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Heroes and Duels

 
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Anne Marble



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 606

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:03 pm    Post subject: Heroes and Duels Reply with quote

What do you think of plots involving duels, particularly involving heroes who kill people in duels? Have you ever hated a hero because he killed someone in a duel fought over something senseless? Or cheered for him when he killed a horrid villain in a duel?

Also, can you recommend stories where dueling is central to the story? (In SF, I love the duels Honor Harrington have been involved in -- she kicks @ss. Laughing )
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Nana



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 949

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a general rule, I dislike duels. In order to be a hero, the hero of course must be invincible and a dead accurate shot (leaving aside the impossibility of being a marksman with early 19th century pistols). To me, threatening duels knowing he is unbeatable smacks of bullying.

That being said... I did like the hero's duel in Mary Balogh's More than a Mistress (he has been in many duels and has deloped in every single one) His injury in that duel sets off his relationship with the heroine, who becomes his nurse. I also like the early Horatio Hornblower novel in which he gets in a duel.
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RichMissTallant



Joined: 06 Jun 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Also, can you recommend stories where dueling is central to the story?

The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt. Just finished it recently and loved it.


Quote:
I also like the early Horatio Hornblower novel in which he gets in a duel.

Love that one as well!
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Yuri



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 292

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duels work for me, although I prefer that they not kill their opponent. I think more than that gentlemen who practice fencing appeal to me. It was the sport of its day and implies a certain level of physicality which is appealing. It also allows us a glimpse into the male world, where most romances are generally set very much in the woman's world of the Regency with the exception of a few scenes at gentleman's clubs.

This question also reminded me of Heyer's The Masqueraders where both brother and sister are expert in the art, and conversations are as likely to happen in the fencing masters studio as a ball.
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Trish B



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1281
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gaelen Foley's The Duke has a memorable duel scene. A scheduled duel kicks off Laura Kinsale's Flowers From the Storm.
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 702

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Heroes and Duels Reply with quote

Anne Marble wrote:
What do you think of plots involving duels, particularly involving heroes who kill people in duels? Have you ever hated a hero because he killed someone in a duel fought over something senseless? Or cheered for him when he killed a horrid villain in a duel?

Also, can you recommend stories where dueling is central to the story? ...
Except for Elizabeth Hoyt's The Serpent Prince, where the hero participates in more duels, I can't think of a romance where duelling is "central to the story" - part of the story, and moving the plot on, yes. The hero usually wins; the opponent usually survives. I can think of two Georgette Heyer ones off the top of my head - Devil's Cub and The Masqueraders; Cheryl Sawyer's The Chase. Would you also include hand-to-hand combat to death - e.g. in medievals like Laura Kinsale's For My Lady's Heart, and (I think) several of Jo Beverley's medievals ( one was Dark Champion, IIRC) ? Usually if the opponent is killed, the author manages to persuade you that he deserved to die, so I don't tend to feel too strongly about it! (OK, so I'm bloodthirsty)
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Elaine S



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 667
Location: Rural England

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara Metzger's "The Duel" is a comedy of errors based on a duel. As always with this writer, it's cleverly plotted and written with great dialogue.
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Jane G



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 277
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn features a duel pretty heavily... Simon, the hero, refuses to marry the heroine (he has his reasons), but he "compromises" her and is driven to a duel, and he has no intention of actually participating beyond showing up. It's not a major part of the book, but it's a bit of a turning point.
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Elizabeth Rolls



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1088
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jo Beverley opens Devilish with a fencing duel and Rothgar kills his opponent. This is part of the plot so I won't go into whys and wherefore. Didn't have a problem with it personally although I suppose some might feel Bey over-reacted to an insult to his sister-in-law. Given the era - Georgian - I found it entirely believable and Bey did at least give the idiot a chance to retract. I'm bloodthirsty enough to have figured the idiot deserved it, for stupidity if nothing else Wink .

The only potential duel that I've indulged in was broken up by the heroine. Not what I planned originally. It was one of those cases where a character just takes over Confused

Elizabeth
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