I Will Repay-Countess Emmuska Orczy
set during some of French Revolution's bloodiest days. Being the first sequel to The Scarlet Pimpernel, it is story which is full of intrigue and high romance. The main theme of this work is falling in love with the one individual in the whole wide world who you have sworn to destroy.
As someone who has read none other of the Scarlet Pimpernel series, I was unsurprised at his bit part-this is actually a romance. A fantastical and slightly unbelievable romance torn apart by what very modern me sees as insane and dangerous illogical 'vows of duty/honor'. Yes, this has all the characteristics of a melodramatic romance. The plot itself, let's be honest, passed me by. It was like, all the cliches one could want in a romance-one of my least favorite genres. Add to that, I just hated the heroine. Oh, she was just...her only true virtue was that she was beautiful and pure. EURGH.
Why is there still an up arrow despite my scathing ending to the paragraph above? Well, Orczy really captured the oppressive (ironically) and volatile environment of the French Revolution. There is, hanging upon every word, a sense of claustrophobia and anxiety which makes this a rather scorching indictment of the French Revolution. Her prose is really well-pitched and effective throughout-full of passion for her subjects. So despite that I despised her heroine for existing and seethed at the weak stereotyping of women, I ended up actually enjoying it despite myself.