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Sovay Hardcover – 2 Jun 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 1st Edition edition (2 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747592004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747592006
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 20.5 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,151,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Meticulously researched and completely absorbing with a wonderfully feisty heroine, this is highly recommended for teenage readers.
-- The Independent

About the Author

Celia Rees lives in Warwickshire, England. Her first novel for Bloomsbury, Witch Child, has been adopted by educational boards up and down the country and is now required reading in secondary schools in the UK. Celia has a degree in history, a strong interest in which is still evident in her brilliantly researched books.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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By Wench on 18 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. I loved the character of Sovay, and her family too. I couldn't put it down!
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By TeensReadToo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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. Her deeds as a highwayman and 'robbing for love' only last a few chapters to reel readers in and then the book seems to jump from one odd scenario to the next. Rees did an incredible job with 'Pirates!' and her style of writing is much better suited to writing in the 1st person, like with the heroine of that book, Nancy Kingston. In this novel, the third person perspective doesnt suit the story and makes it harder to read, the text is littered with cliches and you can't get inside Sovay's head and what makes her tick, you can't really figure out her motives and her apparent moral ease at being prepared to kill. Disappointing lack of relationship development, (SPOILER) - especially her very random get together with the french captain right at the end when throughout the book there were many more enigmatic/charming suitors. Lots of unanswered questions e.g. what happens to Gabriel and more info needed on the mad scientist. I find this frustrating, as when you read the blurb you think a brilliant litery masterpiece awaits. The concept has so much potential, so its a shame it goes so horribly wrong.
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