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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027
The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories - Susanna Clarke, Charles Vess So, yay more of the Jonathan Strange universe! I like how this collection is presented as a study of magical history in the British Isles; it makes it feel like there’s more to that wonderful universe Susanna Clarke created, and not just a group of stories that just happen to take place in this universe.It’s a strong collection that ends up being more humorous than its predecessor. I love that the opening/titular story sets the tone for the rest of the book. Also, it has female magicians and their response to the events in Jonathan Strange, which sadly, never got touched on in that book proper. I also like how there’s a further explanation into the worlds of Faerie, both seen in “Mr. Simonelli” and “Tom Brightwind.” “Mr. Simonelli” is properly creepy, I was trying to figure out what exactly was going on in All-Hope House. On the other hand, “Tom Brightwind” shows a faerie who’s not entirely cruel and actually goes out of his way to try to help mortals out (even if the effects aren’t immediate). I love the conclusion of “John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner,” which I think is the funniest story in the collection, if only for Uskglass’s “WTF” at the Charcoal Burner’s revenge. And I loved “Antickes and Frets,” for its glimpse into the mindset of Mary, Queen of Scots during her imprisonment (also, embroidery magic used for revenge).The two weakest stories, I felt, were “Mrs. Mabb” and “The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse.” I just couldn’t get into “Mrs. Mabb,” and wished that there was more explanation to it. As for “The Duke of Wellington…” it was funny, but I didn’t really get that much from the story as a whole. (Actually, I picked up the book for the latter story, because, hey, Stardust fanfiction.) It’s an okay story.Overall, I enjoyed the collection, but I really wouldn’t recommend it unless if you (like me) loved Jonathan Strange and wanted to read more into that universe. Also, if you just like fairy tales and fantasy stories in general. It’s a really good collection, but if fantasy’s not your thing, I can understand wanting to skip this one.