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I, Coriander Paperback – 14 Jun 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Childrens (14 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842555049
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842555040
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'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)

Book Description

A glorious novel set in seventeenth-century London, and in the fairy world.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Livvy H on 25 Mar. 2006
Format: Hardcover
I, Coriander is about a girl living in the time of Oliver Cromwell and Charles II. It ties together fantasy- a magical fairy world ruled by an evil queen, and the reality. It shows great sadness from two aspects- one in the real world with the Puritans and problems Coriander faces (tugged at my heartstrings- excellently written) and one in the fantasy fairy land.
Personally, I am not a fan of fantasy writing. I find them cliched, which this proved to be by having the "evil queen." and, 'good vs. evil.' Despite this, I feel the author has brilliantly described the struggles in the real world- it is an excellent read and shows great effort and historical knowledge.
I recommend it for ages 11 +
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By S. Sweeney on 15 Aug. 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely brilliant. When i Started reading it i could not put it down! Coriander, the hero of the story, lives a perfect life with her mother and father in London.Until a pair of silver shoes arrive on their doorstep for Coriander. After this her life is turned upside down, as she strays between our world and the world her mother came from, the land of Fairies. On the way she makes friends and enemies. The ending, however, is perfect. This is a must read for everyone, from history lovers to fairy lovers!!!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By MadMaggie on 13 Oct. 2005
Format: Hardcover
'I,Coriander' is a fascinating fairy tale giving a sharp historical perspective on the Commonwealth, the period following the English civil war.It is a substantial fairytale told with total conviction by Sally Gardner who marries the fantastical fairies with solid historical facts presented elegantly in a totally credible fashion. She is adept at conjuring up the sights, sounds and smells of 17th century England. She is particularly good at smells; the stench of the middens running along the street, the smell of unwashed bodies, the upturned chamberpots, the filthy Thames. She writes of a period made famous by Samuel Pepys in his diaries. It is a period of violent, political turmoil with suspected royalists being denounced, and Puritans with their killjoy approach to life, holding sway over everything.
The heroine Coriander, only child of a wealthy silk merchant and his fairy wife Eleanor, inherits from her dead mother her 'cunning' skills. She can diagnose and heal sickness using her mother's simples and herbs.
It is a delightful, beautifully constructed novel. It reads easily as it tells of the travails of the child Coriander stepping between life as the stepchild of a violent ranting Puritan Maud with her drunken preacher associate Arise Fell and her spells with the fairies as she struggles with the Fairy Queen Rosmore and her powerful raven for the soul of her mother and the life of the handsome Prince Tycho.
Sally Gardner is totally steeped in the period and brings it vividly to life. All her characters seem to have a life of their own and continued living for me long after I finished the book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Chevening pupils on 23 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
"I have lit the first of seven candles to write my story by. On the table next to me is the silk purse that holds my mother's pearls and beside it is the ebony casket whose treasure I am only now beginning to understand. Next to that standing nearly as brightly as the moon, stands a pair of silver shoes."

This is just one of the many mesmerizing quotes filling Sally Gardner's book, "I, Coriander". Apart from being mesmeric the book has many other key elements, such as it being: tense, exciting, scary, and emotional.

The story is about a young girl called Coriander Hobie who lives with her Mother, Father, Danes (the house keeper) and Joan (the cook) in their rich London house next to the River Thames in the mid 1600's. While she was young, Coriander remembers only happiness - that was before she knew that the world was an evil place; and that she was soon to be hit regularly; have her Mother and Father stolen from her; and to be locked up in a chest and left to die.

As well as being a good book, it also has some background information about the civil war, as that was the time the story was set. There are also some drawings of what London used to look like back in the 1600's.

If this sounds like a cruel book to you don't get put off, there are many happy parts along the way. However there is quite a lot of brutality so I suggest no one under the age of 10 should read it.

If you love a good read then this is the book for you. There isn't a single page I wanted to skip because it's such a moving and entrancing book. Who would want to miss anything so good?

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Whimsical Witch on 16 July 2006
Format: Paperback
Wow... that really is the better way to describe this! The words are so beautifully old fashioned (without being hard to read) and the story is equally beautiful as well. The kind of book that hexes you, and refuses to let you go. Every moment spent reading it is a moment in pure bliss!

The story tells of Coriander, and how she came to grow up. Loosing her mother at a very young age, her life takes on a very strange, twisted and evil road to adulthood. After her mother suddenly and unexpectantly dies, her father re-marries and then has to leave the country to save his own life. Coriander is left in the care of her new step mother, and her priest. A team that is nothing less than the devils own. They take pleasure in tormenting Coriander, and claim they are "witch hunters". Coriander on the other hand refuses to give in to the cruelty. And escapes to the Fairyland her mother once came from. Where she meets new friends, falls in love and meets yet another evil woman. The evil queen. Coriander must leave the fairylands behind, to save her mothers soul, and the life of her beloved!

I, Coriander is a highly original fairytale. Told through the eyes and words of a girl brought up with fine silk, and silver spoons. Yet she is no porcelain doll. She is a fiesty young woman, and she tackles whatever life throws at her! It is in deed a gorgeous novel! It'll be a treasure for years to come!
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