The Scarlet Pimpernel
by: Baroness Emmuska Orczy
Rating: 5 stars
Set during the bloodiest days of the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, the Scarlet Pimpernel is an enigmatic character who has saved countless lives from Madame Guillotine. Such dashing and bold escapes require the cunning and skill which no one would associate with Sir Percy Blakeney. This English Fop and his band of friends however band together as time and time again they save innocents from the likes of Chauvelin and other French leaders. This business of his is so secret that he must keep it all from those he holds dearest - even his wife Marguerite St. Just.
Step aside Darcy I believe that you have met your match.
Bold words I know, but really the Baroness has created a very undervalued hero who in all aspects outshines. The book is teeming with adventure, wit, mystery and suspense. Another one which I would recommend to gentleman as well as ladies. Always two steps ahead of the French government, the Scarlet Pimpernel still keeps us reading and wondering if he will pull it off once again.
There is also the romantic element with his wife Marguerite. Just after their wedding, it comes to light that Marguerite just may be sympathetic to the leaders of the Reign of Terror, and her husband is forced to shut her completely out of his work. And while all this is happening Chauvelin - a French agent has been sent to sniff out the British gentleman responsible for rescuing the families who have been deemed traitors to the republic.
Goodness what more could you possibly ask for. It is extremely well written, the first in a series, and once more on just about every count - from wealth, to looks, to a romantic nature - Blakeney is far and away a better hero than dear boring Mr. Darcy.