Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am truly ashamed that I had never heard of Sabatini before I went looking for a historical fiction about the French Revolution. I had no idea that "The Sea Hawk" "Captain Blood" were books before they were two of the best 1)Pirate, 2)Sword Fight, and 3)Errol Flynn movies of all time. Now I have discovered that the man who came up with those ideas also wrote a book that at least equals Dumas' "The Three Musketeers" in every way.
Andre-Louis, our hero in every way (and that is perhaps one of the few weaknesses of this book, as another reviewer points out, he's too perfect at everything he turns his hand to) starts life as a cynical young lawyer, raised to be a gentleman. Circumstances force him to see that the class system in late 18th century France isn't the way he wants to live, his wit and bravado put him in danger, and soon he is living a life incognito as Scaramouche, the actor (to live on forever in Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", no less). The Revolution rolls on, and Andre-Louis rolls with it, now reinventing himself as a fencing teacher. A very, very good fencing teacher, which leads him back into confrontation with the one man who caused his first run from the status quo. Along each of his lives, Andre-Louis runs across a woman he thinks of as his cousin, but only someone who's never read a historical romance can't see where that's going to end up. The ending is cliche for this genre, but the path to that finish is pure fantastic escapism.
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