|Most embarrassing cover ever|
Lud-in-the-Mist, by Hope Mirrlees
Chris at Calmgrove posted about this very interesting early fantasy book a while back, and I got it on Kindle to read. Hope Mirrlees wrote just one book, in 1926, and it is excellent and odd. It's one of those fantasy books written before the genre gelled into particular templates, and so it still reads as original and strange today.
The Free State of Dorimare lies on the coast where two rivers meet, and the capital, Lud-in-the-Mist, is a prosperous port town. Generations ago, the Duke Aubrey was banished from Dorimare into neighboring Fairyland -- just over the Debatable Hills -- and there has never been any commerce with Fairyland since. Dorimites live right next to the one place they strenuously ignore and cannot completely forget.
Nathaniel Chanticleer is like all the sensible men of the city, but his little son Ranulph has been talking a lot about azure cows and other difficult subjects, and now he claims to have eaten fairy fruit. Everyone knows that to eat fairy fruit results in madness, and Nathaniel is in despair. Curing Ranulph, and finding out how to stop the smuggling of fairy fruit, becomes his obsession.
|This is more like it|
The top cover there is on the cheap Kindle edition I got. It reminds me horribly of the Serendipity line of books I hated as a child. I thought they were sappy. The very word Bangalee makes my teeth grit involuntarily. I would much prefer this quite attractive British edition that is not particularly available in the US.