Friday, October 27, 2006

Title: Lord of Danger
Author: Anne Stuart
Published: 1997, Zebra
Category: Historical Romance
Rating: 9/10

My first Anne Stuart! I have been wanting to read her for a while now, and got this one because it was on Cindy's (Anne Stuart's stalker biggest fan)
top 20 list. OMG!! Thanks, Cindy! Because I loved this book soooo much. I have been in a little reading slump lately. I read all these romances, and so many are just so average, or fine, or meh. I get frustrated and think, why am I so hooked on this genre when it's all crap? Then I read a book like this (well-written, funny, smart, deliciously romantic) and it restores my faith. And the world makes sense again. :)

The setting is medieval England. Alys and Claire are two illegimate half-sisters of Richard the Fair, a high ranked Englishman only a few steps removed from the throne. Claire is the younger beauty, Alys is older, plainer, and smarter. Richard has brought the sisters from the convent where they have been living because he plans to marry one of them off to Simon of Navarre. Simon is believed by most people to be an evil magician. In fact, he is simply an herbalist/healer who has cultivated this fear people have of him to give himself power over them. He chooses to wed Alys, intrigued by her intelligence. Alys is afraid of Simon, but she is determined to marry him, first to save Claire from him, and then because she finds herself strangely drawn to him.

Stuart is known and loved for her dark, dark, brooding heroes. I, myself, do not usually get the dark hero thing. I like my men nice. But Simon is a f*ing fantastic character! He is jaded and thinks that humanity is a pathetic lot. He may not think he has a conscience anymore, but we, and Alys, see that there is still good in him. Alys is great too. She's so smart, but never pushy or annoying. She's such a curious mixture of brave and scared, which is very endearing. And Richard is such a disgustingly awful, wonderful villain!

Definitely going on the keeper shelf! I finished it and immediately started flipping back to reread parts I especially liked. My favorite scenes: the one on the battlements, in the rain. Uh, yeah! And when Alys is in the prison/carriage thingie and Simon creeps up in the night. *SWOON!!*

So I need more Stuart recs!! Give 'em to me, peepz. I was at the bookstore today and wanted to buy one, but they only had Cold as Ice and I want another historical. Are any of her historicals even in print still? Mailyn, which is the one you like best? Rose... something?


Megan Frampton said...

A Rose At Midnight is fantastic. So is To Love A Dark Lord. I was meh on Hidden Honor, which is also historical, and Devil's Waltz was good, but not amazing, like those first two titles are. Let us know what you think, I'm right behind Cindy in the stalker line!

Kristie (J) said...

If you're looking for historicals, I second Megan's rec for ARAM & TLADL. I also really enjoyed Devil's Waltz. There are a couple more of her historicals I NEED to acquire. I also have Shadow Dance and recently tried a reread, but it didn't work so well.

nath said...

You are so frigging lucky Jennie! I've also never read an Anne Stuart and since she's been getting quite high praise lately, I decided to go and buy some... Same as you, could only find Cold As Ice and Devil's Waltz at the bookstore. I've combed all the good UBS that I know and I found.. Hidden Honor, the Widow, and 2 others... but now, i'm jealous because I want the one you read!!! (and forget it, my libraries are pitiful... one doesn't own any of Anne Stuart, the other... 1 and I got it already)... sigh!

Stacy~ said...

I'm lso new to Anne Stuart and got Black Ice & Cold As Ice but haven't read them yet. I think I'll try the historicals first....

Stacy~ said...

S/B "also", not Iso. Can't type to save my life.

Jennie said...

Megan & Kristie--Thanks for the recs! I will put TLADL and ARAM on my wishlist. :)

Nath--I got this one through Paperback Swap (too bad only Americans can use it, especially since your library is not great). But whenever I discover an author I really love through PBS I feel guilty that I didn't buy it new, so I like to go out and buy something of theirs new. So I'll probably buy Cold as Ice soon. I do want to try her contemps at some point.
But I think you can get Lord of Danger pretty cheap at one of the used online stores.

Stacy-Hi! I generally like historicals better than contemps. But lots of people really like Stuart's latest books too.

Dance Chica said...

I'm not sure if I have this one or not. I have A Rose at Midnight and I thought I had one more of hers...but I can't remember what it is now. Huh.

CindyS said...

Squeeeeee!! I'm so glad you loved the story and your favorite spots are mine also! I loved the cage scene and it gave me that wonderful tummy flip!

I see A Rose At Midnight has been mentioned as well as To Love a Dark Lord. If you are looking for something a touch lighter you could try Shadowdance.

Ohhh, to have Anne Stuart's back list to read for the first time *sigh*. Lucky you!!

Now you need to read that Sutcliffe book too - the one set in New Zealand - excellent!


Jennie said...

DC--What, you can't keep track of all the books in your TBR?! ;p You should pull out some Stuart. Mailyn and Cindy are definitely right about her. :)

Cindy--Yes, the cage scene! Ah, that was brilliant. I do feel lucky that I get to discover her backlist. :)
I'll put Shadowdance on my list, because I do like lighter books, though it seems like dark and broody is what Stuart does best.