Review: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland (Valente)

Readathon 2013 review #2

Full title: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Catherynne M. Valente)

This was a great book! The storytelling style and characters reminded me of The Neverending Story (the novel, that is) and two childhood favourite movies: “Labyrinth” and “Return to Oz.” (For the record, I do like the first “Neverending Story” movie a lot, but the book is quite different and I think Valente achieves the same level of brilliance, hence the book comparison.)

I loved discovering Valente’s Fairyland through September’s eyes and the plot contained plenty of adventures to enjoy. The ending was bittersweet, though – I wasn’t ready to leave the story, yet I wanted things sufficiently wrapped up. Valente leaves room for a sequel (more than one, in fact) so I’m going to have to track down another tale to see what happens next in Fairyland!

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t… then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

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