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The Talisman Ring

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  7,840 ratings  ·  723 reviews
The Talisman Ring is one of Heyer's funniest and fastest-paced romantic comedies, telling the story of a fugitive heir, a tempestuous Frenchwoman, and the two sensible people who try to keep them out of trouble. ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published January 6th 2005 by Arrow (first published 1936)
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Booklovinglady Faro's Daughter is one of my favourites too (as are The Grand Sophy, Arabella and Frederica)…moreFaro's Daughter is one of my favourites too (as are The Grand Sophy, Arabella and Frederica)(less)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  7,840 ratings  ·  723 reviews


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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This Georgian period novel by Heyer, set in 1793, is a fun mixture of a romantic comedy and a mystery/suspense novel. Our main characters:

• Ludovic Lavenham, the impetuous young heir to a baronetcy, accused of murder and on the run for the last couple of years, doing a little smuggling on the side, and whilst doing so bumping into ...

• Eustacie, an equally impetuous young French girl with wildly romantic ideas, who is running away from an unwanted arranged marriage with ...

• Sir Tristram Shield
...more
mark monday
On the menu tonight: THE TALISMAN RING

Amuse Bouche
Pour la table, we present a pair of charming Georgian romantics. They are très amusant! These light little treats will tantalize your taste buds and have two simple(-minded) components: a delightful if melodramatic young miss served "à la française" alongside a feckless and overwrought young heir. Other - lesser - restaurants have served such dishes as a main course - how droll! Here they find their proper place: as a lure to engage you in mo
...more
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
2016 Review

I'm struggling ever so slightly with the review on this book as I read it at the start of my holiday. If I feel I have more to add I may edit this later.

In spite of a slow start, the always inventive GH excelled herself with this one.

Her variations this time were;

I think this is her only book this late in the Georgian period.

Edit: I stand corrected! Faro's Daughter was also set in the 1790's. (see comments below)

(view spoiler)
...more
Lizzy
I found this vintage Georgette Heyer, The Talisman Ring, simply exquisite with its humor and wit, smooth and agile prose, with amusing and intelligent dialogues. The mysterious plot is hilarious and full of wild adventures with smugglers, stupid Bow Street runners, an evil cousin and a malevolent valet. Attempted murder, midnight house break-in, and mayhem make for a fast and pleasurable read.

Lovable and piquant characters and romance gives The Talisman Ring a special flavor that doesn’t oversha
...more
Emma
Quite different to anything else I've read by Heyer. Fantastic rip roaring comedy- mystery- farce, with not one romance, but two!
Recommended.
...more
Jacob Proffitt
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, chaste, audiobook
I'm bumping this up to five stars on the most recent reread. The banter between Tristram and Sarah is just way, way too good and bonus points for the subtlety of the romance. And I admit that much of my attachment is to Sarah. I love how she throws in with Eustacie so eagerly and yet still develops an appreciation for the polar opposite in Tristram. And I particularly love that they complement each other so well with Sarah mitigating some of Tristram's reserve and him supporting her fully and ea ...more
Bradley
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don't have a shelf for Romance, but I'm thinking perhaps I ought to make one. I'm such a bad boy for ignoring such a huge genre.

Yes. That's right. I just read Romance. I'm challenging myself.

But, to be honest and fair, this is really more of an offshoot of the old Regency Romances and full of the whole comedy of errors that we all know and love. Too good to be true? Rich grandfathers, viciously maligned cousins, onerous duties, mystery, theft, and yes, of course, Marriage.

Marriage is what bri
...more
Mir
Nov 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
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
Kim

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
Amy
2020 Review
Well, I'm now older than Arabella, Sophy, and Frederica so I guess I shall have to take Miss Thane as my role model.

Original Review
I love this book. I love the characters; I love the plot. I love Sir Tristram, with his lack of sensibility and sweet heart. I love Sarah Thane, with her wry sense of humor and blend of practicality and romanticism. I want to be her. I love Eustacie...and this third or fourth reading, I finally even loved Ludovic.
But you know who the real unsung hero of t
...more
Kelly
Sep 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
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!) ...more
Tweety
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Lori
The Talisman Ring is a MUST READ for any Georgette Heyer fan. You don't want to miss this wonderful romantic adventure! This story is well crafted and has everything you could ever want in a Georgian Romance. NO, REALLY! Go get this book and read it, right now! The dialogue is brilliant and the story is well paced. There is suspense, romance, humor, adventure, mystery, charm, and wit. In turn, I laughed out loud and sat on the edge of my seat. I read into the night because I could not put this b ...more
Eh?Eh!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Teresa
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a re-read for me and I enjoyed it just as much the second time round. It all more or less took place in an inn but that just added to the story. I didn't much care for Ludovic. I thought he was a selfish brat who went his own way regardless of advice and without caring what the consequences would be.
Sarah and Tristram were made for each other. She would probably have been called a bluestocking in her day.
I loved Sir Hugh. He was a man who had simple needs and wants and made random obse
...more
Susan in NC
12/20-January 2021: Delightful! The perfect choice for the Heyer group’s first read of 2021. I knew I loved this one, but forgot the wit and charm and brisk pacing. I adore Sarah Thane, for her humor, humanity and the sheer cheek of her interactions with Sir Tristram Shield. Truly one of my favorite Heyer creations. I love her interactions with his two younger cousins as well - Ludovic, (that name!), the brash but decent young hothead, and Eustacie, the melodramatic French emigre (whom I suspect ...more
Mela
A splendid comedy, fast-paced, with a bit of mystery and adventure, with delightful characters. Perfectly written. I loved Tristram's practicality and Sarah's mix of sensibility and romantical need. Ludovic and Eustacie were wonderfully funny and annoying. Others, like Hugh, Clem, Nye, the Beau - were like icing on the cake.

But, it lacked something that made some other Heyer's books 5-stars to me. I can't tell what. Perhaps my rating will change after the third reading. [Remember, it is the rati
...more
Jamie Collins
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
victoria_tonks
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this novel so much. It is such a madcap comedy, with a fast-paced plot - definitely one of the funniest Heyers. There is also a romance, of course, even two, but they are not the main focus. All the characters are great, even the secondary ones (which is typical of this author). This time around, I listened to the audiobook narrated by Phyllida Nash - definitely recommended.

MTA: Still loving this book and Phyllida Nash's narration so very much. This is probably my fifth or sixth read - bu
...more
Melissa McShane
We listened to this on a long road trip from the Oregon coast back to Utah and it was every bit as charming and humorous as I remembered. What I did not remember is that the romance between Sir Tristram and Sarah is practically nonexistent right up until the proposal at the end. This is more an adventure novel than a romance, which isn't a criticism, just a note of interest.

I don't remember who the narrator was--Phyllida Nash, maybe?--but she did a great job with Eustacie's character. Really ver
...more
QNPoohBear
Sir Tristram Shield, attending his dying great-uncle Sylvester, learns of his uncle's rescue of Tristram's young French cousin, Eustacie, and Sylvester's plans for Tristram to marry the girl. It should be Tristram's cousin Ludovic Lavenham who marries the girl, but Ludiovic is a fugitive from the law and no one has seen or heard from him in years. He could be married or dead for all the family knows. Eustacie accepts the idea of a marriage of convenience until she learns that Tristram is not at ...more
Anna
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an entertaining read, with a hairbrained plot and engaging characters.

"Unfortunately, you, Sir Tristram, knowing nothing of me, and being possessed of a tyrannical disposition—I beg your pardon?”
“I did not speak,” replied Sir Tristram, eyeing her frostily.
Miss Thane met his look with one of limpid innocence. “Oh, I quite thought you did!”
“I choked,” explained Sir Tristram. “Pray continue! You had reached my tyrannical disposition.”
...more
Nicky
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 a
...more
Leslie
2021 reread: Just what I wanted to read - adventure, humor and romance :)
---------------
2017 review:
So much fun! Phyllida Nash did a good narration, especially for Eustacie & Beau Lavenham. I am glad that I broke down and bought this audio edition of one of my favorite Heyer novels (even though I already owned a paperback copy).
Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, suspense
This was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a murder mystery. Yes, someone is murdered, but it's apparent from about the tenth page who committed it. The actual plot is taken up with proving it.

It's the delightful characters and dialogue which, as usual, bump the rating up for me. I could wish that the romances of both couples were a little more in the foreground, and a little more satisfying, but there's an extremely funny interlude with a couple of Bow Street Runners which persuaded me t
...more
Nicky
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
Jemidar

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 and c
...more
Julio Genao
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Ana
My 18th Georgette Heyer

This book was a perfect delight. This is one of the rare Heyer novels where I like both of the couples, the humor was spectacular. What starts out as a marriage of convenience plot evolves into a part rom-com part murder mystery. The b0ok was not in the least interested in even attempting seriousness when talking about Romance or the absurd coincidences, but after embracing the farce, this book managed to transport me into several giggle fits and a satisfied sigh at the e
...more
Abigail Bok
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Though it's possible to appreciate a book more on reread than on one's first go, it's unusual to enjoy it more. But I finished this book wondering why I had disliked it in the past enough to have stayed away from reading it for at least a decade; I can't for the life of me remember!

The scene opens in Sussex, though there are few of the Sussex atmospherics found in The Unknown Ajax, a richer tale with a few similar elements. An imperious lord is on his deathbed and has summoned one of his nephews
...more
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3,881 followers
Georgette Heyer was a prolific historical romance and detective fiction novelist. Her writing career began in 1921, when she turned a story for her younger brother into the novel The Black Moth.

In 1925 she married George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer. Rougier later became a barrister and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance nov
...more

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115 likes · 55 comments
“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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“I may have said that I wanted to have an adventure," replied Miss Thane. "But I never said that I wanted to be murdered in my bed.” 7 likes
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