The Talisman Ring
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The Talisman Ring

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  3,428 ratings  ·  301 reviews
Neither Sir Tristram Shield nor Eustacie, his young French cousin, share the slightest inclination to marry one another. Yet it is Lord Lavenham's dying wish. For there is no one else to provide for the old man's granddaughter while Ludovic, his heir, remains a fugitive from justice.
Hardcover, 297 pages
Published 1967 by E. P. Dutton & Co. (first published 1936)
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First published in 1936, this is one of Heyer’s last Georgian romances. Set in the south of England at some undefined time shortly after the French Revolution, it includes romance, adventure, random French words and phrases, Bow Street Runners, a missing heirloom and an heir who must be cleared of murder before he can resume his rightful place in society.

A parody of the romantic adventure genre, the novel is an inspired piece of fluff. The ingénue, Eustacie, is lovely, smart, and a lot less ann...more
If the rating system here allowed it, I would take off a half star for how annoying Eustacie and Ludovic were, and how little I cared about their fate. I know they are a parody of young romantics and serve as a foil for the older and more sensible couple, but I really wanted Ludovic to get slapped at certain points where he insists on recklessly endangering everyone else for no better reason than his own boredom and fecklessness.

Fortunately for me, Heyer, though more tolerant of young bucks than...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 19, 2014 Tweety rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who needs a laugh
I do believe this was almost funnier than Faro's Daughter!

Miss Sarah Thane and her brother have stopped at a little inn for a brief respite when she is awoken in the middle of the night by smugglers. Sumugglers who have barely escaped the Law. After that Sarah is determined to keep her brother tied to this spot so she can do some investigating and maybe clear an innocent man's name, but she can only do that with help, help that comes from an unlikely source.

Eustacie has, after knowing her cous...more
This book manages to be both a Regency comedy of manners and a swashbuckling romance in the vein of Heyer's earlier set Georgian books. This is one of those books where the hero manages to be perfect but not irritate me, the dumb Beauty character inspires an affection in me, the lesser hero makes me smile, and I wish I could have a cup of tea and laugh over the world with the heroine. Very well drawn, very well remembered. (Also has one of my favorite proposal scenes!)
This is one of the least substantial Heyer romances I have read, with little insight into the psyche of our hero, but it was still a fun read.

Eustacie is 18 years old, French, and romantic. The kind of girl who almost regrets having been rescued from The Terror when she thinks of the tragic, pitiable figure she should have made when led to the guillotine, dressed in a white gown, of course.

Sir Tristram is older, practical and sober, and Heyer spends a few pages making you think that the two of t...more
Mar 25, 2010 Caris rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: little old ladies
Recommended to Caris by: rbrs
Shelves: romance, 2010
Mon Dieu, in-fuckin'-deed.

The experience of weight lifting off my shoulders that I experienced during the last few pages is difficult for me to express. But I'll try. Imagine Andre the Giant, complete with a scantily clad woman on each arm, on my shoulders. Imagine his big ass cracking my poor, thin bones to a powder that is quickly reabsorbed by my body, leaving me with no shoulders at all and just a big fuckin' guy sitting in the mush on top of my rib cage. And then, for some reason or another...more
This book was fun to read. I enjoyed the mystery, and the romance, all written with a twinkle in Heyer's eye, I'm very sure. I was pleased that everyone got just what they deserved at the end.
Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

Another delighful foray into Georgette Heyer's romantic imagination.

While it has a very similar feel to Sprig Muslin in both character types and plotline, I personally found The Talisman Ring to be far superior of the two, mainly because the young ingenue Eustacie was far more likable and far less silly then the one in Sprig Muslin. But the shining star of this Georgian romp was clearly the older, mature Sarah Thane. Sarah is my favorite type of Heyer heroine: old...more
Read for the Bodice Rippers.

When I was a girl we turned up our noses at romance novels. In fact, if I remember correctly, Mills and Boon was a sort of general epithet. My first adult contact came in my late thirties, during a lengthy recuperation when I badly needed escapist literature. I think I started with contemporary romance novels,and didn't even consider historical romance until someone mentioned Georgette Heyer in the same breath as Jane Austen. I've read several Heyers since, but this o...more
Ah, now here is a worthy successor to Mary Stewart for my bathtime reading. For god's sake, tell me which other Heyer books are like this so I can besiege the library for them. It's funny, it laughs at itself, the characters are ridiculous, the hero initially seems forbidding and then turns out to be a good sport after all, in a rather severe and cautious way. I fell for him totally. Eustacie and Ludovico weren't my interest at all: Miss Thane and Sir Tristram were much more my speed -- and I di...more
You dare.

As previously and more delicately observed by Miriam: Eustacie and Ludovic were a pair of fuckwits.

I mean, honestly.

Also quite astutely noted by Miriam: the pleasing story arc of the older and not-utterly-moronic romantic pairing, which managed to be novel in that their appeal as characters really did increase as they came together, turning them into an engagingly sardonic duo of considerable (if deadpan) hilarity.

The scene at the inn, after Sarah pretends to succumb to the Vapours, and...more

Fluffy, Georgian romance which is totally charming and delightful. There are mysterious rings, murder, cousins in exile, dying uncles, arranged marriages, runaway heiresses, smugglers, excise men, someone getting shot, upper class prats, priest holes & secret passages, evil cousins, Bow Street Runners, a marriage proposal, breaking and entering, fist fights, attempted murder, quizzing glasses, bad guys getting caught, romance and much hilarity. What more could you possibly want?

A wonderful a...more
This is an hilarious regency romance that will have anyone with a pulse chuckling if not laughing out loud. The dialog is superb. Reminds me of Gilmore Girls or the old black n white Thin Man movies. I wish someone would make movies of all these funny Heyer novels.
Vicki Seldon
Bless you Goodreads readers for bringing me back to Georgette Heyer. Several of you wrote about various of her Regency romances and since I had enjoyed her so much as a kid, I began to add them to my to-read list. This one was such a treat- more classic farce than straight romance. The plot device is the search for a missing heirloom ring that will prove that Ludovic, the young and dashing heir to the House of Lavenham, did not commit a heinous, cold-blooded murder. And while the cover of the no...more
Lori (Hellian)
The word that captures this book for me is fun! Or delightful! I am not a romance reader, but I stayed up all night reading this because I was having such a good time. Heyer transcends what I think of Romance because she doesn't take herself too seriously but just wants to give us a grand old time. Which she does. There are the usual stock figures, but she manages to imbibe them with breathe and scope so they leap off the page full of life. It's usually the ingenue who manages to piss me off the...more
This was so much fun! The setting is Georgian England, but the story structure and tone seemed much more 1930s to me, a slapstick comedy that had me casting Carole Lombard as the mischievous Miss Thane, Errol Flynn as the dashing Ludovic, Fredric March as the level-headed Tristram, and... I'm still struggling to figure out who could do justice to Eustacie's morbid enthusiasms, prompted by too many Gothic romances.

If I hadn't been reading a library book, I would have dog-earred about half the pag...more
On Lord Lavenham's deathbed, he asks his relative Sir Tristram Shield to marry his granddaughter Eustacie and provide for her after Lavenham's death, since his heir, Ludovic, has been a fugitive for justice for years after being accused of murder. When Ludovic turns up unexpectedly, what looked like a marriage of convenience plot turns quickly into a madcap adventure, as he, Tristram, Eustacie, and Miss Sarah Thane try to clear his name and recover his ancestral talisman ring.

The characterizatio...more
Another charming and somewhat insubstantial romp from Georgette Heyer, involving a wrongly accused heir to a title, a staid and sober, but secretly rather dashing older gentleman, an eighteen-year-old heiress with a vivid imagination and an extremely charming and sensible lady in her twenties. If you've read Heyer before, you'll realize how they all pair off. The charm of Heyer for me lies in her lovely language, in the fact that her novels are quite often very funny, and that she doesn't appear...more
This was not great writing but it made me laugh out loud. The characters were very flat and I had no real interest in their fate but it was amusing and served its purpose well. Heyer wrote her first novel at 15 for her brother. I will continue to pick up her novels at the library when I need a light read. I really got a kick reading the review of a guy who thought he was reading a romance and wanted more "banging." I don't think he was advised well at all considering she wrote in the early twent...more

*slight spoilers*

The Talisman Ring repeatedly brought to mind the last Heyer novel I read – The Unknown Ajax – except there were more of the fun parts and less of the parts I had found boring. Admittedly, I found the first quarter of Talisman to be dull and somewhat frustrating. The stage is set slowly, and part of this exposition is an arranged marriage that almost takes place between the hero and his young French cousin. Neither of the individuals respects the other, and it is rather painful t...more
Funny, oh, so incredibly funny. Why? Two words: male, exasperation.

"Would you object to her having a slight—a very slight squint in one eye?”
“Yes, I should,” said Sir Tristram. “Nor have I the smallest desire to—”
Miss Thane sighed. “Well, that is a pity. I had thought of the very person for you.”
“Let me beg you not to waste your time thinking of another! The matter is not urgent.”
She shook her head. “I cannot agree with you. After all, when one approaches middle age—”
“Middle—Has anyone ever box
Despite a rather slow beginning and a somewhat convoluted plot, this book was a delightful regency romance with plenty of mystery and comedy thrown in. The strongest element of the novel is easily the creative and well-developed characters. The two original main characters are complete foils of one another: a handsome but pragmatic man of the strong and silent type (who shows chinks in his armor by the end of the book) is betrothed to a hopelessly romantic and vivacious young Frenchwoman. Along...more
I think this one is brilliantly fun. Heyer had such amazing pacing in her earlier works. This one has mystery elements, Robin Hood like elements, and witty dialogs. I tend to favor the young couple more so than Sarah + Tristram. I do love Sarah and Eustacie together as friends, and how silly they were about coming up with 'adventure' ideas. I know some have said that they thought Eustacie was a bit much, and I do think that at the beginning of the book she was at her most annoying. But she is a...more

No, seriously. This is easily my favorite Heyer. I love Eustacie and Ludovic and their cheerful determination to live out a romantic adventure, I love Sarah just as cheerfully egging them on for her own personal amusement, I love Tristram rolling his eyes in the background and wondering how even is this his life. I love Sir Hugh pottering around in the background, I love Nye considering everyone a Bedlamite, I love Basil plotting not very successfully. I LOVE ALL OF IT. Heyer do...more
My favourite Heyer, always has been, always will be � although when I was younger, I was in love with Ludovic, young, reckless, Wrong but Wromantic, and accused! Of a crime! He did not commit! whereas these days my heart belongs to the secondary character of Hugh, the heroine's brother, who doesn't much care how much intrigue and skulduggery may be going on around him (his status as a Justice of the Peace notwithstanding) so long as he gets his dinner on time. [return][return]'"Help a smuggler?"...more
Sheryl Tribble
Top tier Heyer, and one of the last Heyer romances I read, so a double joy to me.

Mary Balough's intro to the Harlequin edition is about as perfect as they can get. She gushed more than I do -- I cannot say I have "never been disappointed" by a new-to-me Heyer -- but I could relate to her comment about "feeling sad -- even when there were still plenty more left to read -- at the realization their number was fixed, that soon enough there would be no more new Heyer novels to read."

She whets the rea...more
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I hesitated between 3 and 4 stars for The Talisman Ring. I'm quite fond of the book; it boasts an intricate plot involving murder and theft, engaging characters - both Eustacie and Sarah are highly likable, though in entirely different ways, and the supporting characters are much more developed than usual - and humor. It's a little different from Heyer's typical books in that almost all the action takes place in a little inn in the country, while London is visited only in the background - we nev...more
Miranda Davis
I've never read The Talisman Ring. How this slipped past me in my ongoing Georgette Heyer orgy, I cannot say. Suppose I was discouraged by the suspense plot that figures prominantly, but based on reviews I decided to give the audiobook, read by Phylidia Nash, a try and I loved it. Loved the plot and its twists and turns, loved the main characters, it has a fairly large cast, though it is essentially a drawing room farce set in and mostly taking place within the walls of a roadside inn.

An insuffi...more
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Georgette Heyer was an amazingly prolific writer who created the Regency England genre of romance novels.

Georgette Heyer was an intensely private person. A best-seller all her life without the aid of publicity, she made no appearances, never gave an interview, and only answered fan letters herself if they made an interesting historical point. Heyer wrote very well-researched historical fiction, fu...more
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“You would more probably have gone to the guillotine,' replied Sir Tristram, depressingly matter of fact.

'Yes, that is quite true,' agreed Eustacie. 'We used to talk of it, my cousin Henriette and I. We made up our minds we should be entirely brave, not crying, of course, but perhaps a little pale, in a proud way. Henriette wished to go to the guillotine en grande tenue, but that was only because she had a court dress of yellow satin which she thought became her much better than it did really. For me, I think one should wear white to the guillotine if one is quite young, and not carry anything except perhaps a handkerchief. Do you not agree?'

'I don't think it signifies what you wear if you are on your way to the scaffold,' replied Sir Tristram, quite unappreciative of the picture his cousin was dwelling on with such evident admiration.

She looked at him in surprise. 'Don't you? But consider! You would be very sorry for a young girl in a tumbril, dressed all in white, pale, but quite unafraid, and not attending to the canaille at all, but--'

'I should be very sorry for anyone in a tumbril, whatever their age or sex or apparel,' interrupted Sir Tristram.

'You would be more sorry for a young girl--all alone, and perhaps bound,' said Eustacie positively.

'You wouldn't be all alone. There would be a great many other people in the tumbril with you,' said Sir Tristram.

Eustacie eyed him with considerable displeasure. 'In my tumbril there would not have been a great many other people,' she said.”
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