I, Coriander

Written by Sally Gardner
Review by Nancy Castaldo

Sally Gardner delightfully draws the reader into this historical fiction/fantasy novel with her main character, Coriander Hobie, stating, “I have a great many things to tell, of how I came by the silver shoes and more. And this being my story and a fairy tale besides, I will start once upon a time.”

Set in mid-seventeenth century England, I, Coriander blends historical imagery and rich characters with the mystical happenings of the fairy world. Coriander is born the child of a London merchant and a fairy princess during the English Civil War. Her wonderful childhood abruptly ends with the death of her mother. Her father, under suspicion of being a Royalist, is cornered into marrying a devout, cruel Puritan woman who is under the influence of an evil preacher. Coriander suffers under the hand of both her stepmother and the preacher when her father disappears. Their ultimate cruelty forces her into another realm, where she discovers her heritage. Caught between the two worlds, she finds that she must set one world right before her future can be determined.

I, Coriander is a beautifully written tale of suspense and intrigue. (Ages 10+)