Courtney AND rachel take on Georgette Heyer ( and Kato!)
Faro’s Daughter tells the story of Deborah, a woman who works in a gamboling house, and Max Ravenscar who is a gentleman trying to save his young cousin from a most inconvenient marriage to aforementioned woman. Of course, as Deborah really has no intention of marrying Ravenscar’s young cousin, this book is filled with many misconceptions and angry words as Deborah and Ravenscar try to get the other to leave Ravenscar’s cousin alone.
And as per any Heyer novel, we can expect these many misconceptions to somehow turn into love and a happily-ever-after ending.
Courtney: I would completely agree with you about this – not nearly as enjoyable as Heyer’s other novels that I’ve read, and it’s all due to the characters. There was so much potential – misunderstanding! an unlikely female heroine! romance between all the wrong people! But it didn’t go as far as it could have because the characters didn’t bring it there. Whereas you enjoyed Lucius, I have to say that I didn’t even like him – or any of the other secondary characters. I thought they all felt very one-dimensional. And this saddens me.
Courtney: Downright mean doesn’t even begin to cover it! He insulted her at every possible chance, she went out of her way to provoke his anger, and then if that wasn’t bad enough she kidnapped him! And while love often grows from hate in books, we don’t see their feels really changing and then all of a sudden when she agrees to marry him, it just feels so out of character for both of them… almost like the characters got away from Heyer and this was her reining them in for the big finish.
One of the things that really frustrated me about this book was the double standard that was presented of what women and men are allowed to do. Men are allowed to frequent gaming halls, but for a woman to run a gaming hall out of her house was one of the biggest taboos that could be done. I know it’s my feminist side coming out there, but it made me quite angry when reading about it.
Courtney: One of the highlights of her other books are the whole cast of characters and this one was lacking, especially in the side-kick point. I have a tendency to love sidekicks more than main characters in most media that I thoroughly enjoy. They can provide insights into the character, or provide comic relief, and are often the vehicle used to get us inside the main characters’ heads and understand what they are feeling and thinking.
Courtney: Kato is adorable! And can kick Britt’s butt but is still so loyal to him that he only does it when Britt needs a SERIOUS butt-kicking. Other than that, he will drop everything to make sure Britt doesn’t get his butt-kicked by anyone else!
What I REALLY liked about the Britt-Kato relationship was the balance ( or imbalance) of power. It takes Britt a long time to reconcile himself to the fact that Kato really is his superior in many ways. When Kato tells Britt he is stubborn it is an understatement. Britt finally learns that in order to stay safe ( metaphorically and literally), he has to move into the front seat of the Black Beauty and let equilibrium ensue.
I also LOVE little details about Kato: the fact that he makes coffee, sketches Bruce Lee; draws a happy face on a card accompanying a gift to Britt; is saved from Britt’s pool by an inflatable lobster…
And what I liked MOST about this partnership is how different it is to other partnerships. So often ( and can I shamelessly use the BBC Sherlock as an example, please? Okay. I will) as in the BBC Sherlock, the “team” of hero and sidekick are mentally in synch: they just need to glare at each other and they are mentally attuned to what the other is planning.
Britt and Kato ( in their development as the Green Hornet and Kato ) have no synchronicity at all.
I love how we jumped from Georgette Heyer to this, by the way. What a subtle transition.
Courtney: I think you’ve covered everything that is important about the Britt-Kato bromance, and I don’t know that there’s anything else that needs to be said about it, really. Except that it was really awesome that there wasn’t REALLY any romance in the movie. I mean, they were both in love with the same chick, but she wasn’t interested in either of them. And so the focus was completely on the Britt-Kato dynamics without getting sidetracked and distracted. Not enough stories do this!
The Bottom Line
Hum. The most boring of Heyer’s books that I’ve read so far. So boring that we tangented quite easily.