Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Scarlet Pimpernel

Title: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Series:  Not necessarily a real series, but it is the first of Baroness Orczy's Scarlet Pimpernel books.

Year: 1905

Author: Baroness Emmuska Orczy

Summary: The Reign of Terror is at its height in France. Hundreds of aristocrats are being slaughtered daily by the cruel blade of the guillotine, but yet some have escaped. Entire families disappear from Paris, right out from beneath the shadow of the guillotine, their rescuer only leaving behind a small mocking note with a humble flower: a scarlet pimpernel. 

Main Characters:
~ Percy Blakeney
~ Marguerite Blakeney
~ Citizen Chauvelin
~ Armand St. Just

Review: My first thoughts toward this book could be described as hesitant. I had never liked learning about the French Revolution in History class as the guillotine always scared me, When I heard that The Scarlet Pimpernel was about people living during the French Revolution, I wrote the book down as one that I would probably read sometime or other in the future because it was a classic, but didn't necessarily look forward to reading it. 

Then when I joined blogger back in March on this year, a lot of what I read consisted of the great Scarlet Pimpernel. It was after weeks of reading fangirl post after fangirl post that I decided to give The Scarlet Pimpernel a try. I read it. It was awesome.

It had much less gore in it that I thought it would, a fact for which I was truly grateful. Sure, you had some guillotine scenes, but Baroness Orczy didn't go into graphic detail. The characters she wrote about were lively and memorable. The plot progressed nicely, with many pleasing and surprising twists, many thanks to the genius of the all-elusive Scarlet Pimpernel. His disguises and ploys never ceased to amaze me. The loyalty of the Scarlet Pimpernel's men to keep his identity a secret and their courage to follow him into danger even when they were not promised they would return alive was inspiring. There's not much more I can say on the topic.

And then right in the middle of all this you have the story of Marguerite Blakeney, once the most famous actress in Paris, now the wife of the foppish Sir Percival Blakeney, the toast of London fashion, a man who is completely obsessed with cravats. Marguerite's brother, Armand St. Just, has many ties to the French government and her old nemesis, Chauvelin, who will do anything to get the neck of the Scarlet Pimpernel to the guillotine. Chauvelin is just one of those villains you relish hating, and, oh, yes, I did relish with much satisfaction.

The only drawback would be the use of profanity within the story. Yes, I understand that people may have talked like that in that specific time, but I would rather not have to read it or read about it in a story that I would like to enjoy.

Advisory: Profanity and some violence

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Click here to buy The Scarlet Pimpernel on Amazon!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Millie's Unsettled Season

Title: Millie's Unsettled Season

Series: A Life of Faith: Millie Keith Series

Year: 2001

Author: Martha Finley

Summary: After her family suffers financial problems and her parents decide to move their family from their comfortable Ohio town to the frontier plains of Indiana, Millie Keith's life turns upside down. The long trip to their new home is anything but peaceful, and once they arrive, the family must adapt to the new living style of the west. Millie learns to trust the Lord through many trials, including accepting the move as His will for her life.

Main Characters:
~ Mildred (Millie) Keith
~ Aunt Wealthy Stanhope
~ Marcia Keith
~ Stuart Keith
~ Celestia Ann Huntsinger
~ Rupert Keith
~ Zillah Keith
~ Adah Keith
~ Cyril Keith
~ Donald Keith
~ Fanny Keith
~ Annis Keith

Review: This is one of my favorite books of all time! Martha Finley's original tale of Mildred Keith has been adapted for a new generation, and although I have never read the original books (which I would really like to!), the characters in this series are definitely colorful and unforgettable! Millie Keith is the sort of girl whom I would wish to know and have for a best friend. Granted, she's not perfect, but she loves the Lord with her whole heart and is willing to let Him change her for His glory. 

I love reading about all of Millie's adventures and all the mischievous antics of her younger siblings. There's everything in this book from baby porky pies, cow riding, and hats made from old skunk pelts. Moving from Lansdale, Ohio to Pleasant Plains, Indiana (which on first glance is anything but pleasant) takes Millie and her family in coaches over bumpy roads, canal boats going slowly under low bridges, and elegant ships sailing through storms. 

I said before that Millie's not perfect. She struggles with patience especially towards her younger brothers and when Cyril rips her favorite book, it's difficult for her to forgive him at first. But when she gives the book over to Jesus, He uses it in an amazing way that Millie never would have dreamed. Millie doesn't like living in Pleasant Plains; no one seems to want to be a true friend, and nothing seems to be going right for the family. Millie must learn to trust God in everything, especially in the things that make her despair, and even when there seems to be no solution. 

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Even though Millie is the main character, my brother loves this story and quotes Millie's brothers all the time. Very enjoyable for the whole family. 

Advisory: None

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Click here to buy Millie's Unsettled Season on Amazon!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Title: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Year: 2008

Production Company: Disney and Walden Media

Summary: 1 year later for the four Pevensies, 1,300 years for Narnia. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are called back to Narnia to help Prince Caspian overthrow the Telmarines who invaded and established their kingdom there years before.

Main Characters:
~ Prince Caspian
~ The Pevensies: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy
~ Aslan
~ Lord Miraz
~ General Glozelle
~ Lord Sopespian
~ Trumpkin
~ Reepicheep
~ Trufflehunter the Badger
~  Nikabrik

Characters: We were a little disappointed by Prince Caspian's character as in the book C. S. Lewis portrayed him as a bit younger, not nearly THAT old as he is in the film. And we didn't care for how he lacked humility, a worthy character trait he possessed in the book. A bit of humbleness might add to his stature. But overall, we will forgive him as he did make a pretty good Caspian. :)
Lord Miraz was exactly as we pictured him the book, evil and without any mercy. Of course, the Pevensies were perfect, but we might add that we were saddened by Peter's character change that was mostly arrogance and pride. It wasn't like him to be so...conceited.

Plot: Excellent! Some parts were different from the book, but we really enjoyed them! SPOILER ALERT!The story of redemption rather than condemnation of General Glozelle was certainly unexpected and yet, surprisingly satisfying.END SPOILER ALERT! We also enjoyed how this plot line was more complex and dialogue more complicated. Our big dislike was the relationship portrayed between Susan and Caspian. Not completely necessary and definitely not true to the book.

Music: Beautiful as always! There were a few songs that had a more dark tone to them, but overall still very pleasant (see Jessa's Corner for some of the songs). However, one song we didn't care for that didn't fit the theme of the film was, "The Call." It just didn't seem to justify the end of the movie. 

Scenery: Definitely on a way larger scale than the first film, LWW, and it possessed a more menacing tone. But still the vastness of it was pretty impressive!

Advisory: There is a child birth scene at the very beginning, several fighting sequences throughout the movie, and one scene where SPOILER ALERT!a Hag and Werewolf are attempting to do magic to bring the White Witch back but both are killed because of their wickedness.END SPOILER ALERT! Also, there is a pretty intense dual and a huge battle near the end of the film.

Rating: 5 stars

Pictures from the movie:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Coming Soon!

This blog is under construction because we are still compiling a grand list of book and movie reviews for you all! Please be sure to check back later to see how progression is coming! Thanks!