I, Coriander

I, Coriander

Audiobook CD - 2006
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In 17th century London, Coriander, a girl who has inherited magic from her mother, must find a way to use this magic in order to save both herself and an inhabitant of the fairy world where her mother was born.
Publisher: New York : Random House/Listening Library, p2006
Edition: Library ed
ISBN: 9780307284624
Characteristics: 6 sound discs (ca. 75 min. each) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Stevenson, Juliet


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Apr 05, 2019

Sally Gardner is becoming one of my favorite contemporary authors. Her prose is always luscious and magical, well-suited to the fairy tale inspired stories she writes. I, CORIANDER is a dark fairy story set in Cromwell-era Britain, featuring a resourceful, ambitious young girl as its heroine and a series of memorable villains who stand between her and happiness.

I'm actually shocked none of Gardner's historical novels have been adapted-- I'd totally watch a Netflix series based on either this or Gardner's French Revolution series.

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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