Friday, December 18, 2009

Review: The Emperor, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles


#11: Covers 1795-1802; rise of Napoleon

Napoleon is on the rise, yes, but the Emperor in this case could easily be the Emperor butterfly which briefly makes an appearance. Jemima Morland’s children are all grown up, and making their own decisions—and mistakes. Both Lucy and James carry on affairs and create scandals, and Mary joins her husband on board his ship, where she gives birth during the battle of the Nile.

The more I read this series, the more character development I find is occurring. Jemima’s not one of my favorite Morland heroines, and her children makes some questionable judgment sometimes, but the characters in this part of the series feel a lot more fleshed out and real to me, more believable, probably because of their flaws. After all, everybody makes mistakes, and everybody (I would hope) learns from those mistakes.

In the previous installment of the series, I believe I mentioned how sometimes in the Morland Dynasty series a character will come in and declaim about the current political/religious/etc. situation. Because some of the characters are literally at the forefront of what’s going on, the reader literally gets a front-row seat to those events. This is another reason why I prefer this installment to the series to some of the others.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

Jemima's not the most interesting of the Morland heroines for sure. She's likable, but kind of dull. I think the supporting characters are much more interesting at this point in the series. (I'm just a couple of books ahead of you.)

And I agree that it's nice when the Morlands get a front seat to history. The family drama in interesting, but the books that focus on the family drama instead of the history aren't quite as enjoyable for me.

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