Be prepared to be swept away by atmospheric writing that casts a lasting spell. Sally Gardner's prose is exquisitely beautiful and her story and characters enthralling. She has written a rare and glorious book.
©2005 Sally Gardner; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group
"Readers who love romantic fairy tales will delight....Fans of historical fiction, in turn, will enjoy ornate descriptions of the sights, sounds, and smells of 17th-century London." (School Library Journal)
I enjoyed the book very much. The baddies ARE really bad--it's a fairy tale. Juliet Stevenson is great, as usual. It's a good "empowerment" book for young girls, I think. Coriander is definitely ahead of her time as an educated, independent female in the 1600's. It's quite an entertaining read. Maybe not for young kids; there is some real "evil stepmother" type mistreatment that could be disconcerting. But, then, Grimm's and most other fairy tales are the same.
This is a wonderful fairy tale for any age, the baddies are really bad, the good guys are really good and the right side wins in the end...classic. Please Sally Gardener, more of this! Being that Juliet Stevenson is one of Britain's most talented actresses I knew that she would be an amazing narrator, she did not disappoint. She made every character sound very different and gave them a vibrant life of their own, I only wish she narrated more books.
Though overall I enjoyed the book I could have done without the trip into fairyland. It was like mixing Girl with the Pearl Earring with the Wizard of Oz. The villains aren't as bad as some others have made them seem. To be sure they are bad, but if you know anything about the history of the 17th century they aren't anything that can't be documented. It did help listening to the author's interview at the end of the book to explain why the fantasy part was in there. I was thankful though, after hearing her say that the fantasy section was originally longer, that she dropped it from the book. The ending was also very abrupt. I would listen to the author's new work as well, but am hoping to stay put in reality this time, so to speak.
I really enjoyed this story. It's well read and well written. Coriander is a fabulous character. I was very entertained and looked forward to my commute (where I listen to all of my audio books).
Fantasy was so so yet the worst part is the reader. While a very talented reader, her voice is often hard to hear because of her voice is naturally low. When she wispers, as she sometimes does to interpret the writing, then I couldn't make out anything. I would not recommend the reader for this reason and I feel it weakens the book considerably.
This book is very nice once you get past the narrator. The story is very interesting and one that my teen daughters liked. I however couldn't get that into it because the narrator's voice.
Someone said the "baddies are really bad." I realize I get bored with that and want a more realistic mixture. The cruel characters are off-the-charts cruel.
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