The Reavers

by George MacDonald Fraser, 2007

This is a rollicking story of 16th century thugs, damsels, royalty, heros involved in political intrigue in the vicinity of the Scottish border.  Fraser brings the style that made his Flashman series so popular to this tale.

This is, I believe, the last book that Fraser wrote before he died and he was well in his eighties when he wrote it.  He delights in absurd situations and this book is particularly absurd in that he utilizes anachronisms in just about every passage.  He also inserts a huge number of modern colloquialisms into Elizabethan dialogue.  These effects made me chuckle at almost every page in the early going.  They also, however, began to grow somewhat stale at about page 100.  The story and the characters were enough to carry me to the end, but not with the same enjoyment that I experienced at the beginning of the book.

This was the second book of Fraser’s that I have read, the first being the original Flashman.  I will, at some point, try another Flashman book, but I fear that too much may cause it to go stale also.  I think I will have to pace them.  2 1/2 stars


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