Oh dear, this is going to be a hard one to finish. I suppose I should not be too terribly surprised that an author who spells her first name "Catherynne" is addicted to metaphor, but a minimum of one per paragraph
? It's the literary equivalent of adding a sugared cherry on top of a thickly-iced ice cream cake--far too much!
* * *
The story-within-a-story is a venerable and venerated technique, but when taken to extremes, it's just torturous. Ms. Valente has overused the embedding to the point where simply trying to keep track of which story is current is agonizing, and every few pages, I found myself rolling my eyes and thinking "Oh not again!" as a new tale began.