In the Night Garden

In the Night Garden

Book - 2006
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A Book of Wonders for Grown-Up Readers

Every once in a great while a book comes along that reminds us of the magic spell that stories can cast over us-to dazzle, entertain, and enlighten. Welcome to the Arabian Nights for our time-a lush and fantastical epic guaranteed to spirit you away from the very first page . . .

Secreted away in a garden, a lonely girl spins stories to warm a curious prince: peculiar feats and unspeakable fates that loop through each other and back again to meet in the tapestry of her voice. Inked on her eyelids, each twisting, tattooed tale is a piece in the puzzle of the girl's own hidden history. And what tales she tells! Tales of shape-shifting witches and wild horsewomen, heron kings and beast princesses, snake gods, dog monks, and living stars-each story more strange and fantastic than the one that came before. From ill-tempered "mermaid" to fastidious Beast, nothing is ever quite what it seems in these ever-shifting tales-even, and especially, their teller. Adorned with illustrations by the legendary Michael Kaluta, Valente's enchanting lyrical fantasy offers a breathtaking reinvention of the untold myths and dark fairy tales that shape our dreams. And just when you think you've come to the end, you realize the adventure has only begun....

Praise for In the Night Garden

"Cathrynne Valente weaves layer upon layer of marvels in her debut novel. In the Night Garden is a treat for all who love puzzle stories and the mystical language of talespinners." --Carol Berg, author of Daughter of Ancients

"Fabulous talespinning in the tradition of story cycles such as The Arabian Nights. Lyrical, wildly imaginative and slyly humorous, Valente's prose possesses an irrepressible spirit." --K. J. Bishop, author of The Etched City

"Astonishing work! Valente's endless invention and mythic range are breathtaking. It's as if she's gone night-wandering, and plucked a hundred distant cultures out of the air to deliver their stories to us." --Ellen Kushner, author of Thomas the Rhymer

"Refreshingly original in both style and form, In the Night Garden should delight lovers of myth and folklore." --Juliet Marillier, author of the Sevenwaters trilogy
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2006.
ISBN: 9780553384031
0553384031
Branch Call Number: VAL
Characteristics: 482 pages :,illustrations ;,24 cm.

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SnoIsleLib_KelliB May 15, 2018

I LOVED this book. I've always enjoyed folklore/fairytales and their retellings, and Valente's writing is so captivating and elegant that you can completely enter into in the world she's created. Some tales are heartbreakingly tragic - others are happier - and each weaves seamlessly into the next, creating a lovely whole piece. You couldn't ask for a finer reinterpretation of Scheherazade.

If you do try it, I beg you to give it at least 80 pages - while some readers say it's slow, I would call it pleasingly languid. The unhurried pace at which the story moves allows you to become totally enmeshed with the characters, much like Rothfuss' excellent fantasy novel, "The Name of the Wind" (https://sno-isle.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1305986121).

Quite simply one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read.

l
liamDS
Apr 12, 2018

The first chapter was interesting, sadly the rest of it wasn't. The quality of writing is just 'ok,' and the structure is tedious to keep track of at times.

b
BarbaraA
Jul 29, 2012

This book is a blend of fairy tale and mystery. As the back claims, it is a modern Arabian Nights; there are interwoven stories and each takes the reader deeper and deeper. There are, supposedly, two stories but even they end up being connected. I am definitely reading the next book in the series!

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