Chachic's Reviews > The Perilous Gard

The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope
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's review
Nov 11, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: physical-owned-copies, with-illustrations
Recommended for: fairy fans
Read from October 17 to 25, 2011

Originally posted here.

I've had my copy of The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope since 2007 and I only got to read it recently. I don't know why I kept putting it off but I'm glad I finally picked it up. I've heard such good things about it and I believe I got the original recommendation for this from Sounis. I've been meaning to put up a Retro Friday post for a while and since this is an oldie but goodie, it seemed perfect for the meme.

Kate is a lady's maid to Lady Elizabeth, sister to the Queen Mary. She is exiled to a remote castle called Perilous Gard when her beautiful but clueless sister, Alicia, writes a letter that doesn't sit well with the Queen. Poor Kate, it's not even her fault why she ends up in Perilous Gard. But I guess that it's a good thing because instead of being bored like she expected, she becomes tangled in the doings of the Fairy Folk in the area. I've read a couple of fairy novels this year but The Perilous Gard is different from anything else that I've read. For one thing, it's more historical fiction than fantasy unlike other novels that have fairies in them. In that sense, I felt that the portrayal of the Fairy Folk in the novel was realistic. This is also a Tam Lin retelling and that made things more interesting. It's funny because the ballad of Tam Lin is actually mentioned in the book. The Perilous Gard is a lovely story and is a classic for fans of fairy stories. I think this was the book that I was reading around Halloween and it was perfect because it's a bit dark and eerie. Be sure to pick this up if you're into fairy reads because it's a welcome break from the more modern fairies in urban fantasy novels nowadays.

Kate Sutton is a heroine that I really liked - she's not as pretty as her sister Alicia but she's a lot more intelligent. She's sarcastic, witty and I enjoyed reading the banter between her and Christopher Heron, the younger brother of the owner of the castle. I know a couple of my bookish friends are fans of the romance between these two but for some reason, I didn't feel that Christopher Heron was swoon-worthy. I thought that there was more friendship than romance between these two. So that probably says something about the development of the love story - it's a slow burn kind that forms after countless conversations and the characters have gotten to know each other really well. I didn't understand why I wasn't more into it. Maybe I would have loved it more if I read the book when I was younger. My lukewarm reaction to the romance didn't prevent me from enjoying the book as a whole. Like I said, I recommend this for fans of fairy stories or retellings of Tam Lin.

I was pleasantly surprised by the illustrations included in the novel. As always, I love including pictures of illustrations in my reviews so here are some of them:

I'm so glad I got to publish a Retro Friday post this week! I've been trying to write this for the past couple of weeks but I haven't gotten around to it. Anyway, hope you all have a great weekend and let me know if you've read this book and what you thought of it. And if you have any other recommendations for Tam Lin retellings that I should know about.
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Quotes Chachic Liked

Elizabeth Marie Pope
“I think the damned souls in hell must spend half their time wondering what it was that they really meant to do.”
Elizabeth Marie Pope, The Perilous Gard

Reading Progress

10/17/2011 page 16
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Flannery I found this book in this tiny secret section of my college library that, for who knows why, had children's books in it? (maybe for the education majors?) Anyway, it was just one column of books on the upper level, totally hidden. JACKPOT. It is such a cute book--glad you enjoyed it:)

Chachic Flannery, I love that your college library had a tiny secret section! You must have been meant to find it even though it was hidden :P So glad I finally got around to reading this because it's such a well-loved classic among fans of fairy novels. Looking forward to reading more Tam Lin retellings!

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