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Customer Review

on 7 December 2007
I have had cause to speak of Miss Clarke's writings before, in connexion with her work Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, and therein the chief critickism I had to make was as to the length of that novel, which I judged to be some two hundred pages (out of eight hundred) too long. No such cavil attends the remarks I wish to make of this present collection, which consists of a number of shorter tales, set within the same fantastickal and fascinating other-England of the longer book. Each and all are nothing less than a delight from beginning to end. Miss Clarke has a remarkable facility for evoking the strange and alarming world of Faerie, and creates a truly enchanting atmosphere when writing of it and of the ways in which men and women can become entangled in it. As if that were not enough, she swims in the English language as a dolphin might swim in the Ocean, playing and leaping through its currents and tides with a sly smile on her face. To read stories at once so absorbing and so witty, and with such finely drawn characters, is a rare delight, and I for one can scarcely bear to wait for her promised sequel to her original novel, and learn more of her original and marvellous other-England, and of the men and women she has peopled it with - most especially that fascinating and enigmatic figure John Uskglass, the Raven King.

Addendum: I note that a moving picture is to be made of the adventures of Messrs Strange & Norrell. No good can come of this.
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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