Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The First Sir Percy

The year is 1624. The setting: Holland.

The town celebrates a double wedding as Mynheer Beresteyn sees both his children married. His daughter Gilda’s new husband, Sir Percy Blakeney- commonly known as Diogenes- is a mysterious man with a murky past. Recently a war hero, he is greatly admired and applauded- until he disappears shortly after his wedding. As he is suspected and then accused of treason, will Gilda remain loyal to her husband, even in his absence?

The second of two novels about an ancestor of Sir Percy (aka The Scarlet Pimpernel), The First Sir Percy is the second book in The Scarlet Pimpernel book series that I’ve read.

I didn’t get “into” this book until after the first chapter; it didn’t immediately grab my attention the way the original book in the series did. Also, because I didn’t know much about the culture/time period, sometimes the names and leaders confused me. However, this became less of a problem the further through the book I got.

Gilda was a lovable character. She was intelligent and loyal, and even when it looked as though all hope was gone, she kept faith in both God and in her husband.

There is a definite similarity between The Scarlet Pimpernel and The First Sir Percy. Baroness Orczy, beside being fond of overly long sentences (heehee), also seems to enjoy giving her heroines extremely dislikable brothers. Except, in this case, Gilda’s brother is about a million times worse than Armand. (yes, really!) He’s not the villain of the story, though. Ooooh, the villain was evil. Which was a good thing, of course!

So…this Sir Percy wasn’t *that* Sir Percy. But they never called him by his actual name, so it never bothered or confused me. Diogenes was outrageous, daring, and a very good actor. And he even proclaimed “odd’s fish!” at one point!!!

Traits that Sir Percy obviously inherited. :)

There wasn’t nearly the inappropriate language that plagued TSP. There were quite a few Dutch words, which, I suppose, could have been swear words or something. But I don’t know Dutch, so I couldn’t tell. And in context I have no idea why they would be inappropriate.

This story was, in part, influenced by the painting “The Laughing Cavalier” by Frans Hals- the artist is even mentioned in the book, and this is what Diogenes is supposed to look like:

So he’s not really what I pictures Diogenes as looking like…let’s blame it on the artist.

The First Sir Percy has all the daring and intrigue that Scarlet Pimpernel fans will love. I can’t lie and say that I love it better than The Scarlet Pimpernel, but it’s definitely worth reading. I got the book on a Saturday morning and read it in one sitting! (Okay, I did break for lunch, but hey, I was hungry!)



Anne-girl said...

Oh Hayden! I am monstrously pleased that you are an author on one of my favorite blogs! This book seems amazingly wonderful.

Sorry. I've just been reading Northanger and Isabella has rubbed of on me a little .

Alexandra said...

Hayden!!!! Welcome to the club!!! SOooooooo excited to have you here.

I wasn't planning on reading this one...I just want to read about Percy when I read about Percy, you know? :-D But now you've got me sold. I've got to read this! :-) Thanks for the awesome review!

Miss Dashwood said...

Squeal!!! LOVED this post, Hayden, SO glad you're joining us! This is going to be quite fun.

Heehee, I was going to write a long rambly comment about this book... but then I read Ally's comment and now I'm all, "what she said." Heh. I knew there were books about Percy's ancestors, but never gave them much thought, y'know? Now I think I'll try to get this one, because it sounds quite exciting. And the part about Percy's inherited traits really had me giggling. :D

Hayden said...

Haha! I'm all too happy to be here! :D Yeah, I wasn't too interested in the books about Sir Percy's ancestors, but I could not find ANY other books in TSP series at all (and I really dislike ebooks) so finally got to the point where I was just gonna take what I could get! :)

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking it :) (though no one can compare with the REAL Sir Percy... *grin*

Anonymous said...


Too many awesome books... too little time!

Sorry, First Sir Percy - you'll have to wait in your place behind El Dorado and Lord Tony's Wife.