pont Neuf.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@K/V
Thank you for your "slightly (???) more sophisticated" compliment :P

@Mulubinba
I've got to read Heyer only recently due to a velvet-voiced Brit actor's reading of some of her novels. I wish he could read others! I'd love an audiobook version of These Old Shades read by Richard Armitage!

Mystica said...

This was a good one!

alfie said...

Looove your review:-)

This is my favorite Heyer book. I read These Old Shades first, and later found Devils cub. I really adore Avon and Leonie, but I got to admit: I LOOOOOOVVVVEEE Vidal. Think that Mary is a bit annoying, but I think that´s only my jealousy ;-)
I got the unabridged audio narration read by Michael Drew. He really do a fine job, BUT (as JT would put it) I would love to hear Richard reading this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emXKbhWOZE8

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Mystica @Alfie
I'm glad you like this book, too!
And I'd love to hear Richard reading both these lovely novels in the Alastair trilogy. I hope he will still find some spare time for audiobooks... But I fear that being a movie star will complicate his life even more.
Thanks for the link!