Classic Book Review: The Last of the Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
The Last of the Mohicans (The Leatherstocking Tales #2)
by James Fenimore Cooper

3 out of 5 stars


When the two Munro sisters, Cora and Alice, are captured by the evil Huron Magua, Natty Bumpo and his Mohican friends, Uncas and Chingachgook, must track them down and free them.

For the most part, I liked the writing style which reflects the time period very well. The writing has a very ornate style, and the dialogue is especially antiquated at times. I love the richness of the language, but wish it was a little more clear sometimes.

The characters are well-written, but I didn’t care about them very much. They are not very complex characters. There is so much time spent on the action of the plot, that we barely have any restful moments to really get to know our characters or develop any emotions for them. I would have liked to see more intimate details of their friendships and family relationships. There are a few very powerful scenes where we do get glimpses of their emotional ties, but it wasn’t enough to make me love the characters or be invested in their relationships.

The plot moves quickly with lots of details that add to the suspense of each moment. The plot does get repetitive though. They are captured, and then escape, and they get recaptured and are rescued, only to be recaptured again. Each time is different though, with a lot of different elements and terrain and secondary characters. There are some good plot points with deceptive disguises, and wood lore, and native legends. It kept my interest.

I knew there would be a lot of violence in this book, but wow. There was a lot of senseless and horrible violence in this book. And not just the menfolk fighting and scalping and shooting each other. The poor women and children that suffered and died too. Ugh. Really sad.

I found the intricacies of the political relationships of different native tribes to be very confusing, and not at all clearly explained. This is not helped by the fact that everyone and everything is called by at least two or three different names. Sometimes Magua’s tribe are called Hurons, sometimes Mingoes. Another tribe are called sometimes the Delawares and sometimes Lenape. Mohicans are also a part of the larger Delaware tribe, so it’s hard to know which Delaware character is being referred to when. It wasn’t until the end of the book that I finally understood that “Yengeese” means English. Ugh. If this was just clearly explained, maybe it would make more sense.

Every character has several different nicknames, proper names, names in French, Native American nicknames, and on and on. Nathaniel Bumpo is mostly referred to simply as “the scout”, but he is also called “La Longue Carabine” and Hawk-Eye. Every character is so hard to keep track of, because you have to memorize their three different names.

Overall, it was an entertaining read, but I didn’t love it. It was fine.

Classics Review: A Child of the Revolution

A Child of the Revolution by Emmuska Orczy
A Child of the Revolution
by Emmuska Orczy

3 out of 5 stars
Andre is a young hothead during the French Revolution who hates the aristocrats in his village. He joins a gang of ruffians to storm the estate of the Duc de Marigny and loot their riches. Because of a law that says an aristocrat can be saved from the guillotine if they marry a revolutionary citizen, Andre forces young Aurore de Marigny into marriage. She is horrified by this, but agrees to the marriage to save her father’s life as well as her own.

I had so many problems with the direction of this plot, but I loved the writing style. I was also very disappointed that the Scarlet Pimpernel himself is not in this book at all. He barely gets two sentences in the entire book.

Andre as a character is described in delicious detail. We see his fury against the aristocrats who have everything, while his poor mother slaves away doing odd jobs of washing and sewing to make a few pennies. Andre is constantly described as having this unquenchable rage and hatred of the aristocrats, but especially of the de Marigny family in his village.

The redemption arc is sloppy. The romance is not believable. I was not happy with this book. I was going to give it 2 stars, but ended up making it 3 stars because the writing style really is powerful.

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Modern Classic Review: The Black Stallion

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
The Black Stallion (The Black Stallion, #1) 
by Walter Farley

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Alec is heading home aboard a steamship, when the ship sinks in a storm and there are only two survivors: Alec and a spirited black stallion. The two are washed ashore on a small island, where they forage for food, and Alec tames the wild stallion.

I was completely riveted while reading this book! I couldn’t put it down, and read it in one day. The writing has such good pacing, and the action moves swiftly along, pulling the reader into the next chapter and the next.

I adored Alec’s character. He’s smart and tough and resilient.

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Myths and Misconceptions about Classics

Classic Adventure: https://youtu.be/YG_gobWQ8XU
Children’s Classics: https://youtu.be/t5Zat_TDzDw
Classic Poetry: https://youtu.be/TVtK0uIMC3o
Classic Mystery: https://youtu.be/1WkYQLrJD-k
Five Favorite Classics: https://youtu.be/chM4Gc32Zog

Classics Review: Peter Simple

Peter Simple by Frederick Marryat
Peter Simple (Heart of Oak Sea Classics Series) 
by Frederick Marryat

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Young Peter Simple is given a place aboard ship as a midshipman, and he tells us his adventures on the high seas. He distinguishes himself in battle, earning the respect and admiration of his fellow officers. He is shipwrecked, imprisoned, and somehow manages to fall in love in the middle of it all. Peter meets a variety of interesting characters all over the world, who play a part in his epic story.

The plot is full of action and intrigue, betrayal and sneaking plots, raging storms and bloody battles, and of course a little romance. I love the setting of the British frigates cruising through the West Indies looking for trouble with the French.

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