Saturday, February 18, 2006
Evil Puritans are always fun!
I read this right before leaving home for this mad land. I don't think this has obvious appeal to the masses, but I enjoyed it more than expected. In a curious mixture of Cromwell-era England (a historic era that isn't exploited enough in fiction for my thoughts) and fantasy, Gardner gives us a heroine whose life has touches of fairytale and fairie-land. She speaks with the tones of a 17th Century lass, which while possibly jarring only adds to the tone and the believability of her story. Coriander's life was perfect until her mother dies and her father is forced to marry a "good puritan woman" in order to retain a tenuous grip on his holdings. Of course, the good Puritan woman turns out to be the typical evil stepmother, times twenty. Maud (the stepmom) and her truly, horrifyingly evil cohort want nothing more than to get Coriander's father out of the way by making him an enemy of Oliver Cromwell's administration (a very bad position to be in). Once that's done, they turn their malevolent attention to the stubborn and intelligent Coriander. Girls, mostly, 11+