[download] In the Cities of Coin and SpiceAuthor Catherynne M. Valente – Z55z.co

Catherynne M Valente enchanted readers with her spellbinding In the Night Garden Now she continues to weave her storytelling magic in a new book of Orphan s Tales an epic of the fantastic and the exotic, the monstrous and mysterious, that will transport you far away from the everyday Her name and origins are unknown, but the endless tales inked upon this orphan s eyelids weave a spell over all who listen to her read her secret history And who can resist the stories she tells From the Lake of the Dead and the City of Marrow to the artists who remain behind in a ghost city of spice, here are stories of hedgehog warriors and winged skeletons, loyal leopards and sparrow calligraphers Nothing is too fantastic, anything can happen, but you ll never guess what comes next in these intimately linked adventures of firebirds and djinn, singing manticores, mutilated unicorns, and women made entirely of glass and gears Graced with the magical illustrations of Michael Kaluta, In the Cities of Coins and Spice is a book of dreams and wonders unlike any you ve ever encountered Open it anywhere and you will fall under its spell For here the story never ends and the magic is only beginning


10 thoughts on “In the Cities of Coin and Spice

  1. Grace Grace says:

    Writing about music is like dancing about architecture, or so the old quote says I can t help but remember this saying as I attempt to write down some of my fragmented, all too feeble thoughts regarding Catherynne Valente s masterwork, The Orphan Tales In the Night Garden and In the Cities of Coin and Spice To start out with a bang, I have to tell you what my reaction was upon completing the last page of the second book It was 1am, and I set the book down, after having to re read one of t Writing about music is like dancing about architecture, or so the old quote says I can t help but remember this saying as I attempt to write down some of my fragmented, all too feeble thoughts regarding Catherynne Valente s masterwork, The Orphan Tales In the Night Garden and In the Cities of Coin and Spice To start out with a bang, I have to tell you what my reaction was upon completing the last page of the second book It was 1am, and I set the book down, after having to re read one of the pivotal revelations on the last page and say ohhhI SEE I turned the light out, lay down in bed, and started crying And I don t just mean a few pinpricks from my eyes like I ve had happen for a handful of tales over the years I mean nose sniffling, shoulder shaking crying I cried and I shook my head as I cried, laughing at myself for reactingstrongly than I had to any book I d ever read I cried because the books were done I cried because the ending was so incredible I cried because I was in awe of Catherynne Valente, only one year older than me, and having given something to the world of myth and story and imagination that I feel should go into the same column and high in that column as the greatest contributors of all time How can one person have so much inside And be able to get it all out onto the page This book is not an easy read Let me tell you that straight out as well Many people have written reviews saying I couldn t keep track of the stories or the format was too distracting, with the nested stories I also found this to be true the first time I read the first book I got to a little over page 100, and returned it to the library But Valente s name kept cropping upfirst on Endicott Studios, featuring an incredible short story I loved, then on Jen Parrish s website, as she created a gorgeous necklace in the shape of a boat with red sails for an auction I sought outof Cat s short stories, and I was blown away by every single one Finally I decided to try the book again, settling down with it at the start of winter, when the fire crackled in my fireplace, and the stories folded around me like blankets against the snow I approached it withpatience, and gave it time, rather than trying to rush through it And I discovered that this book was not only goodit was the most imaginative, fully formed, genius, and moving work of literature I ll most likely ever read.If I seem to be overly prosaic and prone to hyperbole about this book, I should say books, since it s a duology, but the two volumes fit together like one work it s just a symptom of how much it has crept into every fiber of me I now want to write extra stories about descendants of her tales I want to create art showing the pivotal moments in the stories that I adored.The message of the books is both simple and incredibly complex The tales themselves are both an intricate symphony, and a simple thread that weaves around to end at a simple resolution Valente is the Weaver of these tales, closing her eyes, grabbing all that is around her, and remaking it into beautiful gowns, girls, and cities, knowing all the while where the tales will end, whether that end is happy or sad


  2. Bradley Bradley says:

    This continuation of the Orphan s tales very much continues in the same vein as the first Stories within stories, sheer, unbridled imagination a modern 1001 Nights with a very sophisticated and original sequencing of mythologies, from nagas, selkies, winged skeletons, and ever present hunger, of leopards, broken unicorns, women pared away to replacement parts, and most of allOf sorrow.This novel takes aliberal superstructure approach over the first, continuing the tales of the Orpha This continuation of the Orphan s tales very much continues in the same vein as the first Stories within stories, sheer, unbridled imagination a modern 1001 Nights with a very sophisticated and original sequencing of mythologies, from nagas, selkies, winged skeletons, and ever present hunger, of leopards, broken unicorns, women pared away to replacement parts, and most of allOf sorrow.This novel takes aliberal superstructure approach over the first, continuing the tales of the Orphan in such a way that even the stories have stories and those have deeper stories still, and the recursion slowly rises back up until we can breathe in the ink under the eyelids once , gasping, shuddering in relief.There is nothingthat I can say that the book itself can t say better It is lush, gorgeous, lyrical, and it rewards careful readers Careful re reading Valente is something of a master storyteller and these two works are dense and epic Amazing


  3. Charlotte Charlotte says:

    A bit of the first book s magic is lost in this one but it remains a lovely, magical duology unlike anything I ve read before RTC


  4. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    All the stars I am so impressed by the scope, creativity, and storytelling of this diptych I m a little surprised Catherynne Valente went on to writebooks, because if I had just poured out as many storiesthan most people tell in a lifetime as she has within In the Night Garden and In the Cities of Coin and Spice, I might well be out of stories for the rest of my life There s no good reason why this story has been split up into two books, as they are very much the same work I All the stars I am so impressed by the scope, creativity, and storytelling of this diptych I m a little surprised Catherynne Valente went on to writebooks, because if I had just poured out as many storiesthan most people tell in a lifetime as she has within In the Night Garden and In the Cities of Coin and Spice, I might well be out of stories for the rest of my life There s no good reason why this story has been split up into two books, as they are very much the same work I read them back to back, and am glad I did, as there are many characters to keep track of and many show up again sometimes as brief allusions that shedlight on their origins or fate, sometimes as key players The connections between the different stories and with the framing narration thicken and multiply until they are finally the same story.As with the first book, the narrative format is of stories within stories, often so many storytellers deep that a genealogical tree of stories would be helpful in keeping everything straight I am not that ambitious Valente alludes to many well known tales there are stories with elements of The Princess and the Frog, The Red Shoes, Beauty and the Beast yet transforms them so that they are merely launching points of very different, often subversive, often slyly feminist stories of wonder, horror, and unpredictability view spoiler I defy you to come up with another Beauty and the Beast story in which the unlucky merchant dies on his way home, his body is taken over by a necromancer, and he is ultimately discovered, killed, and his bones eaten by his suspicious and resourceful daughters hide spoiler These stories are so richly allusive and full of potential for analysis that they seem better categorized as literary fiction than fantasy, as they have farin common with Borges and Calvino than George R R Martin.The writing is as gorgeous, evocative, and strange as ever At the entrance to the maze was a pair of shoes They were twisted out of the roots of cassia trees, curling wildly at the toe and the heel, the red roots snarling and looping like an embroidered hem The scent of them was rich and dark and sweet expensive cinnamon floating in a cup of black tea Neil Gaiman wrote something that has stayed with me for twenty years, about how this is the real problem with stories if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death Valente defeats even that her stories extend into death and before birth, and show that the framing of any given story is always somewhat arbitrary there s alwaysthan is told,than can be told.I suspect that some of the answers provided to the why of the framing story don t stand up under scrutiny, but I m not sure I care These books are remarkable, and this is the closest I ve come to gushing about anything in a very long time


  5. Tatiana Tatiana says:

    I found this second book of The Orphan s Tales less engaging than the first one This is probably why I so easily put it down after reaching the middle and didn t pick it up until weeks later In the Cities of Coin and Spice was much darker and less enchanting than In the Night Garden and its characters less compelling I thought the first half The Book of the Storm was extremely disturbing for a book of fairy tales and the second The Book of the Scald was a little too scattered, a I found this second book of The Orphan s Tales less engaging than the first one This is probably why I so easily put it down after reaching the middle and didn t pick it up until weeks later In the Cities of Coin and Spice was much darker and less enchanting than In the Night Garden and its characters less compelling I thought the first half The Book of the Storm was extremely disturbing for a book of fairy tales and the second The Book of the Scald was a little too scattered, as if Valente had run out of inspiration and energy I also felt that all the story threads should have been pulled together better, to tie in with the main orphan s tale In spite of my complaints, In the Cities of Coin and Spice still was a great book, which I enjoyed a lot for its originality and unconventionality I still don t think that it holds wide appeal, not everyone will be into this kind of writing However, if you are in a mood for some original and sometimes downright bizarre fairy tales which break all fairy tale stereotypes and celebrate women, Valente s both books of The Orphan s Tales are for you


  6. T.D. Whittle T.D. Whittle says:

    This one is a treasure to keep and re read, which is likewise true of the first book in the set,


  7. Megan Baxter Megan Baxter says:

    The stories continue in this second volume of The Orphan s Tales, and I am so ambivalent about what I m about to say I love Catherynne Valente as a writer, I do so very much, and yet There is beautiful prose in this book, intoxicating stories, brilliant twists, interesting characters And yet The stories flow and interweave, and usually I love this kind of meandering and intertwining And yet.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforceme The stories continue in this second volume of The Orphan s Tales, and I am so ambivalent about what I m about to say I love Catherynne Valente as a writer, I do so very much, and yet There is beautiful prose in this book, intoxicating stories, brilliant twists, interesting characters And yet The stories flow and interweave, and usually I love this kind of meandering and intertwining And yet.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook


  8. Algernon (Darth Anyan) Algernon (Darth Anyan) says:

    The second part of The Orphan Tales is every bit as enchanting as the first one Similar to In the Night Garden, this book is comprised of two major story arcs, one about a special brand of coins and a journey to the desolate shores of the lake where lost souls go the other in and around Ajanahb the city of spices Once again, the thread of the story jumps from character to character, each one adding a bitto the overall canvas Along the way, characters from the previous stories put in The second part of The Orphan Tales is every bit as enchanting as the first one Similar to In the Night Garden, this book is comprised of two major story arcs, one about a special brand of coins and a journey to the desolate shores of the lake where lost souls go the other in and around Ajanahb the city of spices Once again, the thread of the story jumps from character to character, each one adding a bitto the overall canvas Along the way, characters from the previous stories put in an appearance and fill in the gaps or add another level of complexity to an already intricate construction Honestly, I got lostthan once, and I struggled from time to time to remember the particular story of a recurring character I would recommend reading this second book right after the first one, and even in this case try to pay attention to details, no matter how overwhelming they may seem Now that I have the final image revealed, I would compare this narrative tapestry to an oriental mandala or one of those huge celtic knotworks where you cannot discern clearly the beginning or the end of the thread, but the finished product is symmetrical, whole and hypnotizingCall me Lantern and don t laughI have already noted in the first volume how Catherynne Valente has mixed oral storytelling traditions and ancient myths with modern sensibilities, irony and humor If in first story we found out the equation governing the slaying of monsters in order to rescue maidens from towers, this time we will get an explanation of why dragons are kidnapping nubile girls Still, the major tone of the novel remains one of melancholy, of loss and loneliness It is after all, the tale of the orphan souls, be they human, animal or chimaera, most of the characters share painful childhood experiences and are on a journey of discovery for their place in an often hostile world I will not spoil the ending, other than to say it is spectacular in a Venetian carnival style colourful and poignant and very satisfying as far as I m concernedAre you lost he wispered Yes, I said fervently Poor lost things are a specialty of mine Follow the thread of blank ink unspooling from the lids of the girl hiding in a night garden and you will be found


  9. YouKneeK YouKneeK says:

    In the Cities of Coin and Spice is the sequel to In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente The books share the same structure, with stories nested inside of stories, up to seven levels including the framing story As for that framing story, it continues in this book and finally gets a satisfying conclusion.I enjoyed this one as much as the first one The format has lost its newness factor, though at this point it feels perfectly normal It also didn t seem quite as complexly structured as the In the Cities of Coin and Spice is the sequel to In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente The books share the same structure, with stories nested inside of stories, up to seven levels including the framing story As for that framing story, it continues in this book and finally gets a satisfying conclusion.I enjoyed this one as much as the first one The format has lost its newness factor, though at this point it feels perfectly normal It also didn t seem quite as complexly structured as the first book, but maybe that s just because I was so used to it It seemed like the stories wereconcentrated in a couple layers As before, the stories were interconnected There were also a lot of ties back to the first book, some obvious and somesubtle.The stories themselves were darker than in the first book, especially in the first half, and I think I liked them a bit better I did still occasionally lose interest in some parts, but not too much The author wove everything together from both books in a satisfying and intricate way I suspect a reader would enjoy the series as much if noton a re read, because the conclusion sheds new light on everything that happened before.This was my first time reading anything by Valente, and I was impressed I ll likely tryof her work in the future


  10. Magali Magali says:

    This review encompasses my feelings about both books, as they really belong together.I have read so many hundreds of fairy tales in my life, but these are the ones that have stuck with me the most Catherynne Valente tells dozens of stories in dozens of voices that weave in and out of one another and somehow create not just a bigger story but a whole universe I haven t felt so much genuine surprise and interest and awe and horror and love since I got my first copy of Grimm s I have so much aff This review encompasses my feelings about both books, as they really belong together.I have read so many hundreds of fairy tales in my life, but these are the ones that have stuck with me the most Catherynne Valente tells dozens of stories in dozens of voices that weave in and out of one another and somehow create not just a bigger story but a whole universe I haven t felt so much genuine surprise and interest and awe and horror and love since I got my first copy of Grimm s I have so much affection for every story and every character hidden within the traditional fairy tale patter are people and places and perspectives that change with the storyteller At its heart, The Orphan s Tales is about the fact that everyone has equal capacity for agency and everyone s story is important And in order to really understand the world, you have to listen to all of them A message that is perhaps especially timely now