The Sea Hawk (1915): Rafael Sabatini

★★★

First things first: I hope you all had a marvellous Christmas and a very happy New Year. I’ve spent a thoroughly self-indulgent few weeks with my family and am now looking forward to getting my teeth into 2014. End of year review posts and New Year’s resolutions are popping up all over the place and it’s been great to see which books captured everyone’s imagination (or failed to), and the various challenges people have in store for the coming months. Here at The Idle Woman there aren’t any planned challenges, which is to say that life will tick along much as usual: a mixture of the characteristic and the utterly random. And so: to the books!

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Scaramouche (1921): Rafael Sabatini

 ★★★½

Sometimes, on opening a book for the first time, you find a phrase that makes you sigh contentedly, settle down and think, ‘Oh, yes.’ I had never read anything by Sabatini before and yet, when I read this novel’s opening line – ‘He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad‘ – I knew instinctively that we’d get along well. With an avowed weakness for adventure, derring-do and the buckling of swashes, I’m amazed that I didn’t stumble across Scaramouche years ago. It was only when Helen mentioned it, in her post on The Prisoner of Zenda, that I realised it was something I’d enjoy.

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