I, Coriander

I, Coriander

Audiobook CD - 2005
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This is the story of Coriander, daughter of a silk merchant in 1650s London. Her happy childhood ends when her mother dies & her father goes away, leaving Coriander with her stepmother. She is shut away in a chest and left to die, but emerges into the fairy world from which her mother came, where time has no meaning.
Publisher: New York : Listening Library, 2005.
ISBN: 9780307284198
Characteristics: 6 compact discs (approximately 448 min.) :,digital ;,4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors: Stevenson, Juliet


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Jan 07, 2015

I, Coriander is a beautiful blend of historical fiction and fairytale fantasy. I listened to the audiobook and Sally Gardner definitely wrote this story to be read aloud. Her word choice is lyrical without being purple, and Coriander as a character is both believable and recognizable from the best versions of every fairytale you've ever heard.

The small historical details, the inclusion of all classes in tertiary characters (and the tertiary characters), the driving tension of the plot, all came together in some great world building. While the characters are somewhat predictable in their patterns of behavior, there was no eeeeevil mustache twirling, or humble pretty maid, or other shallow tropes. Also, there was an undercurrent of stories hinted at but not expounded upon.

Although this is Coriander's tale, there are echoes of familiar fairytale characters (not the Disney kind, either) in the secondary and tertiary characters. Yet, this didn't feel like a child's comforting story. More like an inspirational tale about perseverance in the face of unfairness, adversity, confusion, etc.

I highly recommend it to fans of historical fantasy, fairytale retellings and fae, strong female protagonists, ensemble cast stories, and lyrically beautiful writing. I also recommend either reading it aloud, or listening to the audiobook.

samdog123 May 21, 2010

I came across this author recently. I'm someone who goes for the visuals on a cover and this one really caught my interest. It's the story of Coriander Hobie, daughter of a London merchant and a fairy princess. Sounds implausible, but its a rich and wonderful story, full of terrific characters. The story is set in 17th century London and there's lots of detail about war between the Puritans and Royalists and how it affected the population. I enjoyed this so much that I looks for others Sally Gardner wrote and am looking forward to reading The Red Necklace, a story set during the time of the French Revolution.

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