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The Orphan's Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice (edition 2007)

by Catherynne Valente

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5642917,647 (4.51)34
Member:calmclam
Title:The Orphan's Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice
Authors:Catherynne Valente
Info:Spectra (2007), Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:fantasy, frame narrative

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In the Cities of Coin and Spice by Catherynne Valente

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» See also 34 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Volume two of this duo of interconnected and interwoven short stories / fairy tales was just as enchanting as the first. Complex, layered, and rich, the stories slowly build off of the ones before, and keep circling back as well. At the very end, we learn more about where the girls in the garden comes from, a sweet payoff.

I took too long of a break between the two volumes. Because stories in volume two reference stories in volume one, I recommend reading the second right after you finish the first. ( )
  chavala | Dec 28, 2016 |
Valente's Orphan's Tales (both need to be read together) moved immediately up to the forefront of my list of favorite books. It's been a long time since I have felt so captivated by a book. I never wanted them to end. ( )
  crystallyn | Jul 6, 2016 |
Beautifully written fairy tales told within a fairy tale. These stories wove together a little better than in the first book (or perhaps I'm just more used to the style). Each story chills, thrills, and comforts; each is sensual and imaginative in a way very few authors even attempt. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Valente’s Oprhan’s Tales are simply amazing. Continuing with the same theme as The Orphan’s Tales Vol. I (In the Night Garden), In the Cities of Coin and Spice follows the tales spun from the inked eyelids of a displaced Orphan. This book oozes imagination and creativity. It permeates it in much the same way as the that a rich spice flavors your favorite dish. If you have a penchant for strange and mythical creatures then this is a one stop shop. They spring out at you on every page, winged skeletons, loyal leopards, hedgehog warriors, sparrow calligraphers, firebirds, djinns, manticores, unicorns, and glass women. The book kept me turning the pages fast enough to risk paper-cuts, all just to see what came next. Plus, the prose is beautiful, the writing fluid, and the stories unforgettable. I really can’t recommend it highly enough. ( )
  SadieSForsythe | Feb 24, 2016 |
In the Cities of Coin and Spice is a continuation of Valente's Orphan's Tales duology that began with Tales from the Night Garden. The girl in the garden continues to read the stories from her tattooed eyes to the sultan's son in the garden. The reader is once again transported into stories within stories that resemble fairy tales, myths, and folklore. The stories start to come together as the words on the girl's eyes near their end. Once again I loved Valente's beautiful descriptions and imagaination. She took familiar fantasy elements, such as unicorns, dragons, and djinn, and reimagined them in a way that was both faithful to tradition, yet different. I am looking forward to reading more of Valente's works. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 17, 2016 |
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For Sarah, who, when she was older, wanted the World.
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The paths of the Garden were wet with fallen apples and red with their ruptured skin.
Quotations
"I speak the tongues of death," she whispered, her voice mingling with the wind. "I am translated, and I do not know myself, save that I have become what I have eaten, and it has become me."
It is the first thing I remember, the lonely shore and the ferry. And the bones and the lizards -- we are all translated on these shores, and I am sure I don't understand it, but there is a kind of poetry in metamorphosis.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 055338404X, Paperback)

Catherynne M. Valente enchanted readers with her spellbinding In the Night Garden. Now she continues to weave her storytelling magic in a new book of Orphan’s Tales—an epic of the fantastic and the exotic, the monstrous and mysterious, that will transport you far away from the everyday….

Her name and origins are unknown, but the endless tales inked upon this orphan’s eyelids weave a spell over all who listen to her read her secret history. And who can resist the stories she tells? From the Lake of the Dead and the City of Marrow to the artists who remain behind in a ghost city of spice, here are stories of hedgehog warriors and winged skeletons, loyal leopards and sparrow calligraphers. Nothing is too fantastic, anything can happen, but you’ll never guess what comes next in these intimately linked adventures of firebirds and djinn, singing manticores, mutilated unicorns, and women made entirely of glass and gears. Graced with the magical illustrations of Michael Kaluta, In the Cities of Coins and Spice is a book of dreams and wonders unlike any you’ve ever encountered. Open it anywhere and you will fall under its spell. For here the story never ends and the magic is only beginning….

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:25 -0400)

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