Monday, December 1, 2008

Joanna Bourne: My Lord and Spymaster

My Lord and Spymaster: C-
Jessamyn Whitby & Captain Sebastian Kennett

Bourne's latest espionage-based series historical (following The Spymaster's Lady) entices with subtle subterfuge and heated romance. Jess Whitby, daughter of suspected spy Josiah Whitby, is doing everything in her power to exonerate her imprisoned father. In order to free him, she must prove that someone other than her father is the Cinq, a notorious mole. But Jess has met her match in Capt. Sebastian Kennett, wealthy bastard son of an English nobleman, equally as clever at keeping tabs on Jess as she is at tracking him. Sebastian is responsible for Josiah's arrest; Jess believes that Sebastian may be the Cinq; their mutual attraction proves a lovely foil for their suspicious minds. (amazon)

I just know I'm going to be in the minority, but I didn't find much in this story that I really enjoyed.

The plot, after a while, became tedious, as did the characters. I felt like the plot moved really slowly and I lost interest half or a third-way through. I chugged along, hoping that the romance between Jess and Sebastian would outweigh the dullness of finding Cinq, going after the suspected Cinq candidates, and Jess's constant visitations with her father.

The romance was lukewarm. It was a lot of Sebastian trying to empower Jess, but Jess resisting, and then them showing their love for each other in dangerous ways. Example: Jess going off to her previous master (when she was a thief) so that Sebastian wouldn't have to go himself since the master is a feared and very dangerous slumlord, etc. Those and other kinds of actions that I would normally find sigh-worthy grated my nerves.

Then there was the suspicion between Jess and Sebastian, since Sebastian was one of the candidates who could possibly be Cinq. Then Jess trying to un-love Sebastian because of the uncertainty, and yadda yadda yadda...

Before I knew it, I wanted the novel to be over and I didn't care much if Sebastian and Jess ever did get together.

I hate to say it, since I did enjoy Ms. Bourne's debut novel The Spymaster's Lady, but I would have rather passed on this one.

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