Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,
Rowyn
rowyn

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer; Goblin Tales by Jim Hines

Georgette Heyer's The Grand Sophy reminds me more a Shakespeare-style comedy than of a romance: everyone's paired up for marriage at the end, but the story is about Hijinks Ensue, not about exploring romantic feelings.

And there are Such Hijinks. The book's eponymous heroine often made me think "This is who Austen's Emma wanted to be but wasn't." Sophy knows what's best for everyone and sets out to see that they get it, whether they know they want it or not. She goes beyond meddlesome and into the insane. In a way, the "Emma" comparison was an unfortunate one, because it made a forceful reminder that Sophy's success hinged on the author letting her be right in situations where she could very easily have been wrong.

It's a laugh-out-loud funny book, although I did find some of the hijinks implausibly and unnecessarily over-the-top. Recommended for the humor value; very entertaining. I'll give it an 8.5.

*

Jim Hines's Goblin Tales is a collection of stories using characters from the Goblin books. All but one of them are in the same setting. Most rely on black humor and a reversal of traditional tropes, much like the books. There's a story about Veka, the female viewpoint character from the second book, and I liked that one because it had more camaraderie than is usual for the setting, and it was good to see Veka having developed substantially as a character since her first introduction. There's also a prototype version of the "Libriomancer" setting and characters. It's not a prequel -- the rules of magic are a little different, and while the protagonist has the same pet fire spider (from the Goblin books) and the same given name, his personality is different. I liked some of the stories better than others, but they're all solid. I'll give it a 7.5 overall.
Tags: book review, books, reviews
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