Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente

Someone has to tell you it's impossible or the Quest can't go on.

Why I read this book

I read The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making last year and absolutely loved Valente's style and her characters. I got the print version of the book, because is so beautifully illustrated.

What the book is about

September saved Fairyland once but had to go back to Omaha, where she found herself having a hard time readjusting to her life without her friends and without magic. She is now almost a teen and all she wants is to go back to her beloved Fairyland. When her greatest wish is finally granted she realizes that Fairyland is in big trouble and that this time, she might be the one to blame. She will set up on a full quest to bring back the world that she so dearly loves. 

First impressions
Some things are for hiding and for keeping

This book is beautiful, just beautiful to look at, not only its cover, but the illustrations for every chapter by Ana Juan. That aside, the history is absolutely endearing. From the first chapters I remembered how much I loved September as a character and how I was also missing going back to Fairyland. 

Final thoughts

You need your dark side, because without it, you are half gone. Cats, on the other hand, have a more sensible set up. 

It was interesting to see September at this stage in which she is no longer a little kid, while not being an adult either. I love the idea of her "growing a heart" and how this affects the way she encounters and confronts situations. It was nice to see her taking responsibility and not hiding from it. 

The whole concepts of the shadows and how they would behave in comparison to their "originals" was nicely executed. It remind me a bit of the way the people from the Kahani are depicted in Haroun and the Sea of Stories (light vs dark) but a big difference is that EACH person has it counterpart in Valente's books. 

The new characters were quite nice too. I loved Avogadra and her library, and the poor scared dodo Aubergine where certainly my favorites. Valente has a gift to take mundane things and infuses them with magic to create whimsical characters, case in point the Vicereine of Coffee ant the Duke of Teatime.

Above all I think what I like about this series is that so far it has something for every age, so I can share it with anyone.  It goes to my pile to be shared in the future with a little one, but I will recommend it to anyone who wants to indulge the kid that still leaves inside of all of us. 

Teenage hearts are raw and new, fast and fierce and they do not know their own strength. 


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