My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I like it. I recommend it only to die hard Diana Galbadon fans and gay men in the military. It’s another outing with Lord John Grey.
Of the 4 John Grey stories I’ve read, this has been the most interesting.
I’ve tried to imagine Diana’s fascination with this John Grey character of hers. So far I imagine she enjoys writing about him more than I like reading about him. Revisiting this review: After reading nearly all of her Outlander books, John Grey does become a rather interesting character. In these early singles about John Grey, not so much.
The eight-hundred pound gorilla in the John Grey stories, it seems to me, is that he is a gay officer in the British military when it was dangerous to be discovered to be gay. period, Lord, Army Major, or wandering street beggar.<
At that time period, like throughout history, there have been gay people and societies have either hated them or mostly ignored them.
To me, “homosexual” is as boring a topic as everyone else’s sexual problems, desires, and insecurities, including my own. I’m an equal opportunity snob about relationship insecurities, as you can read in my review of Insurgent about Tris’s never ending, “he loves me, he loves me not” ruination of 1/3rd of the book here.
Ok, rant over. It’s a good book. Like most John Grey books, it is also somewhat of a mystery.
John has always known (how his father died), a family secret, but has been ever silent about it. It has always been disgraceful to the family (as it was publicly portrayed as a suicide). Because there were rumors relating to (his father’s) Jacobite sympathies, this leaves some considerable stain upon John’s family name. His brother Hal, so embarrassed by this family disgrace, he refuses all family titles he rightly deserves, by birth. Alternately, John, Hal’s younger brother, retains his title of “Lord”.
It all eventually becomes clear in this mystery story.
John being gay in 18th century England military does add some suspense when his desires so frequently place him in a position to be discovered. A discovery would make his current family’s rumors of tainted disgrace a full fledged disaster.
Diana is an A Class writer, so is near always worth reading. The thread in this story that carried my interest was in John’s search to discover a way to remove the stain of his family’s Jacobite sympathies. Unfortunately, it seems that this primary plot thread is largely a mystery as well.
Read in 2016 on 5/7 to page 74, on 5/13 to page 91, on 5/24 to page 178, on 6/18 to page 241, on 7/2 to page 301, on 7/14 to page 334, on 7/23 to the end