‘Lud-in-the-Mists’ by Hope Mirrlees

eBook Review

Finished on 1/15/2019

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Genres: Fantasy, Classic Fantasy, Fairy Tale

Similar books: The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Ombria in Shadow

Previous books in the series reviewed:

Recommended with Reservations Pre-Tolkien Fantasy Classic

Spoiler-ific review

This was a good, not great, book. I can totally understand why this became a classic of the genre, however for me at least it’s not amazing. I’m reading this as a part of the r/Fantasy Classics book club for January.

Plot: ‘Lud-in-the-Mist’ is the tale of a city overrun by faerie fruit, of fallible main characters who struggle to hold back the tide of so-called corruption. Dorimare is a country on the border of Fairyland, where the real and surreal walk hand in hand- or at least they used to. When the Parliament took over faerie was outlawed, so nothing silly is allowed in the nation anymore.

These days smugglers transport the joyous and dangerous fruits of faerieland across the border in spite of the ban. The story which follows the heroes of Lud-in-the-mist as they struggle to stem the tide of forbidden fruits across the border- unravelling several mysteries and saving several faerie slaves in the process.

Characters: Were actually pretty decent in a ‘bland 1800’s’ sort of way. Nathaniel is a self-absorbed judge who wants to save his son from faerie poisoning. Randolf is his son, who has fallen in with some bad sorts. The characters were fine in a fairy tale sort of way, where they had only a little depth.

Pacing: Aaaand I was bored. I like the pacing of modern books, and this really isn’t a modern book. This book’s pacing was exactly what it set out to be: an old school meandering fairy tale, told at 250 pages.

Prose: super cool. It was very far on the stained glass end of the prose spectrum.

Net total, good book but not modern. I liked it better than ‘King of Elfland’s Daughter’ because this had one single plot-arc throughout the novel. I think if you are a hard-core Fantasy fan, you need to read this at least once in your life, but if you’re just a beginner you can safely avoid this one.

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