Completion Date: May 20, 2011
Reason for Reading: Carry on with series.
Catherynne M. Valente enchanted readers with her spellbinding In the Night Garden. Now she continues to weave her storytelling magic in a new book of Orphan’s Tales—an epic of the fantastic and the exotic, the monstrous and mysterious, that will transport you far away from the everyday….This book is a perfect example of reading series in a timely manner. I still enjoyed the book overall, but I am sure there were details that I missed because it had been so long since I read the first book. There really was no reason for the delay, either. I am pretty sure I have owned this book since it came out, so I could have read it right then. Instead, I was getting a copy of her newest book and decided I should read what's on my TBR pile by her first. I still remembered the overall story, so it wasn't an entire disaster, but in the future I plan to read both books near each other so I can see if I missed anything.
Her name and origins are unknown, but the endless tales inked upon this orphan’s eyelids weave a spell over all who listen to her read her secret history. And who can resist the stories she tells? From the Lake of the Dead and the City of Marrow to the artists who remain behind in a ghost city of spice, here are stories of hedgehog warriors and winged skeletons, loyal leopards and sparrow calligraphers. Nothing is too fantastic, anything can happen, but you’ll never guess what comes next in these intimately linked adventures of firebirds and djinn, singing manticores, mutilated unicorns, and women made entirely of glass and gears. Graced with the magical illustrations of Michael Kaluta, In the Cities of Coins and Spice is a book of dreams and wonders unlike any you’ve ever encountered. Open it anywhere and you will fall under its spell. For here the story never ends and the magic is only beginning….
This duology has always appealed to me because it is like you are sitting around a campfire listening to a story. I have always enjoyed having stories read aloud to me, and this is written in such a way that you can hear the story in your mind like someone is reading it to you. It is a refreshing change, too. I am all for things that are different. This story makes use of other elements from stories, but in an original way that will appeal to readers. I read it at a good time because I was in the mood for something different. I feel like I have been reading the same thing over and over again lately. I felt that this was a satisfying end to the set, too. I enjoyed the ending and how the story progressed to that point. This was a story with lots of fantastical moments that worked really well overall. There was nothing that didn't fit the story even if it seemed like a strange idea. I enjoy when an author can blend things together and make them work.
Overall, this was another great book by Catherynne Valente. A young woman sits in a garden and tells a story to an upper class young man. He lives for the stories and sneaks away to hear more of them over time. To many she is considered an outsider and to be avoided, but he makes her feel like she belongs. I strongly recommend reading the other book first. This is not a series that you should read out of order. I recommend it strongly, though, and look forward to more from Valente in the future.
This book counts for the Once Upon a Time V challenge.
I received this book from Random House Canada to review.
In the Cities of Coin and Spice