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In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente
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In the Night Garden

by Catherynne M. Valente

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Orphan's Tales (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,145587,136 (4.26)74
  1. 20
    Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost (martlet)
  2. 20
    Vellum: The Book of All Hours by Hal Duncan (infiniteletters)
  3. 10
    Lord Tophet by Gregory Frost (martlet)
  4. 10
    Storyteller by Edward Myers (infiniteletters)
  5. 10
    Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Rubbah)
    Rubbah: Boh draw inspiration from varied stories and are unique full length fairytales in their own right. Great for lovers of folklore and fey.
  6. 10
    The Bone Palace by Amanda Downum (ligature)
    ligature: Both have non-European fantasy settings and richly described worlds and magics.
  7. 11
    The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine (weeksj10)
    weeksj10: When I read "Hakawati" I wrote a review that I would be on the search for one as good... Now I have found it. A similar story told through stories although "Night Garden" leans a bit to the side of the magically fantastic and is told more like folktales would be, whereas "Hakawati" is a bit darker and more of a family story linked through arabian nights style myths.… (more)
  8. 00
    Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (AmethystFaerie)
  9. 00
    Black Ships by Jo Graham (AmethystFaerie)
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» See also 74 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
A few imperfections: blood dripping thick and viscous, someone feeling badly about a misbehavior....
A bit unsatisfying, in that occasionally the interlocking puzzle box of stories approached gimmicky difficulty, instead of pure authenticity.
But overall lovely, impressive, enchanting, brilliant... and full of heart, soul, and passion. ?áValente wrote not to show off her genius, but because she had something wonderful to share with us lucky readers.

Only, will someone who has read the second book tell me what happens to the boy prince and the girl with the black eyes?
(I don't want to read it, as I see that other reviewers consistently describe it as darker than this, and this was plenty dark enough for me.) ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
I'm bored...I am lost. too much incoherent rambling... I quit 80 pgs in. sorry! :/ ( )
  XoVictoryXo | May 31, 2016 |
Love, love, love! I cannot not love this. It is VERY Arabian Nights-ish but also very much Valente's own thing. So good. ( )
  tungsten_peerts | Apr 8, 2016 |
Stories are told within stories, moving ever inward (or outward), echoing each others themes and characters. A very imaginative take on what it means to be a fantasy archetype--a maiden, a monster, a captain, a witch. Each tells their own story, and the characters in the story tell *their* own story, and so on. Because there's no prolonged narrative tension, nor any one character in every story, the book lost my interest a few times. I'm glad I perservered, because for every lackluster tale there are five fantastical and unique ones that follow. I loved that if a character starts out as one archetype, they can and do change into something completely different—a princess becomes a monster who becomes a pirate, for example. Wonderful and imaginative. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
In a far off garden, cloistered away from the Sultan's harem lives a girl with exotic tales tattooed on her eyelids. No one is supposed to speak to her, but the young prince loves sneak away and listen to her stories. In the Night Garden is a compilation of those very same stories, as well as that of the lost girl and enraptured prince. I absolutely love this book (books really). I can't say that enough. If I hadn't wanted to be an author before reading it, I sure would have after. It grabbed my attention, held it, and then shook it for all it was worth. I wanted it to go on forever, to find one more amazing character or vivid local. This book is full of them. It's like literary velvet. The prose is beautiful, the stories engaging, and (though some have complained about the complexity) I loved the way they all interlock. It is simply fabulous, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves mythology, folk stories, and/or high fantasy. Approach it with patience, it is convoluted, but so worth it. ( )
1 vote SadieSForsythe | Feb 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Catherynne M. Valenteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Foster, JonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaluta, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Sarah, who,
when she was very young,
wanted a Garden
First words
Once there was a child whose face was like the new moon shining on cypress trees and the feathers of waterbirds.
Quotations
Stories are like prayers. It does not matter when you begin, or when you end, only that you bend a knee and say the words.
Metamorphosis is the most profound of all acts.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553384031, Paperback)

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….

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:03 -0400)

A young girl lives in the palace garden, an outcast because of the strange inky tattoos around her eyes. These markings hold entire stories of enchanted beasts, magical horses, wizards, and other magnificent and mysterious beings, part of an intricately woven tapestry of tales that make up the history of the exiled girl. When a young prince convinces the girl to tell him one of her stories, he begins a journey that will bring him a little closer to a great mystery.… (more)

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