NESFA Members' Reviews


by Hope Mirrlees

Cold Spring Press, 2005 [1926], ISBN 1-59360-041-0

A book review by Elisabeth Carey

Lud isn't London, and Dorimare isn't England, although there are some resemblances. Dorimare is bordered by Fairyland, although these days it does its very best to ignore that fact. Two or three centuries ago, under Duke Aubrey, it was different. Trade between the two lands was thriving, and the people of Dorimare enjoyed eating fairy fruit. But the merchants rose up and drove Duke Aubrey out—he was capricious and bad for business—and now mention of Fairy is banned as indecent, and fairy fruit is so illegal that smugglers of it have to be prosecuted for smuggling silk.

And then one day the Mayor of Lud, Nat Chanticleer, discovers that his son Ranulph has been fed a piece of fairy fruit, and his quiet, orderly, respectable life is thrown into chaos. His city becomes strange to him, his daughter runs off to Fairyland, his friends turn against him, and he has no choice but to learn more than he has ever wanted to know about Fairyland, fairy fruit, Duke Aubrey, and the hidden mysteries of Lud.

A good, satisfying read. Recommended.

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