The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Well now. After having successfully avoided reading Susanna Clarke's short fantasy collection for a decade and a half after having loved Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, I finally guilted myself into picking up the damn book and giving it a go.
Why so trepidatious? Because I thought nothing could top JS & Mr. N. And indeed, this does NOT top JS & Mr. N. Rather, it deepens it.
I really shouldn't have worried. :) Clarke's beautiful language, great charm, and naughty Faries are all in evidence here. We get shorts including Strange and many of the personages we loved from the novel, places reminiscent but not directly tied to the novel, call-outs to all Regency literature, Irish folktales, and best of all, throughout every story, is the CHARM. Let me stress this: Charm.
I read every one of these with a silly, easygoing grin.
Now that's some REAL English magic.
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