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Complete Wreaths of Poppy Twined With Ivy by wraithwitch - Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Discussion in 'Books' started by CareOtters, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. CareOtters

    CareOtters Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    Title: Wreaths of Poppy Twined With Ivy
    Author: wraithwitch
    Fandom: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
    Length: 25,216 words, 8 chapters
    Link: Ao3
    Summary: Strange and Norrell seek to break the curse of Darkness, Misery and Solitude on the anniversary of its hundredth year.

    In Hurtfew Abbey, all the clocks have stopped and all time is the same in the dark. But in England, the year is 1917, and all of Europe is at war.

    -

    I've suggested Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell to a few people on DLP by now. This fic captures some of the whimsical feel of the original. There's a passable imitation of the author's voice, and all characters feel perfectly in character. You really see the combination of wary friendship, shared interests, and friction from opposing personalities in here.

    The writing here has a fey lyricism which is sustained rather well. Dialogue between characters is both appropriate to the mood, and in keeping to their slightly archaic turns of phrase.

    I'd recommend this to anyone familiar with Strange & Norrell, but also to newcomers. All you really need to know before jumping in is that they are two magicians trapped in a curse - a pillar of eternal night. The author of the fanfiction here has done an excellent job of offering the reader prompts through narrative to catch up with any forgotten detail, in the same professional and seamless manner that you might see in a sequel edited so well that it can act as an entry point to the series.

    The only downside is that the ending is rather abrupt. The story is complete, but it nonetheless feels like the opening to a larger story cut off as act one ends.

    5/5
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  2. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    So this takes place at the end of the series?
     
  3. CareOtters

    CareOtters Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    After the end, yeah. It reads a bit like a sequel novella.
     
  4. Puzzled

    Puzzled High Inquisitor

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    There's never enough Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, so this was an incredibly pleasant discovery. I too felt it ended quickly, but that's similar to how war was treated in the book, as something that shouldn't be spoken of much.

    Past that the author did capture the spirit of faerie well, the sheer alienness of the other world. She has Susanna Clarke's foundations to build on, but she got the heart of it.

    4/5 just because I finished in in fifteen minutes and now I'm going to have to dig through the rest of AO3 in disappointment.
     
  5. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    For some reason I thought I reviewed this.

    I guess I didn't. This is a really interesting take an an already interesting show. From an Alternate History perspective that has a taste of What if X had Wizards/Magic Users/ and what does that entail for the world at large.

    There are several iconic scenes from the show (the road, the invading boat scene) that really sell this. The ending was really the weakest and strongest part of the entire show and this made the ending into something /more/.

    I liked it. 4/5.
     
  6. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    That has to be one of the most abrupt endings I've seen in a while. The events it summarises all sound really interesting, so it's a shame that it all gets summed up in a few lines, then that's all, folks.

    Other than that, it's a very impressive story. It's not a perfect recreation of the novel (or at least the novel I have in my head, as much as I love it its been a while), but it's pretty damn good. Another chapter or so to flesh that ending out and it would be an easy 5/5, but I'll go with 4.