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IN THE NIGHT GARDEN by Catherynne M. Valente Kirkus Star


The Orphan’s Tales, Vol. I

by Catherynne M. Valente

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 2006
ISBN: 0-553-38403-1
Publisher: Spectra/Bantam

A tale of revenge, magic and family.

Valente's publisher compares this book to Arabian Nights, and that comparison is hardly hyperbole. An exotic and unnamed young lady with tattoos around her eyelids has been exiled to the garden of a palace, existing on the scraps and fruits left to her by the rest of the court, who shun her for her mysteriousness. But one unnamed boy is brave enough to talk to her, and she begins to tell him a fairy tale about a young Prince who kills a goose. Only the day is finished before the story is done, and the unnamed boy must return to hear the rest of the tale. From this story emerges another, and then another, and it’s soon revealed that the goose is really the Prince's sister, and the old woman who owns the goose his mother, and before long, the Prince begins a quest to save his sister's life. As time progresses, the young boy risks the antipathy of the rest of the court to continue listening to this interweaving story of magic, adventure, quests and murders, handed down through generations of women.

A work of beautifully relayed, interlinked fairy tales.