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REVIEW: Prince of Swords by Anne Stuart

Dear Ms. Stuart,

This was the first book of yours I read and I’m glad I knew ahead of time that your heroes can be fairly dark. It helped me to like Alastair MacAlpin much more than I would have.

Prince of Swords Anne stuartHe is the famous jewel thief the Cat who steals from the rich, often while a guest at their parties but who also sometimes enters homes via the roof a la Connie Brockway’s All Through the Night. She is an impoverished noblewomen trying to support her mother and sister by doing Tarot readings for the nobility. He sees her at a party and decides to seduce her just for fun while she’s trying to maintain her diginity and find a wealthy husband for her younger sister. She’s been doing some card readings for a sleazy Bow Street Runner to help him nab criminals but he’s started to take too much of an interest in Fleur, the younger sister and is pressing Jessamine to do a reading to tell him who the Cat is. Everything comes to a climax on the night that Alastair decides to do his greatest heist, the last big one before retirement.

Alastair was a deliciously amoral hero. He decides to seduce Jessamine just because he can and he’s looking for some relief of his boredom. He has no intention of marrying her at all. Jessamine, or Jess, is hanging onto her virtue and keeping her family off the mean streets of 1775 London by the skin of her teeth and has no use for a decadent shark in Georgian clothing. There is a great secondary romance for Fleur and the ending has the villain Runner getting his just desserts in a spectacular way.

‘For a moment all was eerily silent. Jessamine struggled to her knees, peering through the ill-lit darkness as Alastair suddenly loomed large.

“Holy Mother of God,” he said softly, “Remind me never to annoy you when you’re near a weapon, dear heart.”

“Did I kill him?” she asked, aghast.

“I’d say so,” Alastair murmered.’

It’s fun to watch Alastair deny then struggle against his growing feelings for Jess while she is coming to the horrifying realization that she’s falling in love with a man she knows will leave her. But in the end, who are they to deny fate? B+



Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Janine
    Mar 01, 2007 @ 17:04:01

    I liked this one fairly well too.

  2. Sarah S. G. Frantz
    Mar 01, 2007 @ 21:42:38

    Is it a stand-alone or part of a series? Sounds intriguing, but I really don’t want to get sucked into another series.

  3. Tate
    Mar 01, 2007 @ 23:30:34

    I am intrigued but also wonder if it is in a series. I will have to check before ordering. I love bad boy heroes!

  4. Jayne
    Mar 02, 2007 @ 05:30:37

    No worries ladies, this is a stand alone book.

  5. LinM
    Mar 02, 2007 @ 10:45:48

    I’m an Anne Stuart fangirl (although my heart sank when I heard that she is writing a 5th book in the Ice series); my UBS almost always has a decent selection of her backlist in stock. I like reading reviews of older books but I like to know what prompted the review. What about a book re-issued in 1996 makes you want to review it in 2007?

    This was the first book of yours I read and I’m glad I knew ahead of time that your heroes can be fairly dark

    Yeah – but? Did you first read “Prince of Swords” recently so you are reviewing it now? Did you read it several years ago – if so, what made you go back – nostalgia, chance, deliberate choice or lack of choice because nothing else appealed? Curious minds need to know.

  6. Janine
    Mar 02, 2007 @ 11:37:17

    Not Jayne, but just for future reference, I have quite a few older books still waiting to be read, so don’t be surprised to see me reviewing some in the future.

  7. Jayne
    Mar 02, 2007 @ 11:43:52

    Lin, the reason is the fact that I was cleaning out under my bed and came across a stack of Stuart’s historicals I had stashed there. As usually happens in these cases, I idly began flipping through one and just kept going, skimming through it and remembering favorite scenes and why I liked the whole book in the first place.

    But like Janine, I have literally thousands of books in my house. Some I’ve read and others I’ve yet to get to. When I first started back reading romances, I was a glom queen. :)

  8. Janine
    Mar 02, 2007 @ 12:15:19

    But like Janine, I have literally thousands of books in my house.

    I have a lot, but I don’t think it’s in the thousands yet. Probably over a thousand, but not into the multiple thousands.

  9. LinM
    Mar 02, 2007 @ 14:00:45

    I’m pretty ruthless about weeding out my books but even with that they end up everywhere. And nothing frustrates me more that knowing that I own a book when I can’t find it except realizing that I want to re-read a book that I no longer own. I read and re-read and have missed millions of older romances so I like reviews of older books. But I do like to know the motivation for the review.

  10. Ro
    Mar 03, 2007 @ 18:48:54

    Love this book. I’ve never been able to get into Stuart as much as everyone else(and I HATE A Rose At Midnight with a passion), but this is one of the few books I will re-read quite frequently.

  11. Swords
    Jan 22, 2009 @ 09:04:48

    Cool bad boy heroes rock!

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