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The Orphan's Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice by Catherynne Valente
Cover Artist: Michael Kaluta (Illustrations)
Review by Colleen Cahill
Spectra Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780553384048
Date: 30 October 2007 List Price $14.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

When I recently got In the Cities of Coin and Spice by Catherynne M. Valente, I was ecstatic! This second book in The Orphan's Tales duology gives us more fabulous stories whose words sing and are highlighted with exquisite illustrations by Michael Kaluta. Again we return to the garden where a sultan's heir is told the tales that are written around the eyes of a little girl, stories that transport us to other worlds, both wicked and wonderful.

From official release/information:

Book Description: Every once in a great while a book comes along that reminds us of the magic spell that stories can cast over us–to dazzle, entertain, and enlighten. Welcome to the Arabian Nights for our time–a lush and fantastical epic guaranteed to spirit you away from the very first page….

Secreted away in a garden, a lonely girl spins stories to warm a curious prince: peculiar feats and unspeakable fates that loop through each other and back again to meet in the tapestry of her voice. Inked on her eyelids, each twisting, tattooed tale is a piece in the puzzle of the girl's own hidden history. And what tales she tells! Tales of shape-shifting witches and wild horsewomen, heron kings and beast princesses, snake gods, dog monks, and living stars–each story more strange and fantastic than the one that came before. From ill-tempered "mermaid" to fastidious Beast, nothing is ever quite what it seems in these ever-shifting tales–even, and especially, their teller. Adorned with illustrations by the legendary Michael Kaluta, Valente's enchanting lyrical fantasy offers a breathtaking reinvention of the untold myths and dark fairy tales that shape our dreams. And just when you think you've come to the end, you realize the adventure has only begun....

(Source: Spectra)

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