I was feeling a bit stressed, so it felt like the perfect time to revisit The Talisman Ring (and maybe also The Grand Sophy, if I get the chance). Heyer’s books are the perfect light reading to my mind: relatable characters, witty dialogue, entertaining set-ups… In this one, two cousins are supposed to get married, despite being completely unsuited; hijinks (and a few more cousins joining in) ensue.
The joy is really in the exuberance of the two ‘heroic’ characters, as I think of them, Eustacie and Ludovic, coming up against the two ‘sensible’ (ish) characters, Tristram and Sarah. They all end up in absurdly dramatic situations, of course, and it quickly becomes obvious that Eustacie is much more suited to Ludovic than to Tristram. And in the background, unnoticed by Eustacie, Tristram and Sarah begin to have a greater regard for each other — while sniping at each other, of course. (Though less so than in, say, Faro’s Daughter, where the relationship was so adversarial and the male lead so supercilious, it was hard to enjoy.)
I make no claims for this book’s depth; I just enjoy the characterisations, the dialogue, the wit. It’s vastly fun. Though, Heyer being the person she was, the historical details and such are probably very much in the right places.