Jul 312011
Schemes, Scrapes, and Sparks!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Giveaway Win!

Sylvester Rayne, Duke of Salford, eligible bachelor, and guardian has recently determined, at the age of twenty-eight, that it is time for him to marry. Stuffed with pride and consequence, Sylvester expects for his addresses to be readily accepted by any lucky woman he deigns to select. However, when both his mother and godmother mention the same young lady as a suitable bride, Sylvester’s interest is piqued and decides to seek out the highly acclaimed Miss Phoebe Marlow and assess her merits for himself.

While Mr. Marlow is overjoyed by the prospect of a duke wanting to marry his daughter, Phoebe is horrified. As it turns out Phoebe abhors the Duke of Salford – so much so she made him the villain in her romance novel. (Yes, our heroine is an authoress!) In Phoebe’s eyes, the only way to escape an undesirable marriage proposal and a severe tongue-lashing from her stepmother is for her to runaway to her grandmother in London. Aiding Phoebe in this hair-brained scheme is her childhood friend and neighbor, Thomas Orde. Unfortunately, Phoebe’s plans fall to pieces when, en route to London, she encounters none other than the Duke of Salford and is forced to spend several days in his company…

What do you get when you cross an impudent and outspoken authoress with an arrogant and indifferent duke? A splendidly riveting and hilarious Heyer adventure! As always, there is so much to love in a Georgette Heyer novel – the lovable and eccentric characters, the witty dialogue, the impeccable attention to period mores and history – it’s sometimes hard to choose which element you love best. However, my favorite aspect in this particular Heyer novel is the dialogue. This novel is full of intense verbal sparring between Phoebe and Sylvester! Speaking daggers, sparks igniting, and tempers flaring – so much exhilarating tension and passion! These scenes between Phoebe and Sylvester often made me think of Elizabeth and Darcy, and how they probably would have fought like this if they both were trapped in Kent together!

I admired and adored many of the characters in Sylvester: or the Wicked Uncle. Our heroine, Phoebe, was by far my favorite – she has a compassionate heart, concerns herself with the welfare of others, is not afraid to speak out against injustice, and is endearingly flawed. In addition, both the duke’s frank and meddlesome mother and Phoebe’s acerbic and interfering grandmother were great favorites of mine. Moreover, I was charmed by Sylvester’s ward, the precocious Master Edmund, and his impractical belief that his uncle can “grind someone’s bones.”

Brimming with schemes, scrapes, and sparks Sylvester: or the Wicked Uncle is a highly entertaining and absorbing adventure that I thoroughly delighted in! I highly recommend!


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  10 Responses to “Sylvester: or the Wicked Uncle – Georgette Heyer”


    Oh, I LOVE Sylvester! It’s among my top Heyer favourites along side Venetia and Friday’s Child. And I love reading the most is when, towards the end Sylvester describes Phoebe to his mother. And the dowager duchess is absolutely lovable!….I’m with you on the nephew too.:D….but that kid’s mother is a real pain, though I don’t mind her beau much…heheh…


    Oh my…another Heyer that I must read!! I absolutely adored The Grand Sophy and have two Heyer books for review in August-Venetia and The Quiet Gentleman. This one sounds fantastic!!


    Hmm, guess I’ll have to move this one up on my list of Heyer books to read!


    Sylvester is one of my absolute favorites, along with Venetia. In addition to the delightful cast of characters and an heroine who is also an author, I had the privilege of listening to Richard Armitage read this while I was in England. There is something so… atmospheric about being on a train, listening to a book that includes so much travel.


    Another title added to my constantly growing to-read list! 😉 Really enjoyed this review!!


    I almost abandoned the name Eliza for Phoebe after reading this book. I wonder if my daughter would have a different personality had I given her a different name? So glad you are continuing to enjoy Heyer!


    I love this book–and a great review! I also recommend the audiobook–Richard Armitage reads it. Swoonworthy!! 🙂


      Well, I have to disagree on the audiobook. Although Richard Armitage has a truely pleasant voice, it really, really pains me, that half of the crucial Phoebe-Sylvester dialogues are missing (this audiobook is only like 4.5 hours long, while most of GH unbridged audiobooks are 8-12 hours. And in my opinion they did a really bad job when deciding what had to be left out.)
      There is in fact an old, unabridged version of Sylvester out there (I think from the early 90s or so), but it is only available on cassettes (!!!). It is read by Judy Franklin, and I think she does a terrific job! So if you have any chance to get your hands on this version, go for it.


    Oh, this is my absolute favorite GH book – the romance between Sylvester and Phoebe is just so special and the two are such truely authentic and real characters.
    It was my first GH book and even after reading it for probably 20 or 30 times over the years, I still enjoy it over and over again.

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