3.81 (4,748 ratings by Goodreads)
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Beginning with a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story, set in 14th-century England, this book develops into a novel that ranges in time and space from the 14th century to the 21st and from the real world to imaginary countries, the realm of Faerie and the depths of more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 153 x 234mm | 617g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Collins
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0246138963
  • 9780246138965

Review Text

From the author of Raising the Stones (1990), etc., a Faery-inspired meditation on a dying Earth. Most of the inhabitants of Faery care nothing for the evil Dark Lord; only the good fairies Caraboose and Israfel make long-range plans to defeat him. As part of the plan, they conceal within the body of half-fairy, half-human Beauty a mysterious glowing object. Beginning in 14th-century England, Beauty's various adventures (including a trip to the 21st century, where magic has vanished altogether) give rise to several well-known fairy tales; but in her long efforts to evade the Dark Lord, Beauty loses her fairy-given immortality; her fairy mother cares nothing for her; and only in the far future, after life as we know it has been extinguished, will Mother Earth (the glowing object is an embodiment of all Earthly life) be reborn. Too fractured to succeed as metaphor; neither does it connect as allegory: Tepper can't decide whether to warn against a gathering spiritual darkness, lament the collapse of an aesthetic ideal, or thunder against global eco-disaster. In any event, nothing shapely or persuasive emerges from this mass of squirming, mismatched parts. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

4,748 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 30% (1,424)
4 35% (1,652)
3 25% (1,187)
2 7% (330)
1 3% (155)
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