Rook by Sharon Cameron – Review by Kimberly Adkins
My better half and I have often discussed whether we believe the universe only holds one ideal person for another and that fate will ultimately bring the two together or whether humans simply decide to live with and love those that they bump into along life’s journey (the right time, right place theory). I wonder what happens if your ideal person has been born in another time or perhaps exists only as a character in a novel. I know many a woman who would shun a boyfriend or spouse if Mr. Darcy appeared in the flesh or perhaps, Mr. Knightly. Maybe the stolid Gabriel Oak, the brilliant Lord Peter Wimsey, or the chivalrous Ivanhoe is more to your taste. Be that as it may, the only literary spouse for me is the Scarlet Pimpernel. The British society fop by day, undercover swash-buckling spy by night just takes my breath away. Leaving politics and political correctness aside, a hero who rushes in at just the right moment, fooling the forces of evil just makes me blush all over.
And since I’m also a sucker for a classic story retold, I have only praises for Sharon Cameron’s Rook. Set in a future where the poles have shifted and the Ancients (we modern day folks) have been forgotten, society has returned to a pre-technological age. Not only are clocks illegal, no one is even sure how they were supposed to have worked. The Sunken City (Paris) is once again ruled by a Robespierre-type dictatorship and the Razor taking heads at a fantastic pace. Enter the Red Rook, a shadow-y figure who rescues those condemned to die just in the nick of time.
But this Rook is female and she has multiple problems of her own. Her father has engaged her to a French society fop in an effort to pay his debts and avoid prison. Her brother has crippled himself while fighting with the militia and cannot prove his right to inherit. Parliament wants to steal her land. The evil LeBlanc is hot on her heels and two men are fighting over her attentions. What’s a roof-scaling, Razor-climbing heroine to do? You’ll have to read Rook to find out. Then pick up The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. That’s what I’m doing– again. Just don’t tell my non-fiction husband. He’d be jealous!
Kimberly Adkins is a teacher librarian at C. E. Byrd High School in Shreveport, Louisiana. It has been suggested by internet repairmen that she donate some of her books to a library so that they can get to her modem. When she isn’t running half-marathons, you can find her reading books on every topic under the sun.