My rating: 4 of 5 stars
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the tenth James Bond novel, and is also a sequel to Thunderball, and the second book in the Blofeld trilogy, as Bond tries once again to stop the machinations of Blofeld who managed to get away after the events in the previous novel, who has an even more ingenious, if slightly less ambitious, scheme in mind in this book.
It is also famous as the novel where James Bond actually gets married to one of his many conquests, Tracy Di Vicenzo, which did seem to be quite out of character with what we had always seen up to that point, especially when he seemed to know this girl a lot less than many of the previous other girls that he has pretended to love in order to have a roll in the hay with them, including another girl in this book!
Even if this whole sudden acceptance of marriage thing did seem a little bit strange at the time it did show a different side to Bond’s character, one that we had not previously encountered, although whether that made Bond more human and likeable as a result is open to discussion, as it didn’t entirely convince me.
I found all of the stuff about the College of the Arms and the genealogical stuff fascinating, and you can tell that Fleming had researched this aspect of the plot thoroughly as that really comes across in this book that he knew what he was writing about.
Once again Ian Fleming provides us with a fascinating and exciting book, not bad going consider this was the tenth book to feature the character!