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Master of Ballantrae

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By: (1850-1894)

I recently finished reading a captivating novel by Robert Louis Stevenson called "Master of Ballantrae." This historical adventure follows the tumultuous relationship between two brothers, James and Henry Durie, as they fight for control of their ancestral home in Scotland.

Stevenson's vivid descriptions and rich character development truly bring the story to life. The tension between the brothers is palpable, and their conflicting personalities make for a compelling and suspenseful read. As the plot unfolds, readers are taken on a thrilling journey filled with betrayal, treachery, and unforeseen twists.

While the story is set in the 18th century, the themes of loyalty, honor, and redemption are timeless and resonate with readers today. Stevenson's skillful storytelling keeps the reader engaged from start to finish, and the dramatic climax leaves a lasting impact.

Overall, "Master of Ballantrae" is a gripping tale of family drama, rivalry, and the enduring power of the human spirit. Stevenson's masterful writing and intricate plot make this novel a must-read for fans of historical fiction and adventure.

Book Description:
Heir to a noble Scottish house in the mid 18th century, the Master is a charming, clever, and resourceful villain whose daring but ill-advised schemes first alienate his patrimony and at last cost him his life. His younger brother, sweet-tempered and good but dull and unpopular, suffers at the Master's hands until his patience and courage win him limited ascendancy, but he is at last consumed with hatred and driven to madness and death by the strain of his many sufferings. The story is told from the point of view of a loyal servant with the occasional insertion of documents in the words of other eye-witnesses. The episodic plot, although exciting, serves mainly as a structure on which to hang superb character studies. The Master, whom one both admires and hates, bears comparison with Long John Silver, not to mention Milton's Satan, to whom the narrator explicitly likens him. The secondary characters—narrator, father, and wife—are deftly characterized, and (with the exception of the two children) even the minor characters are vivid and memorable.

Except for a few highly dialectal passages whose spelling insists on a Scottish burr, the reading eschews any false accent. (T. A. Copeland)

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