Practice to Deceive

by Patricia Veryan

The first of the Golden Chronicles, this is one of Veryan’s more adventurous, swashbuckling titles. It is full of derring-do and one of her many picaresque/chase type adventures. There is some humor, but not as much as most of her novels. It is probably too long and could easily been shortened a bit, but it does serve to introduce a number of characters, male and female, which will make a number of appearances in later novels in the series, and even in her later Jeweled Man series. In this way, the more you read her books, the more you are invested in the characters and their fates. She weaves a very complex plot in an enchanting way. Sometimes one just has to pause and read a description or a scene again just for the quality of the writing. I understand how people might be disappointed if they are expecting another Georgette Heyer, because their books have little in common. What they do have in common is how they both create a beguiling world peopled with very well-rounded, lovable and hate-able characters. What Veryan has over Heyer is that you meet them or hear about them again and again as your read through the series.

It’s 3 stars because her other books are so much better! Although I will say it has one of the most effective and withering scoldings of a hero (by his father) that I can remember. It is so on point and cringe producing that I felt sorry for him even though he deserved every scathing word.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

October 13, 2016

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