Saturday, 1 December 2012

Lady Scoundrels' Saturday: The Raven Prince - Elizabeth Hoyt


Part 1. Scorn reviews The Raven Prince

And today it's time for part 2 of The Lady Scoundrels review The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt!

The floor is yours Sense

It’s been almost two weeks since I read this book and the overwhelming joy I felt then has since dissipated. The four stars I gave to The Raven Prince doesn’t seem as appropriate now as it did before. If I were working with half stars, I might adjust my rating, but as I am not, I’ll stick with what I chose.

Because as clichéd as the story was, it was entertaining enough to set it apart from all the three star meh books I’ve read. 

I’ve come to expect some level of anachronism from modern historical romances. These books are written for a modern audience and there are things that couldn’t be thought of let alone written two or three hundred years ago that are expected in literature of today. As Scorn pointed out last week, it can be jarring, but if you’re prepared with a hefty dose the patented Suspended Disbelief magic powder you should be just fine. I was. 

It didn’t bother me that a widow was working as a secretary for an earl in 1760. It didn’t bother me that said widow chose to further risk her reputation by caring for a sick whore. Neither did it bother me that the same virtuous and overly gentle-hearted widow chose to travel to London and pretend to be a courtesan just to have sex with the pre-mentioned earl. No, that part I actually liked, because I’m a well known fantasy fan, and because I had this feeling of a déjà vu. I can’t be absolutely certain but I think I’ve read those exact sex scenes before. Perhaps in Finnish in a book I “borrowed” from my mother.

Because the powder was working it’s magic I could sit back and enjoy the delightfully rounded characterisations for the main characters and the people around them. There was a sense of who they were, where they came from and why they chose the futures they chose, even if—predictably—the villainess of the situation was left with a little less attention than she deserved.

I liked that Anna Wren, the widow, was a headstrong feminist around the time blue stockings were only becoming a fashion. I liked that Edward de Raaf, the Earl, had real hopes and dreams he ultimately, and painfully, relinquished for something he wanted even more. I also liked he wasn’t one of the stupid heroes who needed to be hit with a sledgehammer in the head to realise the obvious truth. 

“Would you prefer swive? Tup? Dance the buttock jig?”

Also, I have to echo Scorn’s spoilery remarks about the ending: <spoiler>I saw that a magic-cock-cures-all deus ex machina was coming around the time Felicity started thinking about her red headed child. For me, the only acceptable reason for Anna’s childlessness should have been her husband’s sterility. I’m aware that this happens in real life, that women who aren’t able to conceive with one man do with another, but this particular plot twist has been abused in romances and I would like to see it stop.</spoiler>

To summarise: The Raven Prince fairytale was the best part of the book. Although there was too much sex, it was entertaining and I liked it. Slow start. 

4 stars


Series: Princes Trilogy #1
Pages: 392 (paperback)
Publisher: Warner Forever
ISBN: 0446618470
Published: November 1st 2006
Source: Anachronist

21 comments:

  1. I think Hoyt's Four Soldiers series were the first historical romances I read. Late to the party, I know. I have this earlier series on my Kindle but haven't had a chance to read them yet. I will and I'll keep in mind the slow start.

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    1. It's a good book for when you don't want to think too much ;)

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  2. I must say that this time Scorn is situated surprisingly close to Sense ;p. By the way there is another book in the 'Prince' Hoyt series which I liked more than The Raven Prince. I think here of the Serpent Prince. I might review it one day.

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    1. For some strange reason I'm not in a hurry to read another Elizabeth Hoyt book.

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    2. It must be a strange reason indeed :D.

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  3. Glad the Suspended Disbelief magic powder helped in this case. I've had to use that myself from time to time.

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    1. It's wonderful stuff, I couldn't live without it, not for terribly long anyway ;)

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  4. I love magic powder and shake myself in it liberally from time to time, great review!

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    1. Full body immersion is often the key :P Thanks.

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  5. Thank you Rameau :D Excellent review as always but then I expect nothing else from you

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    1. Thanks. It came out surprisingly coherent for a last minute review.

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  6. Hoyt is on my list of authors that I haven't read, but would like to. This sounds like a decent read. Thank you for your review.

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    1. I'm glad if I could help. Thanks for reading.

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  7. I have read this book, but for the life of me, I cannot remember the Raven Prince Fairytale.

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    1. I don't know if it's a real fairytale or something the author came up with but it sounded familiar to me.

      The Raven Prince, a summary:
      A Raven saves a kingdom and gets to marry the youngest princess. He carries her to his home and learn to live together and care for each other. At night, in the pitch black, she's visited by a stranger. After a little help from her sisters, the princess lights a candle and takes a look. It's her husband who now is cursed to be a raven all the time. He flees and she has to find him again.

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  8. I like the sound of Anne, she seems really interesting. I can understand the problem of rating... It's the reason I'm trying to do my reviews just after reading the book. thanks for the discovery!

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    1. I'm glad I could help. Usually I try to review books right after reading them too, but sometimes I just don't have anything to say and the distance helps me to make up my mind.

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  9. I like how you described the hero.

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    1. Smart? Because smart heros are in short supply in these books. :P

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  10. Sometimes I am also like that, I find myself changing my rating of a book as time passes...

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    1. I try to change the rating only if I've reread the book. Not always, but I try.

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