Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland And Led The Revels There - Catherynne M. Valente

Title: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland And Led The Revels There
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends, 2012 (Hardcover)
Length: 258 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Children's; Fantasy/Fairy Tale
Started: January 3, 2012
Finished: January 5, 2012

From the inside cover:

All is not well in Fairyland...

September has longed to return to Fairyland after her first adventure there. And when she finally does, she learns that its inhabitants have been losing their shadows-and their magic-to the world of Fairyland Below. This world has a new ruler: Halloween, the Hollow Queen, who is September's shadow. And Halloween has no intentions of giving Fairyland's shadows back.

Fans of Valente's bestselling first Fairyland book will revel in the lush setting, characters, and language of September's journey, all brought to life by fine artist Ana Juan. Readers will also welcome back good friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. But in Fairyland Below, even the best of friends aren't always what they seem...

After reading The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making last year and falling in love with it, I was more than pleased to find out there would be more books coming. As expected, this installment has everything that made me fall in love with the first book: the charm, the language, and the subversive quality of the writing.

This book picks up where the first left off, September has since turned thirteen and trying to reengage in 'normal' activities since returning from Fairyland, while at the same time desperately wanting to go back. When she gets her wish, she discovers things aren't as they should be, and travels to Fairyland Below to find out what has happened to everyone's shadows (and the one she left behind the first time she went to Fairyland).

Since September is now older, the themes still relate to her coming-of-age, but they're more mature than  the first book; dealing with ideas such as embracing your dark side even though you try to hide it, how things aren't always so clear-cut all the time, and deciding that your actions determine what kind of person you will be.

If you liked the first book, you will have all kinds of love for the sequel. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland is a bit darker and more melancholy, but just as imaginative and charming as the previous book, which equals near perfection for me.

Thoughts on the cover:
I like how they kept the theme from the first book's cover, just in a purple colour scheme. The addition of the shadows and September's pose add to the somber atmosphere.

1 comment:

  1. I've also noticed, both from my own reading of this and from talking to other people, that even those who didn't love the first book end up liking this one much better, mainly because the story feels more focused.