The novel begins in a very Tale-Of-Two-Cities-esque manner, as this book is set during the French Revolution, and the writing feels similar. It also dances around the ideas of conforming to societal norms prevalent during the Reign of Terror, in a very Tolstoy-way.
Soon, however, the story concentrates on the strained relationship between a man and a woman, and the increasing interest in France and England regarding an anonymous and controversial man, known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, who dresses in a mask and saves French Aristocrats from the guillotine. Another major part of the plot regards the apparent danger the woman’s brother is in (for helping the Pimpernel), and the woman’s internal conflict regarding whether to save her brother at the expensive of the safety and life of the anonymous hero.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys more classic, formal writing (as it might be frustrating to those who do not enjoy that sort of diction). As mentioned previously, it also reminded me of Tolstoy’s writing due to the sheer number of characters and their complicated web of relationships, as well as the descriptions of how high class society functions (similar to The Age of Innocence, as well).
I also recommend this to readers who enjoy mystery novels. While this book is not necessarily of mystery genre, the suspense regarding the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel is equally thrilling.
This book would also be enjoyable to those who are fans of superheroes such as Batman and Spiderman! This book was particularly fascinating because I read elsewhere that many superhero stories such as Batman and Spiderman are all loosely based off of this novel, which was written and published in the early 1900s! While I am not necessarily an avid fan of superhero movies and comics, I am aware of the stories and watch the movies. Thus, it was fun to pick out aspects of the novel reflected in modern culture! (Hint: You can find many parallels between the symbols Batman leaves behind, and the ones the Scarlet Pimpernel utilizes, and similarities between the public opinion of the Scarlet Pimpernel and Spiderman!)
Isha rates this book 5/5
Tags: adventure, classic, French history, light romance, mystery, suspense