Friday, October 31, 2008
Seize the Fire: Review
Book: Seize the Fire
Author: Laura Kinsale
Category: Historical Romance
Olympia of Oriens is a princess. Exiled to England, she longs to return to her battle torn country and bring justice to her people. But she will be going up against her uncle who is, in her opinion, pure evil. She seeks out a recently retired, highly decorated Naval Captain, Sheridan Drake for help with her cause. Olympia has great expectations of Sheridan, his many accomplishments give him great acclaim and she is sure that he is just the hero to help her.
Captain Sheridan Drake is not the hero every one thinks him to be. In fact, he knows he is not a hero at all, more like a lying scoundrel. Returning home to his deceased father's house of pranks and nothing more, Sheridan finds himself down and out. Then the adorably plump Olympia St. Leger shows up at his door, pleading for his help. Sheridan hears out Olympia's plan. He is amused by the fierce passion Olympia has for her country, and knows she doesn't have the first clue about how to run it, much less take it over. But he is desperate and in need of money, and the beautiful, unassuming Princess is a jackpot in Sheridan's eyes. He takes Olympia up on her offer and they set out on the adventure of their lives.
I've always found Ms. Kinsale's writing to be emotionally draining, and Seize the Fire is no exception. Olympia and Sheridan were great characters. Olympia is a little reserved, but she has big dreams and even bigger notions about what she thinks the world should be like. This character trait was both a good and bad thing for her character because while it made her innocently endearing, it also put her and Sheridan in a lot of unneeded trouble on multiple occasions. Sheridan is mostly disenchanted with life and people in general. He is tortured to the nth degree, hates Olympia's hero worship of him, and as soon as the opportunity arrives to prove to her he is anything but, he takes it.
Per usual, while reading Laura Kinsale, there were times when I became exasperated with the amount of angst and the heaviness of the characters internal demons. But I knew there had to be a light at the end of the tunnel, and there was. Though it was not exactly how I expected it to be (the ending is just as torturous as most of the book is) it worked for the people that Sheridan and Olympia had become. Exasperation and all, I can not get over Ms. Kinsale's way with words, she can weave a story and leave me hanging on her every word.
At 583 pages, Seize the Fire is epic in scale. Sheridan and Olympia are taken to lands far away, deserted islands, tropical paradises, multiple ships and more. They deal with intense hardships on their journey, fall in love, get it torn away, they are nearly killed a few times and whatever else could happen, happens to them. Watching the characters finding themselves through loving each other was wonderful yet bittersweet. Sigh. Seize the Fire was a great, heart-wrenching romantic adventure to read. What else is left to say other than I loved it, misplaced hymen and all. Grade A-.