Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Orphan's Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice

(Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

In the conclusion to The Orphan’s Tales, the stories and myths continue in all their vibrant imagery. From the Lake of the Dead and the City of Marrow to the artists who remain behind in the ghost city of spice, here are stories of hedgehog warriors and winged skeletons, loyal leopards and sparrow calligraphers. Singing manticores, mutilated unicorns, and women made entirely of glass and gears, all of it to tell just one tale.
Once again Catherynne Valente scores with an incredibly rich tapestry of tales weaving in and out of each other to the final thread of the story. The conclusion of the duology has no real surprises but that’s perfectly all right since the real stars of the book are the tales themselves. Full of the the strange and fantastical, monsters and myths abound. I didn't mention this for the first book but the characterization is quite well done. None of the fantastic creatures are inherently good or evil, often shaped by both nature and circumstance. If you haven’t read In the Night Garden or In the Cities of Coin and Spice, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Final Rating: 8.5/10.

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