Thursday, March 30, 2006

I, Coriander

This is a title that I picked up last year at BookExpo, and have been meaning to read for quite some time. Youngish looking cover, but not so young inside!

Coriander loves her life. Her room is painted with beautiful fairy stories, her mother is lovely, and her father is a wealthy merchant who is teaching her to read and write. One day a beautiful pair of silver shoes arrives at her home with the letter "C" etched onto the sole. Surely they are for her! Coriander is bewildered when her mother puts them away stating that they are not meant for her. Coriander feels her heart pulling her to those shoes, and she actually hears the shoes calling to her! She overcomes her greatest fear to get to them. She actually puts her hand in the mouth of the stuffed alligator that her father keeps in his study to get to the key to his bureau. Coriander knew the shoes were for her...they are a perfect fit! She quickly tries to take them off before her parents can see, and to her dismay they are stuck to her feet.

Eventually Coriander is able to remove the shoes, but the spell they cast flies far. Before she knows it, her mother is dead, her father is enveloped in grief, and her world is soon to be changed forever. Cromwell is now ruling England, and her father ( a known royalist) is convinced to marry a Puritan in order to keep his land. Maud Leggs is everything that Coriander's beautiful mother wasn't. She is fat, homely, has blackend teeth and finds the devil in every corner. She soon convinces Coriander's father to let a preacher (the Crooked Man) move in. While Coriander's father is away on business, the Crooked Man introduces "Ann" (Coriander is a vain name) to the "hand of wrath" for every "infraction".

This book had me staying up to the wee hours of the morning to learn of Coriander's fate. Coriander is a strong character, and her friends are equally as interesting. Parallel worlds, fairies, espionage and adventure all make I, Coriander a compelling, fast paced fantastical read for the 6th grade and up set!

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