I discovered this old and rare jewel recently and reading it was a quite unique experience. The beauty of this book is not so much in the action, but in the general atmosphere and in the masterly use of English language. After ending it I thirsted for more - but it was in vain, as Hope Mirrlees didn't write any more fantasy books.
Written in 1926 this book was for a longtime out of print and forgotten before being rediscovered in the 90s, to the greatest happiness of fantasy lovers. This element only adds to the aura of mystery surrounding Lud-in-the-mist, the imaginary town in an alternative world where most of the action takes place. I swallowed this book fast the first time and then I read it a second time, in a deliberately slower way, to enjoy it even more. I warmly recommend it to anybody who likes fantasy but also to a wider public, willing to discover an old, half forgotten treasure.
I must however add one - very limited - ounce of criticism. I didn't like the last three chapters (XXX to XXXII). I do not want to take off one star for that, but in my modest opinion this book would be perfect, if it have stopped at the last line of chapter XXIX. So if I can offer an advice, the first time you read this book, stop at that moment, then give yourself a couple of days to savour this experience, and only then read the last three chapters. If you like them, fine. And if you do not, well, you will have always the memory of your first impression...
This is an excellent book, a rare jewel - to buy, read, keep and pass to your children.