Review Blog

Aug 08 2008

Sovay by Celia Rees

cover image

Bloombury, 2008. ISBN 9780747598084
(Age 13+) It's difficult to resist picking up this book with its beautiful girl on the front cover and the enticing words 'She fought for her life. She robbed for love'. When the blurb describes Sovay hiding her face with a black mask and green silk kerchief, and pronouncing the words 'Stand and Deliver!' the reader knows that there will be adventure and romance galore ahead. The story starts with a traditional ballad about a girl named Sovay who decides to test her lover's feelings for her by posing as a highwayman and trying to steal the ring that she had given him as a token. In the ballad her lover refuses to hand over the ring, but in Celia Rees' story, Sovay's fiance turns out to be a seducer of young maids, and is easily persuaded to turn over the ring when Sovay threatens his life.

Set against a backdrop of the French Revolution, this is a story full of intrigue and adventure. Sovay's father is a free thinker and sympathetic to the ideals of equality. He is suspected of plotting against the Crown, and Sovay finds herself again dressed as a highwayman, this time to thwart the evil intentions of people conspiring against her family. After many adventures and encounters with attractive men, Sovay faces great danger in Paris in the midst of the French Revolution.

This is a very satisfying adventure story with a feisty heroine, dastardly villains and intriguing spies. It is sure to appeal to readers who like their history spiced with a bit of romance.
Pat Pledger

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