Wednesday, March 1, 2017

In the Cities of Coin and Spice by Catherynne M. Valente

After I finished this book, I realised that I definitely waited too long after reading "In the Night Garden" (the first book), because  In the Cities of Coin and Spice continues the tale etched on the eyelids of the girl in the garden. It's the same framing device, but it feels much more fleshed out this time. And a good thing too, because the 'framing device' turns out to be important (not gonna give any spoilers, so don't worry).

Like the previous book, each tale the girl tells is a tale within a tale within a tale and all tales are linked. It's extremely layered and the writing is as beautiful and descriptive as the previous book. I really enjoyed the fact that myths and fairytales from all around the world were referenced too.

The only weakness of the book is that because the story is so interconnected, one weak story can throw disrupt the book for a good period of time. Thankfully, this only happened once but that was more than enough. Plus, if I put the book down, I ended up being confused when I restarted, because of how complicated it was (so I guess you should just read the book in one sitting).

Oh yeah, and you're going to want to read both books one after the other because if not, you will get confused. I was like "who is this Zmeya person?" (Wait, she appeared in book one, right? I can't remember), which slightly marred the ending.

If you're a fan of lyrical writing, intricate stories and have a lot of time, you should definitely pick up these books.

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