Monday, April 20, 2015

I, Coriander by Sally Gardner

I see this book in the used book store.

I buy it and bring it back to Japan.

One fine day, when I have a few minutes to spare, I think "I guess I can fit one or two chapters in. I haven't read this in too long." Then....


Before I knew it, I was pushing back the estimated time I need to leave the house just so I could read more. I actually know the story, but still, it sucked me in (again).

I, Coriander is about, obviously, Coriander's life. I remembered this book as being vaguely related to fairytales, and there are fairies, but it's really about Coriander trying to survive when hardships hit. There's an evil stepmother, a casket, a magic shadow, and a fairy prince, all set in the backdrop of Oliver Cromwell's steadily increasing influence.

Most of the characters here are well-written. Coriander, her mother's waiting woman Danes, the tailor Thankless and his apprentice Gabriel, even her stepsister Hester. I thought they were all wonderfully written, and I even cheered on Hester and Gabriel. The villains of the piece, Maud and Arise were truly despicable, the way they abused Hester and Coriander. The only characters I didn't connect with were, strangely, the fairy fold. There is Medlar, whose role I'm not too sure about (is he a trickster of some sort?), and there's Tycho, the fairy prince. Perhaps it's because they weren't given as much space as the other characters, but they never really leapt of the page. But since they appeared only relatively few times, it wasn't much of a problem for me.

I may have read this a long time ago, but this reread showed that I still love the story. I'm really glad that I bought the book when I saw it.

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