Becky's Reviews > I, Coriander

I, Coriander by Sally Gardner
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's review
Jul 30, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, historical-fiction, 2009, dystopias, multi-dimensional, politicalish, religion-y, reviewed
Recommended to Becky by: Allison Mason
Read in August, 2009

This was a lovely little fairy-tale story. I can just imagine reading this to little girls, who will inevitably beg for just one more chapter before having to go to bed. It's so easy to imagine said little girls dreaming of being a fairy princess, even though this isn't your typical fairy princess story.

From the very start, this story reminded me strongly of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Except, this story was much more entertaining, and fun, and concise. And not a single footnote!

There was a lot of stuff to love in this story. It catered to my love of historical fiction. I always enjoy well-written stories that are set back in time a ways. Generally, the further back the better. I love immersing myself in a different time with different mentalities and ideas and concepts, and I especially love it when there is a strong character I can identify with that's going with me.

Coriander was absolutely strong, and I loved her. She never let anyone take her dignity and identity away from her, even in a time when women were considered property and were thought to be nothing more than feeble-minded breeding house-keepers. Coriander refused to let herself be put into that particular box, and I loved her spunk for it.

This book also placed a lot of emphasis on religious and political persecution. This always interests me, because I'm a "Live and Let Live" kind of girl. I don't care what you believe, as long as you don't try to foist that belief on me against my will. I guess this makes me a little morbidly curious to read about people who just have to "cleanse", "convert", "fix" the "unbelievers" around them. I was really kind of fascinated with Maud Leggs and Arise Fell in this story because of that. Of course, they couldn't care less whether you believed. They just derived a sick pleasure out of the conversion process.

I definitely enjoyed reading this story. It was interesting and fun, and was a well-blended mix of history and fairy-tale. I think it would have been 5 star quality if it had wrapped just a few things up a little better, like who Medlar was, and how the time system worked, etc, but I think this is a solid 4 star book, even lacking those things. I would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a light, fun read.
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Allison (The Allure of Books) tell me what you think!

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