The Scarlet Pimpernel

Thursday, June 21, 2012


The Scarlet Pimpernel
by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
★★★☆

The Reign of Terror in France is in full swing and members of the Royalty are getting their domes loped off left and right by the handy-dandy guillotine. With the help of the infamous “Scarlet Pimpernel” many are fleeing the country to the safe shores of England. Unfortunately the Pimpernel, whose identity is a mystery, is being hunted by the French.

Marguerite, a French woman who made it out of the country, is being blackmailed to help with the search for the Pimpernel. Her estranged husband, Sir Percy Blakeney, disapproves of her past actions and she’s left to find a solution on her own.

SPOILERS

I really loved the ending. It wasn’t shocking, but I felt like it was a good twist and wrapped everything up nicely. In a funny way, it reminded me of Batman. The story of a dimwitted playboy who is actually a super hero saving lives. He never tells his love interest who he is, but he manages to save her and others multiple times. It felt like a super hero action movie.

SPOILERS OVER

BOTTOM LINE: It’s fun and entertaining; a great adventure book, but don’t expect too much depth. Read it if you’re in the mood for a bit of swashbuckling.

“A woman’s heart is such a complex problem, the owner thereof is often most incompetent to find the solution of this puzzle.”

9 comments:

Jeanne said...

There is also an extremely hilarious movie version of this book. The hero has a stock phrase my teenagers went around echoing for years: "sink me!"

Brenna said...

I love that you used the word "swashbuckling" in this review! Also, I had to google it :)

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

Swashbuckling and intrigue could be fun for a poolside read! I may just have to pick this up for my beach bag :)

Shelley said...

I remember reading about 5 pages of this, but never moving on, and it had nothing to do with whether I liked the book or not--just a timing thing. I've got to pick it up again when I want a bit of fun.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jeanne - That sounds hilarious, I'll have to check it out.

Brenna - It's such a great word and one that you don't have the opportunity to use very frequently.

Kat - It's a light one, but the end get good.

Shelley - It's not what I was expecting and I almost gave up on it too, but it was a quick read.

Kristi said...

Sometimes entertainment and a bit of swashbuckling is all I need. :)

I love how you show several covers. The one on the right is pretty cool. Very mysterious.

Jenny said...

This is the first book I ever remember being completely lost in, that I totally lost track of time and couldn't remember where I was. I love it so much, I reread it all the time, even though it's silly. It's so great!

Becky said...

I definitely enjoyed this one, in fact, I've been contemplating rereading it. Part of me wants to see if the rest of the series is any good!

There are a couple of good adaptations of this one!!! And I'd actually recommend watching them all. Because, personally, I can't get enough of Sir Percy.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kristi - I love finding different covers of the same book. They can give you such different impressions of what the story will be like!

Jenny - There's nothing quite like getting lost in a great book. Those are the ones that really stay with you.

Becky - I haven't heard anything about the rest of the series. If you read one you'll have to let me know if it's good!