Scarlet by Genevieve Cogman – review

Hi everyone,

Here is my review for my latest read – the lovey Scarlet by Genevieve Cogman.

The blurb

Revolution’s a bloodthirsty business . . . Scarlet is a thrilling reinvention of the tale of The Scarlet Pimpernel with the addition of magic and even more mayhem.

Revolutionary France is no place to be, especially for aristocrat vampires facing the guillotine. But the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel are determined to rescue them. And they have an ace up their sleeve: Eleanor, a lowly maid from an English estate with a striking resemblance to French royalty.

For Eleanor, the League and their legendary deeds are little more than rumour – until she’s drawn into their most dangerous plot yet. The mission? Travel to France in disguise, impersonate Queen Marie Antoinette and rescue the royal family. If they succeed, it’ll be the heist of the century.

But there’s more to fear than ardent Revolutionaries. For Eleanor stumbles across a centuries-old war between vampires and their fiercest enemy. And they’re out for blood . . .

The review

This is a really fun book.

I mean when you comp vampires with the French Revolution, what do you expect?

It’s certainly following the trend for more lighthearted fantasy, as well as mixing regency era sensibilities with fantastical characters and settings.

If that’s your cup of tea, Scarlet really delivers. It’s fun, pacy, and has a very relatable main character in Eleanor.

To give some context, in this reimagining of the 18th century, vampires are acknowledged by all of society. Most are very respectable and live amongst the aristocratic classes. I really liked this. And indeed, Eleanor is a servant for a nice lady vampire, who happens to notice that Eleanor bears a very strong resemblance to Queen Marie Antoinette, who has been arrested and faces the guillotine.

A story of espionage commences as Eleanor is persuaded to help a covert rescue attempt. She must leave the safety of England and travel to France. On this mission, she faces snobbery, self doubt and some vampires who aren’t as kind as her mistress – as well as learning why the revolution has started.

This maybe sounds all very serious, but actually it’s lots of fun. Vampires aren’t the only magical aspect of the novel – and there is even a bit of slow-burn romance in the mix.

If you’ve read too many dark epics, or are a little over vampire fantasy erotica, this makes for a nice change. I highly recommend!

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