Sunday, July 6, 2008

Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander

Title: Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander
Author: Ann Herendeen
Genre: Historical Romance (kind of?)
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander is the story of Phyllida, an author of trashy gothic romances, and her bisexual husband, Andrew Carrington. Andrew married Phyllida in order to do his duty by his family and secure an heir. Phyllida married Andrew in order to be able to continue her career as an authoress. Both went into the marriage with open eyes, knowing Andrew would continue his dalliances with his male friends (in the titular Brotherhood of Philander). Neither expected to fall in love with the other.

Reading Phyllida reminded me greatly of quite a few fanfics I enjoy. There's a three-sided relationship: Andrew and Phyllida, Andrew and his lover(s), and his lover(s)'s friendship with Phyllida. Add in some spying and there you go. Oh, and did I mention it's a Regency novel?

The book is...okay. It is not stunning, nor is it horrible. Like I said, it reminds me very much of many fanfics I have read. The author weaves the lives of the characters - not only Phyllida and Andrew, but those of the entire Brotherhood - in and out of each other throughout the novel, and throws in a spy subplot to (it seems) draw the entire story out another two hundred pages. I would have been happy without the spy subplot, just reading the story of Andrew, Phyllida, Harry, Matthew, and the rest of the Brotherhood.

I stayed up all night to read the last two hundred pages, because I was engrossed with the characters' stories. However, I don't think I'll be borrowing this from the library again, nor will I be purchasing it any time soon.

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