The Emerald Swan

Jane Feather, Author
Jane Feather, Author Bantam $7.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-553-57525-5
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
Feather's latest addition to her Charm Bracelet series (The Diamond Slipper, The Silver Rose) starts during the St. Bartholomew's Eve massacre with the murder of a Duchess and the disappearance of one twin daughter. Some 20 years later, the twins' English second cousin, Gareth Harcourt, earl of Harcourt, finds himself trying to improve his family's standing by marrying the remaining twin, Maude, into the French Huguenot court. Maude, however, has strong Catholic leanings; so the desperate Gareth takes advantage of the appearance of Miranda, a traveling tumbler, who happens to look just like her, as a back up. Unfortunately, Gareth is not well-developed (he's of the man-scarred-by-philandering-wife category), and Miranda comes off as improbable rather than complex. Although she manages every obstacle with little training--audience with Queen Bess, formal dance--she too often acts like an apologetic pup. Feather also overuses Miranda's little monkey as an emotional device for conveying her loyalty, sympathy and mischievousness. (Jan.)
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