Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Antonia Barclay and Her Scottish Claymore by Jane Carter Barrett

This book was pitched to me as "The Princess Bride meets Jane Austen", so obviously, I had to request this and read it. It's what any sane person would do, right?

Antonia Barclay and Her Scottish Claymore is an intentionally anachronistic, intentionally funny book about Lady Antonia Barclay, who discovers that she's actually the long-lost daughter of Mary, the Queen of Scots. Unfortunately, the evil Sir Basil and his bumbling henchman of a son, Rex wish to use her as a stepping stone to becoming royalty. It's up to Mr. Claymore, Antonia's love-at-first sight to rescue her.

I must admit, this book and I did not start out on the right foot. Sure, the opening line was clever, but the first few pages felt like it was being forced to be funny. I suppose fashion anachronisms don't elicit laughs from me because I'm not a fashionista (not by a long stretch). But more importantly, the characters felt like they were caricatures rather than actually characters that I could root for.

Thankfully, as I read on and got used to the over-the-top style of the novel, I started to enjoy myself. Antonia turned out to be a sassy heroine with tons of courage, and I was rooting for her by the end of the book.

In fact, the over-the-top nature of the book actually helped me enjoy the romance aspect. Everyone who regularly reads this blog will know that I'm not a fan of instalove, which this book has in spades between Antonia and her Mr. Claymore, but the over-the-top nature of this book made me just laugh and go along with it, rather than sighing and wondering why anyone would assume this is a plausible reason.

While I can't really find any resemblance to Jane Austen, this book is an extremely light-hearted and humorous read. If you can accept that this book is going to be extremely exaggerated from the get go, you'll probably be able to enjoy this book. If you're looking for a book that plays up aspects of romance novels, and you want to read about a heroine that hates balls (being not a party girl, this helped a lot in getting me to like Antonia), then you should pick up this book.

Disclaimer: I got a copy of this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

P.s. Check out the next blog to in this blog tour: A Frugal Life

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