Thursday, June 17, 2010

Simon the Coldheart

Simon the Coldheart was the first book that I read by Georgette Heyer, and it became one of my favorite books while she quickly became one of my favorite authors. The majority of Georgette Heyer’s books are regency novels; however, this one takes place in the early 1400’s.

Simon comes to my Lord of Montlice at the age of fourteen, yet he is a man already, and he is seeking employment. Montlice, known as "the Lion", chooses to give him employment because he likes something about the stubborn, firm lad who refuses to be turned away. Simon’s motto is, “I have not, yet I still hold.” He is determined and unshakeable.

Simon is first page to Montlice’s son, a boy around his age, then page to Montlice himself, and finally he becomes squire to Montlice. Simon is curt with his dealings, strong and cool-headed. Montlice grows fond of him, being more pleased with this lordly youth than his own son, Alan, who prefers courting young ladies and playing a harp. Yet Alan is not jealous, for he looks up to Simon as an older cousin, and this amuses the seemingly feelingless Simon.

There are battles to be fought for England, battles which Montlice takes part in, and he takes Simon with him, for Simon is an excellent and skilled one in battle, fearless and level. As the years pass Simon gains a name for himself, knighthood and lands.

Part Two of Simon the Coldheart takes place some little while after the first part, and Simon is well established as a soldier and good friend of the King. “Simon was all a soldier, dauntless and cool, born to rule and to lead.” He fights loyally under the king, accompanied by his half-brother Geoffrey Malvellet, and Alan Montlice. Alan is still a quite a poet, but he goes along Simon, and the King calls the threesome “My Soldier, my Knight, and my Poet", while another man calls them “Iron, Flame, and Silver.” Simon is said to be second only to the king, well known for his generalship, either loved or hated –but never ignored- and no one was more readily obeyed than he.

“Yet something he seemed to lack, for with all his assets and attainments, he was as cold as stone, almost as though some humanizing part of him had been left out in his fashioning.”

And I really cannot tell you what else happens, or I’ll give away spoilers! –But it has a fabulous ending.

Georgette Heyer is truly a splendid writer, and I think one of my favorite things about her writing is the dialogue that she comes up with. It is thoroughly enjoyable. Her regency novels have some riotously funny dialogue, and this 15th century novel has superb dialogue. Sometimes I’ll pick up this book and just read some of the conversations between the characters. (I love it!) Georgette Heyer also describes people and actions with a perfectly delightful style, and her writing really comes to life in my head as I read it.

Google Books has it. But of course, it doesn't have all the pages. *groan* However, it seems to be pretty common in libraries, at least the ones I've been to.


  1. I've heard that her books are really good, although I've never read any myself. Perhaps I shall have to see if our library has any of her writings.

    ~ A.K. ~

  2. I adore Georgette Heyer, but I have yet to read anything other than her regencies (and 1 or 2 mysteries). Gonna have to expand my horizons! :)

  3. Georgette Heyer's books are just fabulous! My all time favorite regency one is called, "These Old Shades." I love that one soooo much! And then "The Grand Sophy" is lots of fun, too. And "Frederica" is another favorite. :)