Finished: Oct. 7, 2010
First Published: 1991 (new edition Oct. 12, 2010)
Publisher: Tundra Books
Genre: Celitic folktale, children's, picture book
Long ago there stood a forest deep, green and beautiful.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Tundra Books.
Reason for Reading: I love traditional fairy tales and gorgeous illustrated ones even better!
This is a wonderfully lyrical re-telling of the classic Celtic tale of Tamlynne (Tam Lin). Elaine, the daughter of the Earl of March, knows not to go into the woods as The Elf Queen has set up residence there and young men and women have disappeared in those woods for years now. But denied attendance to her father's first ball since she has become a woman, she resolves to attend the Elfin Queen's Ball that night. It is upon her way that she meets and falls in love with Tamlynne, one of the Queen's knights, a mortal who has been cursed. Elaine in her love for him must risk her own life to set him free. Written in true fairytale style with a passionate and soulful text that could standalone as a short story without the illustrations.
But, the illustrations bring this story to a different level. Muller's paintings are exquisite and finely detailed. Filled with emotion, atmosphere and magic they make this a book to own, not just borrow from the library, as one is pulled back to it often. Though a picture book, it is very lengthy text wise and tells a tale of romance making it appealing to a wide range of ages. The book itself is an anniversary edition and oversized (even for a picture book) with beautiful endpages, once the dustjacket has been removed there are picture boards and the back side of the jacket is a fantastic poster!