I am tempted to call this novel a historical fiction as well as a fantasy. Clarke writes about Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell as if this were a well-researched account of their lives. She does this with layers of stories: the over-arching story of English magic, the story of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, and many, many footnote stories and small events throughout the book.
Yet, it is not dry. It is entertaining, poetic, witty, magical and believable – all at once. (Perhaps the magic is in its authenticity.) When I finished the book, I watched the show on Netflix. When I finished the show, I reread my favourite parts of the book. If my to-read list wasn’t already longer than my projected lifespan, I might have read the entire book again and again.
I look forward to more full-length tales from Susanne Clarke. I enjoyed being lost in her beautiful world.
-A Bookish Girl