Friday, 9 July 2010

Review: The Other Countess by Eve Edwards

Publisher: Puffin Razorbill
Format: Paperback
Released: July 1st, 2010
Grade rating: B

Amazon summary:

England, 1582. Ellie – Lady Eleanor Rodriguez of San Jaime – is in possession of a gold-seeking father, a worthless title and a feisty spirit that captivates the elite of the Queen’s court, and none other than the handsome new Earl of Dorset... William Lacey has inherited his father’s title and his financial ruin. Now the Earl must seek a wealthy heiress and restore his family’s fortune. But Will’s head has been turned by the gorgeous Ellie, yet their union can never be. Will is destined to marry a worthy Lady so the only question is – which one...?


The Other Countess isn't something that I'd normally read, but because it's one of the first titles to be published under Puffin UK's new Razorbill imprint, I thought I'd give it a go. It's a solid debut title, and has led me to believe that perhaps historical fiction is my thing after all. It's the second historical YA book I've enjoyed recently, so I think I need to pay more attention to this particular genre, and not just turn my nose up at it because there's a frilly dress on the cover.

Eve Edwards writes about Tudor England as if she lived during that period herself, with an excellent eye for detail and traditions present at that time. Every now and then the language strays into a more contemporary style, but this only happens once or twice that I remember. Edwards has taken the utmost care to preserve the time of the Tudors, and her writing shows a true passion for our country's history.

The romance present in The Other Countess is lovely and somewhat innocent, with both main characters suiting each other perfectly. Ellie is strong-willed and stubborn, while Will is every bit the protector you'd expect him to be. I'll admit to swooning at a couple of things he said, mostly lines directed at the lucky Lady Ellie.

The reason The Other Countess falls short for me is all to do with the pace of the plot. Around halfway through, things slowed down and I kept losing my concentration. I had the same problem with The Luxe series, though, so I don't think there's anything specifically wrong with The Other Countess. Even though I do still enjoy them, I think I just generally struggle with slower stories, especially ones with a historical setting.

I'm interested to see what Will and Ellie will find themselves faced with next, and whether their difference in wealth will have a bigger part in the sequel. The Other Countess is something different on YA shelves, and it'll suit those readers looking for a sweet love story with a nod to times gone by.


Book Chick City said...

I really enjoyed this one - I'm glad you did too overall. I found it a bit slow going as well but the writing is lovely so it didn't bother me too much. And yes, I swooned a little bit too ;)

Library Mice said...

I really liked this book too (just posted my review in fact) but I think you are right, you either like this kind of stuff or you don't. As I said in my review I welcome a bit of a break from supernatural teen romance for my library, it's hard ot find other kind of romance at the moment!

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I've nearly finished this and I'm in love with it. I love the romance between Ellie and Will and the slow pace is kind of refreshing.

Lauren said...

I've read next to no historical romance before this one, and I was seriously impressed - I really adored it. I can see what you mean about the slower pace (although I like a slower-paced novel generally) and I definitely agree about the level of research that went into it, the detail is amazing. I wonder if historical romance is going to be the new in thing for YA in the future?

Dwayne said...

Historical YA isn't my type as well but I find myself reading more of them recently. I always find a problem with slight variations in language but I guess it is easy for contemporary writers to make that mistake, so nothing extremely bad there. Have you read Aurelia? This kind of reminds me of that.

Becky said...

I loved this! I didn't find it slow at all which I often do with historical. I was too busy being in love with the Earl of Dorset. *sigh* I thought this was fun and oh hell I just loved it. Perhaps this suggests that I like sweet love... yes I think that is a fair analysis :-) Interesting thoughts Jenny!