Saturday, August 11, 2007

I Thee Wed

Review of I Thee Wed, by Amanda Quick:

Too much plot! is my main complaint with I Thee Wed. The romance takes a backseat to the mystery plot. Once again Quick force-feeds us the tale of an imaginary Atlantis-like isle known only to a select few. This time, a circle of Englishmen has studied and mastered the ancient practices of the isle of Vanzagara. The book is full of conversations like "I must use the Strategy of Deception to outsmart the Vanzagara Master of the Outer Circle." Always capitalized, of course.

But I'm being a tad over-critical. Though the dialogue reminded me of a farcical kung-fu movie, I enjoyed the read. A lot. The characters are adorable: Emma Greyson is a funny mix of rigidly innocent and snarky. She became a lady's maid after a bad investment left her broke, and in such a vulnerable position, is insistent that she never appear improper or be seen alone with a man. But she keeps getting fired because of her smart aleck mouth.

Edison Stokes is also cute, a would-be Vanzagara Master who quit because he found it all dumb (cheers!). He's the classic Quick adventurer, overly protective but sweetly adoring. He has no romantic history, strangely enough, but a moving family background. I liked his sense of humor, particularly regarding Emma's quirks and mouthiness.

Don't get me wrong, the book isn't funny. But the characters were fun together and the story engaging, even if there was too much of it. I'd give this book a solid B, but since it pisses me off when authors privilege story over character (or romance), I'm sticking it with a B-.

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