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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.1 out of 5
5 Stars
68 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
39 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
24 reviews have 3 stars
2 Stars
6 reviews have 2 stars
1 Star
6 reviews have 1 stars

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All Book Reviews

  • Long but(mostly) worthwhile

    The tale this book has to tell is grand and full of whit and interesting ideas. It's backstory and the historic world it sits in are nicely fleshed out through the generous(though possibly overused?) use of footnotes. Students of history and literature will find more than a few chuckles at references to Lord Byron, Shelly, etc. The ending is also exciting, and quite satisfying.... But takes a long time to get to. The problem with this book is that it is not really clear where it is going for most of the story. As a result, it tends to meander and has trouble pulling the reader continuously through the alternative history it is creating. The answers to mysteries seem right under the characters noses and tend to remain that way for a hundred plus pages, which becomes somewhat exhausting to read through at times. Despite these these drawbacks, it is still a pleasant book and quite an accomplishment for a first book.

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    17 person found this review helpful

    17 people found this review helpful

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • I loved most of this book. The alternate England where magic is prevalent charmed me, and I was delighted to be led from one point of view to another with digression piling on digression. The style is deceptively simple and the footnotes create a feeling of authenticity. However I did feel disappointed in the ending -- the richness of the detail and the many threads of the story led me to expect a much more satisfying culmination than I feel the book delivered.

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    4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • An incredible, original book. I've never read anything like it. The characters are perfectly formed and the story is completely gripping!

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Enthralling

    This is a very dense book. It is an alternative historical fantasy written as a history complete with footnotes. The writing is vibrant and the characters are fully fleshed out. There were a few slow spots and a couple of places where the plot got a little convoluted, but they were few and far between. Mostly I had a really hard time putting it down when I had to deal with other life stuff. One piece of advice: I found it helpful to bookmark the notes section to make it easier to jump back and forth between the story and the footnotes.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norall

    5 Stars! A fabulously layered book. The footnotes are a magical glimpse into the story world, history and literature. Couldn't put it down. She writes beautifully.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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