MJ Nicholls's Reviews > The Jade Cabinet

The Jade Cabinet by Rikki Ducornet
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Feb 18, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: dalkey-archive, merkins, novels, distaff
Read from February 17 to 18, 2012

Ducornet is blessed with a bedazzling flair for magical language, and in this delicious novel (the fourth instalment in a quartet themed around the elements, this being ‘air’), she wields her wand with consummate charm and panache. Etheria—a silent and unpossessable siren—is wedded to the brutish pragmatist Tubbs, who swaps his emeralds for her maidenhead, which he takes by force in a handsome cab one unhandsome afternoon. His bride, whose spirit abounds with childish magic, breaks free, and disappears forever, leaving Tubbs despondent at the hands of the Hungerkünstler—a vicious witch who usurps the narrator’s father and pyramid-loving boffin Baconfield. Lewis Carroll is somewhere in the mix too, snapping underage girls in his charming dotage. Ducornet writes fluttery fables in seductive Nabokovian prose, dripping with descriptive pearls and gems. This short novel enchants.
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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knig Radulph Tubbs is now one of my favourite literary characters ever: I think he singlehandedly carries the entire book.

Did you notice how Ducornet messes with time? Angus Sphery (Etheria's dad) witnessed the tornado of 1792 but Lewis Carrol wasn't born until 1898!(plus, I never knew but he WAS a laviscious little girl admirer in real life!)


message 2: by MJ (last edited Mar 10, 2012 08:45AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls She takes liberties with historical accuracy but the fact Carroll is a character in this at all makes me very chuffed. I can also recommend her subsequent book Phosphor in Dreamland.


Mike Puma Finally read this one based on your 5-star review and rating. I owe you one.


message 4: by Scribble (new) - added it

Scribble Orca Nabokovian prose? Ha!


message 5: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls Scribble wrote: "Nabokovian prose? Ha!"

:O !!!


message 6: by Lynne (new) - added it

Lynne King I'm definitely getting this MJ.


message 7: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls Two wise decisions in one weekend! I foresee great happiness in your future.


message 8: by Lynne (new) - added it

Lynne King Do you indeed! Thanks for the prophecy.


message 9: by Scribble (new) - added it

Scribble Orca Agamemnon saw that.


message 10: by Lynne (new) - added it

Lynne King I think that the pair of you are far too smart for little me...


message 11: by Lynne (new) - added it

Lynne King Now I see the four elements! Of course....


message 12: by Anton (new) - added it

Anton This looks so interesting! Is it a series that has to be read in order?


message 13: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls Anton wrote: "This looks so interesting! Is it a series that has to be read in order?"

No, the books aren't connected storywise. This is my favourite of the four.


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