Sidhe Studies at the University of Aberdeen, about how Clarke’s collection seeks to illuminate the study of magic and faerie throughout British history. Instead of using a coherent storytelling voice, Clarke has created a mishmash of stories featuring wildly different narrative styles and devices, and sprinkled with faux scholarship and obscure literary and historical references. It didn’t matter than I liked the first story because its style and substance bore no resemblance to any story that followed.
I suppose for true devotees of fantasy (especially faerie-centered fantasy) this approach wouldn’t be a problem but I was just looking for something consistently entertaining and I felt a little bit cheated. The story The Ladies of Grace Adieu is set in the 19th century England of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell and made me think that maybe I should go back and try again to read that book. But I did try, and it was just Too Much. Remember the footnotes (all 185 of them)?
(Book 35, 2011)