Sir Percy Leads the Band by Emmuska Orczy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Scarlet Pimpernel is at it again, saving aristocrats from the guillotine, eluding the evil Citizen Chauvelin, and doing it all with flare! With his own band of merry men, Percy is a Robin Hood for the French Revolution, but now dissension and betrayal within his group of trusted men might just be enough to bring the Scarlet Pimpernel to his knees.
This time the Scarlet Pimpernel is rescuing a humble priest, who heard the last confession of King Louis XVI before he was sent to his death at the guillotine. I love how these books always add in some true historical facts!
I am always amazed at the plots of the Scarlet Pimpernel books! I never see it coming, and then I laugh and chuckle at the elegant simplicity of the Scarlet Pimpernel’s machinations. He gets away with it, because every scheme is just so entirely bold and unthinkable! No one would imagine that an English spy would have the temerity to pose as a sergeant in the Gendarmerie Nationale and pretend to arrest everybody! haha! His many disguises are just one of the fascinating things about the audacious Percy.
There are times, especially at the beginning, when the author tends to go overboard with the lengthy descriptions of the political climate and the French Republican government and all the gruesome guillotine stories. However, once the plot gets going, all of the descriptions dwindle down, and the pacing goes along quickly with lots of action and intrigue and ruined schemes. Such good writing, and I was drawn into the story, loving every page!
One of the best things about this story is seeing the Scarlet Pimpernel’s group of men interacting, hanging out and laughing together in the midst of their spying and strategizing. I love how they all trust Percy perfectly, and put their lives on the line to realize his plans. They all admire and respect their chief, but then one of their ranks begins to question the chief, and their happy group is thrown into turmoil. I really enjoyed this plot twist and the way it throws another light on Percy’s character.