27 January 2012

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

The Scarlet Pimpernel  -- 5 Stars

A story that caught me from the beginning and did not let me go! I was struck by how wonderful this novel was. The French Revolution, 1792: People are being offered to the guillotine daily, sacrificed in the name of liberty. Aristocrats in particular are being slaughtered; they are called "traitors" simply for being wealthy. One man risks his live to save them, men women and children, from their engagement with Madame La Guillotine. He is called The Scarlet Pimpernel!

He is a cleaver man, who has a small band of his English companions to help him save these poor souls from death. He risks everything to go back to France again and again. No one knows who he his and one man, Chavelin, will do anything to catch him red handed in smuggling people across the Channel. Chavelin employs  woman to find the identity of the Pimpernel. What will she do? Give him up to his enemies and death, or risk her life for his?

I love the mystery that goes throughout the novel, never truly knowing who the Pimpernel is until the final chapters. I was disappointed by another French novel not long ago and was dread to read this one. Oh how glad I am I did! What a wonderful mystery! Full of royal court life, high society and intrigue.

This book is on the challenge to read twelve books that have been on my shelf for a year or more and I believe 1001 Books To Read Before You Die.