A wonderful way to start the New Year!
A perennial favourite, These Old Shades, by Georgette Heyer
is a wonderful romance story which would appeal to people
who enjoy reading of the elegance and beauty of earlier times.
This story is set during the time of Louis XV in France.
Descriptions of the Court of Versailles, the nobility of France and England
at Versailles and in Paris and also in England are related in a unique way with
special insights which give the story its charm.
A way of life which seems all but lost now is quite fascinating in
its detail to read.
Elegance, wit, sophistication and drama are all elements of this story.
The story centres around Leon, a page of his Grace, the Duke of Avon,
and of the Duke's friends and family.. also of the Duke's rivalry with an
old enemy the Count of Saint-Vire.
Little is known of Leon until later in the story.
There is a game to be played of which many of the characters are ignorant.
However, the Duke of Avon has a winning hand in this game which involves
old passions, the way of the world in eighteenth century France and high society.
I loved this story.
Adventure and romance engage the reader and enliven the story.
The characters are believable, the settings authentic, even an old stage coach inn
in France where many of the characters of the story meet before embarking
on a journey to Paris.
The spirited page, Leon, whose
loyalty and love for the Duke of Avon give a magical touch
and add another dimension to the story which is quite beautiful.
The true identity of Leon, the page, who later becomes a ward of the Duke of Avon
is also finally revealed.
A magical story!