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Point of Honour (Sarah Tolerance #1)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  885 ratings  ·  133 reviews
On the mean streets of Regency London, a truly different adventure-with an unforgettable heroine

In a Regency London that isn't quite the one we know, young women of family whose reputations have been ruined are known as the Fallen. Young Sarah Tolerance is one such: a daughter of the nobility who ran away with her brother's fencing-master. Now that the fencing-master has d
ebook, 352 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Forge Books (first published 2003)
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Mar 23, 2012 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of historical mysteries, of Regency fiction, or of action heroines
Recommended to Werner by: It was reviewed in a library trade journal
"I lost my virginity. I lost my innocence. The world seems to regard this as the same thing as honor, but I do not." --Sarah Tolerance, Point of Honour

For most serious readers, any mention of the Regency period immediately conjures the thought of Jane Austen, who introduced so many of us to it, and directly or indirectly influenced just about every later writer who employed that setting. Robins is one of them; she calls her predecessor "one of the sharpest, funniest writers in the English langua
This was a fun mystery romp that has alt-history twist to it. Fallen woman turned into detective heroine. I have mixed but generally positive feelings about this book. There were some really fun parts for sure, and the mystery was definitely interesting, but I couldn't buy into it 100% all the time.

I want to warn you, this is NOT A VAGINAL MYSTERY in that...I can't spoil it, but it's just not. So beware, because the ending really threw me for a loop and I kinda liked it but not really. Also, ref
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Im not much of a "Regency" fan,but Point of Honor grabbed me from the start and kept me in till the end. Imagine a character from one of Jane Austen's novels who falls for the wrong man and.. well dosent quite get married. Her lover now dead,and her family has forsaken her Sarah Tolerance is on her own."It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Fallen Woman of good family,must soon or late,desend to whoredom",So is Sarah's future,but she will not accept such as this.So to support herself she ...more
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4.5/5; 5 stars; A

This book was recommended to me by my GR friend, Werner, who manages one of the groups I belong to, Action Heroine Fans. I loved the protagonist in this story, Sarah Tolerance, and she is definitely a worthy character for the Action Heroine Fans to admire! I really enjoyed this book, even despite that fact that I've been resistant to reading historical fiction in recent months. Once I got going on the story, the characters really pulled me and kept me there, for the duration.

Oh, this was great fun.

Imagine a Regency detective novel. Imagine a Regency detective novel with a 'fallen woman' (Think Lydia Bennet if they hadn't paid Wickham to marry her.) as the private investigator. Imagine a Regency detective novel, with a 'fallen woman' private investigator who is physically courageous and well trained with a sword!

Of course this has to be an alternate history Regency period. Queen Charlotte is the regent here; the heroine's penchant for dressing as a man, sword and al
I've been looking for a copy of this book since I first read a preview chapter online, several years ago. After such a long delay, the risk of disappointment is high, but this book met my expectations. Point of Honour is a period piece set in a period that never existed: Regency England where Queen Charlotte, not the Prince, was Regent.

Our Heroine is Sarah Tolerance, called Miss Tolerance throughout the book, a woman whose reputation has been ruined, and is therefore fit, according to society, f
Sherwood Smith
Robins skillfully lets the reader know right away that this is not quite the Regency England we know (and has become such a cliche in the romance novel world); 'Prinny' is not the Regent for Mad King George, his wife is. And in this London, ladies can belong to clubs, where they can sit and read and drink tea, or meet and talk, or just sit and relax. Thus those of us who read a lot in the period can disengage the custom and language filters that we can't help forming over the years. So she uses ...more
This is a historical mystery novel set in a Regency London that isn't quite our own. I suppose technically this is fantasy, because the history is a slightly altered one (Queen Charlotte is Regent, rather than Prince George), but it contains no magical or fantastical elements other than that. The mystery is intriguing, with a nicely unexpected twist at the end, and the language and milieu are convincing, as is the main character, a fallen woman named Sarah Tolerance who chose to become a private ...more
A hard-boiled Regency. A marvelous swashbuckling heroine, Sarah Tolerance. Yes, there is a slightly altered British history, but the language is fresh and tart, the manners exquisite. The author lays gratitude at the feet of both Jane Austen and Dashiell Hammett. Brava.
Jacob Proffitt
This is not Heyer's Regency England. Or Jane Austen's. But then, the author makes her distinctive flavor clear from the start and does so with a firm hand born of confidence with her material. Indeed, categorizing the book is difficult because at heart it is a mystery novel but with an alternate-historical twist. Some of the historical changes allow the heroine more freedom than a woman of the time period might reasonably have had.

But some of it seems simply arbitrary in order to explore interes
My mother sent me to the library on her behalf to find some books she'd been wanting to read, and while browsing the shelves, this one caught my eye. So I checked it out for myself.

This book is not one that can be easily classified. It has romantic elements, but it's not a romance. And while it is a historical novel--set in Regency Era London--it's not quite the same Regency that happened historically, so then you have to add in a touch of fantasy as well. It's also reminiscent of a hardboiled c
Katharine Kimbriel
Recommended for people thirsting for a Regency Noir.

This is an alternative world fantasy, for although it’s during the Regency period of England, it’s Queen Charlotte who is the Regent, not her eldest son – and her poor health leads to a lot of scheming, back stabbing and in-fighting amongst the princes for the role of the next regent.

Officially, our heroine, Sarah Tolerance, deals little with royals. She is a Fallen Woman (and in this history, that’s all most people care about her. She should
3 ¾ Stars

Yeah!! What a fun, kick-butt heroine. For full disclosure, I feel that I should admit that part of the reason I've fallen so hard for this series and this character is that, when I started reading it ,I had just come off of plowing through Perdido Street Station. Diving into something that seemed so sweetly genre driven and straight forward was a welcome relief. Even still, Sarah Tolerance is a great character that is mature, accessible, and best of all.... wait for it..... has mad, mad
Sarah Tolerance is a Fallen Woman of good family, having run away with her brother's fencing instructor at the age of sixteen. Now, at twenty-eight, she is a private enquiry agent running her business from a cottage at the back of her (also Fallen) aunt's brothel. The setting is a slightly alternate Regency where Queen Charlotte became regent instead of the Prince of Wales.

The story runs along at a good pace, the characters are well drawn, and there are enough twists and red herrings to keep the
POINT OF HONOR (Hist Mys-Sarah Tolerance-England-1810/Georgian) – Good
Robins, Madeleine E. – 1st in series
Forge, 2003, US Hardcover – ISBN: 031287202X

First Sentence: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Fallen Woman of good family must, soon or late, descend to whoredom.

Sarah Tolerance is a disowned daughter of nobility who now lives in a cottage behind a high-class brothel and who acts as a private inquiry agent. She is hired by Count Verseillon to locate and retrieve an antique fan he
I'm giving this four stars because of how much I like the idea of this book, how all the parts of it are things that I adore and have sought so much in other books like this. I just wish I'd, I don't know, enjoyed the book more? It was three stars' worth of enjoyment, not four. For as much as I really like the heroine, I wasn't particularly engaged by her.

I mean, so much is right. This is a slight AU of Regency England (the king goes mad a bit earlier, the queen is made regent, etc etc fallout
This was an impulse buy, which turned out to be a rather enjoyable historical mystery.

The writing quickly took me back to the British regency era, albeit a slightly alternate-history version, with a protagonist, who, as a "Fallen Woman" now making her way as a private inquiry agent, provides an unusual viewpoint. While I haven't completely warmed to Sarah Tolerance, I have a feeling I will in future books, and hopefully more about her past will be revealed.

I liked the London backdrop very much
I really enjoyed reading this book. I was caught from the first sentence. Anyone who can start a book with an amusing Jane Austen reference is a winner to me. Fans of the era and of historical mystery, please don't let the creepy, apparition-like appearance of the pistol-wielding woman on the cover deter you. The writing is good.

Robins makes her home in an alternate universe, with Queen Charlotte the Regent instead of the Prince of Wales, and the Prince of Wales a widower to a Catholic (and thus
Oct 04, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Austen, Heyer and Ellen Kushner
Miss Sarah Tolerance is a worthy successor to Elizabeth Bennet. Years before she eloped with her brother's fencing instructor; now, with a ruined reputation, she has returned to London. She has too much pride to become a whore, and is to female and well-bred for most other occupations, and so out of the back of her aunt's brothel she sets herself up as a private investigator. Years of training with her fencing paramour, and a good wit and sensibility, have served her well, but then a routine sea ...more
Maya Bohnhoff
I am now an unabashed Sarah Tolerance fan girl.

Madeleine Robins has given us a superb heroine: smart, savvy, brave, athletic, kind, patient, strong of character, and honorable. I was immersed in Sarah's adventure and couldn't put the book down (thank God I had it on my iPhone). But lest you think this is just a beach read—not so. Yes, it's got great pacing, intrigue, mystery, clues to ferret out, villains to distrust. But the characterization and the way Robins handles the precarious position o
LOVED this book! Sarah ran off to France with her brother's fencing instructor. He was killed, so she's returned to England as a "fallen woman," with very few options open to her. No man would want her, and her family has completely shunned her, with the exception of her aunt who runs a brothel. Sarah moves into her aunt's guest house and becomes a PI of sorts. Soon she finds herself caught up in the political intrigue of the day.

What I really loved about this book was the way Sarah absolutely
Jul 02, 2007 Emily rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thos who like alternative histories, regency ficition, intrigue
Much better than the cover lets on. This is a fun, fluffy alternative history set in a Regency England where the Queen not the Crown Prince acted as a Regent. It gave a surprising twist to the period. The brothels were also a fun spin off of Cleland's Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. I also liked that the ending set up the series is a satisfying way, and it didn't become overly sentimental the like Alexander's And Only To Decieve did. Unlike some other, softer heroines, Sarah Tolerance isn't so m ...more
Miss Sarah Tolerance is a Fallen Woman in a slightly alternate version of 19th century Britain. She has fashioned out a profession for herself as - more or less - a private detective. She kicks ass and turns stereotypes of women during her time on her head, to the amusement and horror of those around her, and is honorable to a fault. Think Kinsey Millhone a couple of centuries earlier and a bit more prim and proper. I love love love Sarah Tolerance, and loved this book, and highly recommend it i ...more
Jeffrey Grant
Fortunately I'm not enough of a history buff to be able to find fault with most alternate history novels, although I do know enough, usually, to be frustrated by the knowledge that something has changed but I have no idea what or what the significance is.

Fortunately here, the knowlege of the history itself (in this case, the Regency period in England in the early 1800s) isn't necessary to follow the plot; any significant political and historical points are outlined by the author, though she avo
The book had a slow start, but once it got up and running, it was an entertaining read. However, when a 349 page book takes 100 pages to "get up and running," that's usually a bad sign. I liked the premise of the book-- a Fallen lady (she eloped with her fencing instructor and returns to Regency-era England only after his death some years later) decides to become an "agent of inquiry" (private investigator) rather than letting some rich guy set her up as his mistress. The plot was pretty by the ...more
Enjoyable mystery set in an alternate Regency England. Alternate, but with all the tones of reality, Robins emphasizes the trials of Regency women and their limited options in life. The main character of the story solves the crime, but the solution doesn't turn up the expected treasure or secret code. There is a troubling ending, but of course that may lead us to find out more about Sarah in the next installment.

Definitely not a mainstream mystery, and maybe a little hard to categorize.
5 stars - at least - for the Regency + social realism element.
5 stars for an engaging, if occasionally somewhat unrealistic heroine.
3 for the Romance element, which was a bit tacked-on feeling, and didn't convince me fully (though it did increase sympathy for Sarah, and fit in with the noir mystery element). More on this shortly.

Will read the next one, and hope Robins is able to publish more in the series in the not-too-distant future.
Dawn Sam
A terrific who-done-it, featuring a wonderful heroine. Set in a slightly alternate universe London in 1810, Sarah Tolerance takes her status as a "fallen woman," her sword skills and her brains and re-creates herself as an Agent of Inquiry (essentially, a Private Eye). The intrigues are multi-layered, there are complex characters on all sides of her adventures, and it's a page turner. Highly recommended.
Sean Llewellyn Williams
I've been meaning to read this series for ages, and I'm glad I finally got to it. Slighly counter-factural hardboiled Regency--what's not to love, right? It also has rich characterization, perfect plotting, keenly observed prose, and moments of humour that would do Austen proud. I was up late until I finished it, which is the surest sign I know of a good book. Highly recommended.
Rachel Brown
Witty, clever, immersive alternate-history Regency mystery... with a heroine who solves mysteries and fights with a sword. Very convincing swordplay, excellent prose, well-researched setting.

Too bad about the hideous, vampiric cover. The good news is that it's finally out in e-book form.
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Writing gives Madeleine Robins the chance to focus on many of her ruling passions: cities, history, swordplay, the history of disease, and the future of mankind–with a side order of historical costuming and infrastructure (urban plumbing is far more interesting than you’d think).

Born in New York City, the Author has been, in no particular order, a nanny, a teacher, an actor and stage-combatant, an
More about Madeleine E. Robins...

Other Books in the Series

Sarah Tolerance (3 books)
  • Petty Treason (Sarah Tolerance, #2)
  • The Sleeping Partner (Sarah Tolerance, #3)
Petty Treason (Sarah Tolerance, #2) The Sleeping Partner (Sarah Tolerance, #3) Sold for Endless Rue The Stone War The Heiress Companion

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