Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna ClarkeTitle: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Author:  Susanna Clarke
Genre: Fantasy / Alternate History
Pages: 1,024
Rating: 5 of 5!

This is just a quick book recommendation follow up to my last post. If you have a hankering for regency era character-driven fantasy THIS is how it’s done! For me, fantasy-wise this book ranks right behind LOTR and Narnia in my list of favorites. It’s been a couple years since I read it, but here’s a quickie review from the last time I did:

This reads like a fantasy novel written by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens after they had read “On Fairy Stories” by J. R. R. Tolkien. It is set mostly in England during the era of the Napoleonic Wars and has elements of alternate history (this England has a grand tradition of magic which has all but died out) and old fairy tales (where the fairies are neither particularly nice, nor sane). If you like fantasy and witty character-driven novels this is a must read!

Also, the BBC did a mini-series of this a couple years ago that was quite good (though, as always, the book is better).

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6 thoughts on “Regency Fantasy

  1. Your mention of Dickens makes me laugh. Because when I read this my reaction was more along the lines of “all that is bad about Dickens and stretch it out to 1000 pages and you have this book”.

    Is this post just to balance out your previous one? Or did something else bring it to mind?

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    1. Lol… this book definitely only works for some people. I think it’s one of those love it or hate it books, as it doesn’t much resemble traditional fantasy. And, yes, this is primarily to balance out the previous post – the author of those books seems to be doing something similar but with a more serious tone (and less engaging characters) that (for me) sucks most of the enjoyment out of it.

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  2. THIS BOOK!!! I love this book, too 😀 (I actually started out reading it, then finished it on audio, and the narrator = perfect.) And the mini-series definitely paid homage to Clarke’s brilliance. Nice pairing, to counterbalance the “meh” Regency…

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  3. I got excited at the rating alone cos I just took this out the library!! And then oh goodness you had to go and mention Austen, Dickens and Tolkein all in one go and I think I might just faint from overexcitement. It’s also rather convenient that I’m rewatching the BBC Pride and Prejudice right now and it’s getting me really in the mood for something set in the regency period!! Awesome review!!

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