Jeff Jensen
October 06, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Ladies of Grace Adieu

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Susanna Clarke
publisher
Bloomsbury
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Austere wizard kings, mischievous fairy folk, and assorted mad magicians: Welcome back to the enchanted England of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Her new collection offers a rich, redoubtable vision — from the titular story, a bewitching take on female empowerment that builds to a creepy climax, to ”The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse” and ”Antickes and Frets,” which demonstrate Clarke’s nifty talent for fusing historical facts and fantasy. For anyone who’s been wary of taking on the terrifically intimidating tome that is Mr. Norrell, the lean, lovely, and witty Grace Adieu might just push you over the edge.

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