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Sovay [Paperback]

Celia Rees
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 July 2009
Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution and its impact on British politics, this action-driven novel shows once again that Celia Rees is one of our very best writers for teenage readers. Wild and beautiful, spoilt and wilful, Sovay finds that her cosseted upbringing in rural England has not prepared her for life as a highway robber, for defending the honour of her family or for trying to save herself from corruption and evil. As Sovay becomes more and more embroiled in adventures she could never have imagined, a story of dark intrigue, thwarted passions and sinister intentions is revealed to her. Will she be able to survive, and if she does so, at what cost?

Frequently Bought Together

Sovay + Pirates! + Sorceress
Price For All Three: 17.47

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  • Pirates! 5.24
  • Sorceress 5.24

Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (6 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747592012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747592013
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 353,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Celia Rees was born in Solihull, West Midlands, UK. She studied History and Politics at Warwick University and then went on to teach English in city comprehensive schools for seventeen years. She now divides her time between writing, talking to readers in schools and libraries, and teaching creative writing.

She has written over twenty books for older children and teenagers, and has become a leading writer for Young Adults with an international reputation. Her books have been translated into 28 languages and she has been short listed for the Guardian, Whitbread and W.H. Smith Children's Book Awards, as well as numerous regional awards in the UK and America. Witch Child won the prestigious Prix Sorcières in France in 2003, and the Di Cento Prize in Italy, 2001. Her latest book, The Fool's Girl, is published, April 2010.

Celia lives in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, with her husband, Terry. Her daughter, Catrin, now lives and works in London.

Celia has a Fan Page on Facebook and her own website:

Product Description


'Rees's speciality is depicting strong, captivating heroines in a historical setting saturated with adventure, romance and emotional intelligence ... Sovay is a gorgeous, breathless, headlong romp of a read' The Times 'Meticulously researched and completely absorbing with a wonderfully feisty heroine, this is highly recommended for teenage readers' The Independent 'There's plenty of action, political intrigue and historical detail. Yet it is the romance, thwarted passions, sinister intentions and of course the heroine herself, that make it spot-on for teenage girls' Bookseller 'Celia Rees cleverly combines historical detail with a riveting plot ... This is a rollicking and romantic adventure with a charismatic, tough female lead. It's smart and pacy by turns and topped off with a nice gothic twist' Waterstone's Books Quarterly

About the Author

Celia Rees is one of Britain's foremost writers for teenagers and her titles for Bloomsbury have enjoyed huge success. Witch Child has been adopted by educational boards up and down the country and is required reading in secondary schools in the UK, with life sales of over 180,000, and has been translated into 25 languages. Celia has a degree in history, a strong interest in which is evident in her brilliantly researched books. Sorceress, Pirates! and Sovay have all met similar critical acclaim and are loved for their strong characters and skilfully plotted adventures. Celia Rees lives in Leamington Spa, with her husband.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an interesting read 24 May 2008
By accalia
When I read the blurb of this book I have to admit it really hooked me. What can be more interesting than a girl bent on revenge becoming a highwayman? Well there is much more to this story than is immediately apparent. Set during the french revolution Sovay is a story about a young girl surrounded by intrigue and adventure.

Sovay is a strong willed beautiful girl whose fiancee has had an affair. Instead of breaking down and crying she decides to devise a test for her fiancee to discover whether he is worthy of her or not. Donning a disguise, the apparel of a highwayman, she "tests" her fiancee. After this brilliant and clever opening Sovay continues to dress as a highwayman for excitement and also necessity, as intrigue and plots against the crown come to light. Through all this Sovay becomes a woman and finds true love.

This kind of reminded me of a tale of two cities, but mostly because of the background of the french revolution, and movement between England and France. On another note I found it a little strange that there was no moral commentary to Sovay's attempts to kill, despite this I think this is an interesting novel and should be categorised as young adult. If you like strong female characters, historical settings, and Celia Rees this something for you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read with great historical detail 9 Aug 2008
By Ismelda
My son read Witch Child at school, so I read it too, along with Sorceress. We were lucky enough to have Celia Rees visit when Sovay was published, and listen to some of the background to this compelling story. The characters were well drawn and it was refreshing to see such a feisty female lead - apparently not so unusual for the period in which this was set. There were echoes of A Tale of Two Cities, but the story worked well set in both England and France, giving it a different perspective. It had good pace, and was in parts hard to put down. My only disappointment was the very end: I think it would have been better if the reader had been left wondering. Overall, I would definitely recommend this - we also read Gardner's The Red Necklace, which pales in comparison.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
It's lovely to read about a girl who doesn't just wait for the men to do the action but gets out there, pistol at the ready. But this swashbuckling novel - I think that's the right word for it - as well as being a thrilling, satisfying read, also opens the door onto a little-known part of British history - this might have been the 'land of the free' but habeas corpus was suspended, the prisons filled up with people arrested purely on suspicion who stayed there for years, all because of a government in panic about the Revolution happening across the Channel in France. Uncomfortable modern-day parallels spring to mind at once. In this dangerous atmosphere Sovay and her friends have a job to remain alive and at liberty. The novel takes you into the last days of revolutionary Paris - wonderfully atmospheric - and Sovay plays opposite a bunch of hugely attractive heroes. Compulsive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 18 Aug 2008
By Wench
This may be the best book by Rees yet. Beautifully written, with real, believable characters, it's a gripping Gothic thriller. At the same time, it's a wonderful antidote to the idea that a 'historical romance' is a book about taking tea in a rose-garden while wearing a muslin frock. In this book are slums, riots, molly-houses, and a great sense of political injustice. Revolution in France and America: 'The Rights of Man' in Britain. Dangerous times - and Rees gives us a real whiff of the danger.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as good as "Pirates"... 26 Aug 2009
When I found this book I instantly wanted to read it.
I really enjoyed Celia Rees' Pirates and hoped that this book would "Stand and Deliver!" all that the blurb promised.
Initially I was excited as I read it. The start is very promising and I was hooked. However about a third of the way through I had to force myself to continue as the story seemed to wander off track slightly. I was glad that I continued because the story picked up again and just as you think you've reached the climax of the story you realise that there is another 100 pages to go! (and they're worth it!)

Whilst this isn't another "Pirates" it is a worthwhile read. This historial detail is worthy of "Witch Child" and the characters are rich in detail.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid stuff 5 Jan 2009
Celia Rees is always pushing hard at the boundaries of teenage fiction. In Sovay she introduces her readers to a fascinating period of British history.Her research is thorough but never intrusive as her feisty heroine introduces us to a whole range of characters all caught up in the hectic pace of social change. A great read for the intelligent reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 23 Aug 2008
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
It's England, 1783. America has recently won independence and a revolution is going on in France. Anyone and everyone in England is suspect for treason, and spies are everywhere.

Sovay Middleton donned a man's cloak and posed as a highway robber in order to prove her lover disloyal. But when she stumbles upon papers that belong to one of England's most powerful and dangerous men, she finds her family's life at stake. Her father and brother are being accused of treason, and Sovay is the only one who can save them.

No one is who they seem and not everyone can be trusted. Danger, intrigue, deception, and secrets fill this richly historical novel.

Author Celia Rees' newest historical novel is full of detail and lots of mystery. There are many twists are turns throughout the book. I did find the amount of characters to be confusing at times, but stick with it and you will be rewarded. If you enjoy historical fiction with strong female characters, you'll love SOVAY.

Reviewed by: Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Hugely enjoyable - strong female lead and lots of action, with highway robbery, the French Revolution, the Terror, and a great depiction of France and England in the 18th century. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Yewtree
5.0 out of 5 stars Savoy
Brilliant as always with one of Celia Rees books I am never disappointed just sad that I have read them all no
Published 18 months ago by sb
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull........
I love historical romance fiction, so I thought I would love Sovay. However, I was disappointed, as what started of as a great plotline gradually went downhill. Read more
Published 23 months ago by BlueHippo
5.0 out of 5 stars Sovay
This is the first of Celia Rees books I have read, and thought it brilliant.

Sovay, a rich and beautiful girl, who ought to be sitting for a painting or drinking tea in... Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2011 by Jie-Jie
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant story, a very good read
This was a great book! I used it to revise for my French Revolution exam whilst having a bit of fun and geerally just really enjoying the writing of Celia rees, it's historically... Read more
Published on 17 May 2011 by Niki_gir
4.0 out of 5 stars best from celia reese
I loved reading this book.

I got this book from the library and thought I would read it because of how the blurb catched my eye. Read more
Published on 31 Dec 2010 by maleeha
2.0 out of 5 stars Uninteresting style
This book sat on my bookshelf for ages before I finally picked it up to read it. I had got the recommendation on a radio show and thought it was worth trying. Read more
Published on 9 Nov 2010 by Janie U
1.0 out of 5 stars What WAS this??
I almost couldn't finish this. I was very disappointed. I left it in my hotel.

The writing style is odd. Read more
Published on 28 July 2009 by emma_rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Stand and deliver - we've struck gold!
Celia Rees at her best! Loved it. Brilliant book. I'd been looking forward to this for a long time, and Sovay did not disappoint. Read more
Published on 2 May 2009 by Liz Kessler
1.0 out of 5 stars match for 'Pirates!'
I love an action seeking heroine as much as the next teenager, but i found the plot highly erratic and confusing, to the point i started laughing aloud at its absurdness. Read more
Published on 6 Dec 2008 by lopsided3
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