The story is told by Coriander, daughter of a silk merchant in 1650s London. Her idyllic childhood ends when her mother dies and her father goes away, leaving Coriander with her stepmother, a widow who is in cahoots with a fundamentalist Puritan preacher. She is shut away in a chest and left to die, but emerges into the fairy world from which her mother came, and where time has no meaning. When she returns, charged with a task that will transform her life, she is seventeen. This is a book filled with enchantments -- a pair of silver shoes, a fairy shadow, a prince transformed into a fox - that contrast with the heartbreaking loss and cruelty of Coriander's life in the real world. With its brilliantly realized setting of old London Bridge, and underpinned by the conflict between Royalists and Puritans, it is a terrific page turner, involving kidnapping, murder and romance, and an abundance of vivid characters. Coriander is a heroine to love. Her story will establish Sally Gardner as a children's writer of boundless imagination and originality.
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 302 g
Dimensions: 198 x 132 x 24 mm
What a delight! Fiction Focus Beautifully written, completely absorbing ... Magical The Book Magazine Brilliant descriptions, powerfully evoking the sounds and smells of London in the period and superbly drawn characters combine with a delicately constructed plot to make this book a real pleasure Good Book Guide A beautifully written tale of suspense and intrigue The Historical Novels Review Spellbinding Haverhill Echo A very unusual, poetic tale The Northern Echo An extraordinarily beautiful and gripping tale The Times Enchanting The Children's Bookseller Richly written, highly visual and full of accurate historical detail Children's Education Gripping ... as vivd as Pepys' diary ... strikingly original ... a very special book indeed School Librarian An original and enigmatic novel The Spectator 'completely engaging' -- Jennifer Taylor THE BOOKSELLER 'a beautifully written story. Sally Gardner has clearly researched the times and customs very well indeed for she had me transported back to that far off time. I would definitely recommend this book, told with such care and feeling.' -- Muriel Barking NEW BOOKS 'Beautifullly written, completely absorbing story... the author evokes the streets of London and the political upheavals of the day with compelling ease. -- Christine Kidney THE BOOK MAGAZINE 'will captivate readers with its riveting and detailed parallel storylines, its intriguingly drawn characters, and, above all, its engrossing first person narration' -- Marla Arback YABOOKSCENTRAL.COM 'the skillful writing sweeps through mid-seventeenth century London.' SCHOOL LIBRARIAN 'a thrilling story that mixes historic realism, credible characters and the dreamy, sometimes violent, dimension of a netherworld. The two blend seamlessly in this gripping and orginal story that abounds with gritty suspense. An excellent read.' -- Mary Arrigan SUNDAY TRIBUNE 'a book filled with enchantment and difference. You won't read many novels as beautifully written and as enthralling as this rich, spellibinding, new-off-the-black fairy tale.' -- John Millen SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST