Review: The Black Moth

Rating: 3.5 /5

Jack Carstares, the Earl of Wyncham has had to leave England because he was wrongfully accused of cheating at a card game. In an age where honor and courage was prevalent, this is the ultimate sin for a ’gentleman’ to commit. Forced to earn his living, he becomes a higwayman.

Closely entangled with the cause of Jack's disgrace is the Duke of Andover, Tracy ’Devil’ Belmanoir, a confirmed rake, who has his own reasons for wishing to keep Jack away from the Earldom. Lady Lavinia, Devil’s sister, a thoughtless, spoiled romantic, is married to Jack’s brother, Richard.

Also in the mix is an exotic beauty, Diana Beauleigh, who Andover has designs on. Andover plans to kidnap the lovely Diana, but of course as with all villains in romances, a spanner is thrown into these plans by Jack, but how, why and what happens next is a wonderful, action-packed, humorous ride with Heyer that I promise, you will not regret.

Secondary characters aplenty like the loveable, shatter-brained Andrew, Devil’s brother, the stolid, dependable O’Hara, Jack’s friend, mischievous Lady O’Hara and Jack’s serious and troubled brother Richard Carstares are masterfully woven into the plot.

The Black Moth, a historical romance by Georgette Heyer, was written at the age of 17 and is a wonderful induction into the world of Heyer. Since it was her first novel, it doesnt have quite the polished writing and sentence structure, wit and plot development that the later novels do. More importantly, TBM laid the groundwork for the novel These Old Shades. Almost the same characters from TBM make their appearance in TOS albeit with different names and with more intriguing personas. TOS is the better book by far, however if you wanted a prequel of sorts to the characters in that story (and you will once you read it) TBM comes as close to the real thing (Heyer's vivid world) as possible.


Smita said...

Lovely review :)

I'll tell you something. I had always loved reading classics. Till 7th standard I was in an ICSE board and there used to be abridged versions of classics and how I used to enjoy them. In fact I used read n re-read them and even used to lay my hands on my bog bro's course book :)
Then in college I used to read the novels which in the curriculum of my roomie (she was studying Eng Lit).

And then slowly -2 the passion was taken over by fiction & racy novels. Now despite having some good books in my collection am yet to pick them up and read them.

May be I'll start soon....may be with my all time fav Kidnapped & Wuthering Heights. I hope so....

Mama - Mia said...


great review as always P!

i am mostly plain ol fiction reader! but your write ups make me want to delve deeper into history! :)



Bouncing-Bubble said...

4/5 is a huge recco. I'll try to lay my hands on this. About how many pages, this book?

couchpapaya said...

smita - ohh i have not read kidnapped for such a long time. this time when i go back home i plan to pack all my books and bring them with me. B's gonna be soooo shocked :D enjoy !!!

abha - i love heyer's writing style and will read even her contemporaries, just that her historicals are a large body of work ... abt 30+ novels, well-researched and absolutely fun.
try them :)

bubbles - u shld have no problems getting one in ur lib ... my copy is about 275 pages but it's a v. old edition.

avdi said...

Its been ages since I picked up a Heyer. I love these historical romances with fancy dresses, locales and whatnots..

Now I wanna pick one up again. :)

couchpapaya said...

avdi - :) i'd love to read ur reviews on them ....

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