Love-at-Arms by Rafael Sabatini

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


What a tale of derring-do!

I’m a big fan of Sabatini’s well known novels

Scaramouche Scaramouche (Scaramouche, #1) by Rafael Sabatini & Captain Blood Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini. I was expecting this early work to be inferior in quality. & so it is – but only marginally.

The lovely Madonna Valentina’s uncle wishes to marry her to the unlovely Duke of Babbiano to cement an alliance against Caesar Borgia. But in spite of only recently having emerged from a convent, Valentina isn’t one to submit tamely to her uncle’s commands. Willing to aid her is the impoverished courtier, Romeo. But Valentina doesn’t realise Romeo’s true motives – or character. But there is another…

Out of all the wonderful features of this book, one of the best is the characters of the heroine & hero. Valentina isn’t typical of heroines of romantic fiction written in the early twentieth century – she is no passive damsel in distress but wishes to control her own destiny. Francesco is courtly,brave, handsome and intelligent.

I did have to knock half a star off for a somewhat confusing beginning and a very sudden ending. (anyone who thinks Georgette Heyer ends her books abruptly, really should read this one) I had to check the page count on Goodreads to make sure there weren’t a couple of pages missing.

Speaking of Heyer, it is clear that Sabatini is a strong influence of some of her early works.

A wonderful book.…

View all my reviews

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