Cover Illustrator : John Coulthart
Setting: Arcadia, C19th
Rated : 7 Stars
My brother and I grew up dreaming of new worlds.
–Jeanette Ng - Under the pendulum sun - c.2017
I added this book to my unwieldy Mount TBR because of Smart Bitches description of it as
a stunningly different fantasy that mixes Crimson Peak with Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. And then I saw that wonderful cover and had to read it. It’s just wonderful.
Unfortunately I just never really clicked with this novel. I’m not quite sure why I didn’t because it has so many elements that I really liked. The world of the fae was wonderfully strange and other. The gothic/Victorian feel to it is just what I usually really enjoy. And I can’t put my finger on what it was that gave me that little feeling of “not for me”.
I think that maybe it is a result of the missionary attitude of the main characters. I know, it is accurate, but it just rubs me up the wrong way.
That being said while I didn’t love this book I was intrigued by it, and I have every intention of reading more by the author. I loved the allusions to Gothic and Victorian fiction1 and I loved the otherworldly nature of the fae. But I think that I do have issues when they are portrayed as so cruel because I do wonder how a society can function if that is how they behave. Of course they are other and different and unknowable. That’s sortof the point, isn’t it?
I was interested in the origins of the far2 but I’m always wary with myth and legend align with the Christian religion, because what about all the other belief systems out there.
So overall I enjoyed many aspects of it as a whole it didn’t quite work for me.