Standalone Sunday is a feature created here where each Sunday you feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend! Underrated books is a feature I occasionally do where I highlight books I think are underrated (read my first one here!). Since I wanted to do this book, I figured I’d combine them!
This week I am highlighting I, Coriander.
Paraphrased from Goodreads:
In this exceptionally well-crafted tale, Coriander tells the story of her childhood in seventeenth-century London, and of her discovery that she has inherited magical powers from her mother, who was a fairy princess. But her mother’s sudden death brings on a dark time for Coriander, and after mourning her beloved mother and dealing with the disappearance of her father and the wrath of her evil stepmother, Coriander finds herself locked in a chest with no hope of escape and no will to survive. But when a bright light beckons to her, it is then that Coriander’s journey truly begins. Beautifully written, this magical and luminous story is destined to become a children’s classic.
I love this book. It has such an interesting description of old London, and it’s one of the first books that made me want to visit London. It takes place during the time of Cromwell, which I had never read about and haven’t really read much about since. I was really interested in the politics and religious dynamics at this time, and I wanted to read more about the Puritans (so being the nerd I am, I did at age 13, for fun).
Coriander’s magical powers are super interesting and unique and unlike anything I’ve read before. Her mastering/developing her powers happens fairly quickly, but this is a middle grade book so I forgive it. I liked the step-mother/step-daughter conflict (even though I think it’s clichéd and damaging, it worked for this story). I loved the side characters; they all had so much substance and were so interesting. Overall I highly recommend it!
This book is definitely older middle grade (like grade 8/9), but I think it’s suitable for younger readers (I think I first read it in grade 7), people who don’t read very much, or adults who want a somewhat easier read.
Have you read this book? What do you think of it?
Thanks for reading! xx