Last week I read two books based on the fairy tale “Rapunzel,” and although I enjoyed both books, I’m still not crazy about that fairy tale. However, one fairy tale I did love as I was growing up was Hans Christian Andersen’s The Nightingale. So reading Kara Dalkey’s book “The Nightingale,” based on that favorite story, was a very enjoyable read for Carl V’s Once Upon a Time III challenge.
Although in the original story of The Nightingale, the setting was China, Kara Dalkey often writes stories that are set in feudal Japan. She wrote The Nightingale in that time and setting. She is tremendously knowledgeable about that historical time period, so her settings and characters are very believable, and she writes so vividly it’s easy to lose yourself in her stories. Some of her work has been called “historical fantasy, and this one, which is rich in history as well as the fantastic, would fit in that category.
From the Publisher:
In this deft and enchanting retelling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, Kara Dalkey has mixed history and legend, weaving the Andersen fable into a fascinating novel about court life in ancient Japan – -a life of pageantry and poetry, of great beauty and casual cruelty, of life and courtly intrigue as the men and women of the royal household vie for the Emperor’s favor, and each other…
This is the story of Uguisu, a young woman with an extraordinary gift for song, who is brought to the Emperor’s palace to be the greatest of his many possessions. Her song can bring tears to a courtier’s eyes, but it is her wit, her courage, and her heart that must serve her best of all.