Sunday, November 28, 2010
The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories
Short stories; fairy tale
Summary: A collection of short stories with magical elements and fairy tale aspects.
Thoughts: I put this on my list after reading Irena's review at This Miss Loves to Read and after remembering how much I enjoyed reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (pre-blog with delightful footnotes!) I found the writing lovely, at some points reminiscent of Jane Austen (high praise from me!) I enjoyed the variety of style, tone, theme, and length in the stories. Now for a closer but brief look at each.
The Ladies of Grace Adieu: Set in the universe of Jonathan Strange and apparently referenced in the book itself; this is about ladies using magic which was frowned on by Mr Norrell. I liked the ladies but not fantastic. 4/5
On Lickerish Hill: Retelling of Rumpelstiltskin with archaic spelling that made it difficult to read thus only 3.5/5
Mrs Mabb: A lady returns from nursing her friend to find that her beloved has fallen under the sway of Mrs. Mabb. She attempts to fight for him, despite the magical confusion around. I really felt for Venetia as she bravely fought for Captain Fox who she was certain had not abandoned her. 4.5/5
The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse: Very short, set in the same world as Stardust. The Duke of Wellington plays with the thread of time and fate. 4/5
Mr Simonelli or The Fairy Widower: Mr Simonelli is the new rector who ends up matching wits with a fairy lord and ensnaring himself in romantic entanglements; told through his journal entries, a format I really love. 5/5
Tom Brightwind or How the Fairy Bridge Was Built at Thoresby: A Jew and a fairy king travel to Lincoln and end up constructing a bridge. 4.5/5
Antickes and Frets: This is about Mary, Queen of Scots and her imprisonment by Elizabeth I. While she attempted to leave, she couldn't and used embroidery as a coping mechanism. 4/5
John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner: Possibly my favorite. A charcoal burner lives in isolation and gets revenge on Fairy King John Uskglass multiple times; quite funny and very quick. 5/5
Overall: Very enjoyable even without having read Jonathan Strange (I can barely remember anything about it) and highly recommended!