Monday, October 15, 2012

Sherry Thomas Tackles the Tropes

So I finished the last of Sherry Thomas' latest series. They all have sort of interchangeable names as is suddenly the norm in Historical romance these days. And I had some quibbles about the books - minor things, largely because Thomas has set the bar so damn high. Honestly, so damn high.

The main quibble was that in each of the books I felt short-changed on the pay off. It felt rushed, or didn't hit the right note I needed after the deft and emotionally intricate and specific set up. There is no part of Thomas' work that has ever felt generic to me. I have often thought I could read a passage of her work, without knowing the author and I'd know it was hers. That's a powerful voice in romance.

And the voice is the same, and that discordant sound at the end of the books wasn't about the writing, but more about the plotting.

But the funny thing - having read the three books now - I love them as a whole, a little more than I loved them individually. It was like a Greatest Hits of Romance Traditions - the first book is a revenge plot, the second is a marriage of convenience and the third is an amnesia story.

What freaking fun!! Honestly - I felt like it takes someone who truly TRULY gets the genre to have such a lark with her books. It both elevates and revels in the tropes we romance readers love best. There were delicious reversals and reveals. She both turned the trope on it's head, while at the same time giving readers what they want.

I highly highly recommend the books.

Have you read them? What do you think?

6 comments:

Maureen McGowan said...

I still haven't read those, but I'm a huge fan of hers. I think she's amazing.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Molly has already been exposed to my mini-rant on the last book. But the reason I ranted in the first place is because I love her work so much.

Like Molly- I think I could pick out a Thomas book without a cover.

And while the amnesia plot for me didn't work - and I had trouble with the masked Venetia - it still doesn't matter.

When she puts out her next book - I'm going to immediately buy it. And that's all a writer needs to accomplish with any book I think. Making the reader want more.

Brie said...

I agree with you. She has a beautiful, distinct voice, but her stories always leave me unsatisfied. I always get a bad aftertaste when I’m done with her books. This was particularly true in Ravishing the Heiress, a book that had a delicious angst of doom, but such a rushed ending that I felt the angst was wasted. You can’t torture your characters --and readers-- and not give them a satisfactory ending. In RtH the heroine is the one who ends up apologizing to the hero after going missing for a couple hours and worrying him! The poor emotional payoff is what’s keeping me from reading more of her books.

Eileen said...

I love that when an author can do that. It makes you see so many possibilities.

Sinead M said...

I didn't love the 3rd as much as the other two, so I'd love to hear Stephanie's rant.. her characters are gorgeous, but the conflict wasn't enough in the third and it remained so static even when she'd had her characters work through it...

Stephanie Doyle said...

Sinead - I didn't want to spoil you with my rant! I'll forward along Molly and I's exchange.

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