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The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led…

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan (Illustrator)

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6906013,798 (4.04)70
Title:The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There
Authors:Catherynne M. Valente
Other authors:Ana Juan (Illustrator)
Info:Feiwel & Friends (2012), Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:read 2012, children's fiction

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The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente (2012)

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Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There was my one non-Brandon Sanderson pre-order this year. The first book, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making was one of the best books I read in 2011.

It has been a little over a year since September's first visit to Fairyland, where she defeated the evil Marquess and saved the land. She has been waiting for the Green Wind to come fetch her so she can see her friends Saturday and A-through-L and have a fun adventure, but she's afraid her friends have all forgotten her. When she finally gets to Fairyland, it turns out that the magic is seeping out of the land into Fairyland Below whose Queen is Halloween, September's shadow. So our intrepid September has to save Fairyland all over again... but now it's from her shadow self.

Pretty much everything about this book is gorgeous - the cover art, the words, the setting, the story. Valente is one of the most skilled writers I've encountered in her ability to play with words and ideas. Her prose is evocative and is full of whimsical but logical similes, allusions and metaphors. I would recommend this series based entirely on her writing, but every other part of the book is perfectly crafted too.

Valente tackles the age old children's book trope - growing up, but somehow manages to put a fresh face on it. September is a lovely protagonist - she's practical, but brave, very sure of herself and not afraid to take responsibility for her actions. But now she's outgrowing her childhood, and that means she's growing a heart and her feelings war. She's always seen things the way she wants them to be, and now she sees things as they are, and that's a hard realisation at any age. This is especially poignant when she encounters the shadow Marquess.

I especially loved the concept of shadows being everything the "real" person keeps hidden. Halloween is so wild because September tries her best to be proper, shadow Saturday is effusive, and shadow A-through-L is bashful. Mirroring was a big theme throughout the book - Fairyland Below is a mirror of Fairyland, and Fairyland itself mirrors wartime America.

I could go on and on, but I wouldn't leave you any magic to discover for yourself. This series is the new Phantom Tollbooth! It doesn't matter how old you are (you'll love the whimsy if you're young and you'll appreciate the nuances if you're older) - READ THIS! Just make sure you read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making first. ( )
  kgodey | Apr 11, 2017 |
As I remember, I gave the first one in the series 5 stars. Considering that, this one should get 6. This book is so much more alive than the first one, so much more breathing and wonderful. I absolutely loved it. The best books to read to your kids too, I think, especially if they are girls. A lot of symbolics too for those who are adults reading this. Valente writes some mean fantasy, one of the best authors of today, in my opinion. ( )
1 vote avalinah | Sep 11, 2016 |
If you like any fairy tales at all, you should read this and the first book. ( )
  valzi | Sep 7, 2016 |
For all that the story here is wonderful and powerful and happy and sad altogether, the best part of this book was the 2 chapters at the end. You have succeeded, Ms. Valente. This is not a retread of September's first adventure in Fairyland. It is, in fact, the best kind of sequel - one that tells a story all its own, without needing what went before or what may come after. Thank you! ( )
  gmkieran | May 14, 2016 |
I loved Catherynne M. Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and I (very much) enjoyed the sequel, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There. Catherynne Valente paints beyond spectacular pictures with her words . . a (literally) mind-boggling gift that was so apparent in her first book.

That having been said - for me, the sequel didn't offer the same sense of delight, surprise and anticipation as the first. Character development seemed somewhat "rushed" and sparse - especially since a number of new characters were introduced. I felt that the all-important sense of "character connection" was a bit lacking.

Nevertheless, I would definitely recommend this book . . Catherynne Valente is a masterful teller of (fairy)tales .. she skillfully draws the reader in with the richness of her prose and the anticipation that an excellent adventure awaits! ( )
  idajo | May 8, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Catherynne M. Valenteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Juan, AnaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tucker, S. J.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For everyone who has taken a chance on a girl with a funny name and her flying Library.  Let the Revel begin.
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Once upon a time, a girl named September had a secret.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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After returning to Fairyland, September discovers that her stolen shadow has become the Hollow Queen, the new ruler of Fairyland Below, who is stealing the magic and shadows from Fairyland folk and refusing to give them back.

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