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Redemption in Indigo (2010)

by Karen Lord

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5273934,882 (3.9)77
A re-telling of a Senegalese folktale. Paama is presented with a gift from the undying ones: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world.
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» See also 77 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
A very refreshing and thoughtful read. Recommended. ( )
  Andorion | Feb 6, 2021 |
This was a freebie, or rather a “BONUS BOOK!”, as a strip of paper tucked into the book informed me. I’d ordered a copy of And Go Like This by John Crowley from Small Beer Press (this was not the John Crowley first edition I accidentally ordered twice, by the way), and they included Redemption in Indigo free of charge. All of which is incidental. I was pleasantly surprised by Redemption in Indigo, although to be fair it has had mostly positive reviews. It’s not my favourite type of story – it is, in fact one I generally avoid. The book is structured as a tale told about a woman in a Senegalese-inspired fantasy world who leaves her husband, is gifted with the power of chaos, learns some important lessons at the hands of the god who previously held that power – as does he, of course – before giving the power back and finding contentment. The story is overtly told, and the identity of the narrator is part of the world-building. There’s nothing especially remarkable about either the story or the world-building. While the prose harkens back to older styles of story-telling, it’s a mode that’s been used quite a lot in fantasy fiction. Fortunately, Redemption in Indigo succeeds because it has bags of charm. Its story is not always nice – horrible things happen – but it feels pleasant, and it makes for an enjoyable read. This is a nice book, despite its plot, and the genre needs more of them. ( )
  iansales | Sep 4, 2020 |
Delightful! ( )
  snakes6 | Aug 25, 2020 |
This was an utterly charming novel that combined the language and experience of folk tales with the structure and pacing of a fantasy novel extremely well. I loved it. Well worth hanging out on the library holds list for a few months. ( )
  andrea_mcd | Mar 10, 2020 |
Just delightful. It's more a fable than fantasy, but it's so deftly done: clever and canny, whimsical and wise, never wallowing and never condescending. It's almost a fairytale for grown-ups, or a parable for the modern cynic, but most of all it's a lovely little story with a very satisfying arc. (I was sliiiightly put out by the last couple of pages, until an outrageously charming epilogue made it all better.) ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Inspired by a Senegalese folktale, Redemption in Indigo is the perfect antidote to the formula fantasies currently flooding the market. When Paama finally leaves her husband Ansige after 10 years of marriage, he follows her in an attempt to win her back. After a series of humorous, often slapstick episodes in which foolish Ansige gets himself into deeper trouble, only to be extricated by Paama, the watching djombi spirits give Paama the Chaos Stick which allows her to affect chance and probability. However, the Indigo Lord wants the stick back, kidnaps Paama, takes her on a wondrous tour and attempts to impress her with his magic. Précis fails to do justice to the novel's depth, beauty and elegant simplicity. Written from the point of view of an omniscient storyteller in the style of an oral narrative, this is a subtle, wise and playful meditation on life and fate.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lord, Karenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miles, RobinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the memory of my mother, Muriel Haynes Lord
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A rival of mine once complained that my stories begin awkwardly and end untidily.
Quotations
Chaos was a far subtler force than most people realised. It would be so easy to sense if it threw off thunderbolts or sent barely sensed thrummings through the fabric of reality, but it was nothing more than the possible made probable.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A re-telling of a Senegalese folktale. Paama is presented with a gift from the undying ones: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world.

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Small Beer Press

An edition of this book was published by Small Beer Press.

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