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I, Coriander January 29, 2006

Posted by sensawunda in Books.

I, Coriander by Sally Gardner is a true fairy tale. This YA novel is set in London in the time of Cromwell, and the voice matches the time period and genre. There is ineffable mystery and magic here. Gardner does not try to explain the unexplainable; she simply allows us to witness it.

My only quibble with this novel is its one-sided portrayal of Christians; the only primary characters who claim to be Christian identify themselves with the most radical Puritan sect, and they’re hypocrites anyway. It would have been nice if there had been a good guy who was a practicing Christian. But then, Gardner seems to buy into the common assumption that Christ and Faerie cannot coexist. I won’t deny that there have been Christians with this attitude; but for a more inclusive viewpoint one need look no further than C.S. Lewis, who populated Narnia with the denizens of Faerie. Still, this is a minor wrinkle in the novel, and Gardner doesn’t get didactic about it.

I found the whole atmosphere of this novel to be magical, and yet true to the historic setting. I highly recommend it over the more “realistic” fantasy novels populating the YA lists these days.

Sensawundameter: WandWandWandWand



1. Josette - October 28, 2008

I thought this book was fun to read and through it, I learnt about England’s history although I’m not sure if it’s 100% accurate since some bloggers mentioned that it wasn’t. But historical accuracy aside, it was a good book. It reminded me of Libba Bray’s Gemma trilogy too!

Here’s my review of it. 🙂

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