Saturday, July 9, 2011

Review - The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (5/5 stars)

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own MakingReading level: Young Adult/Middle Grade
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 256 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: May 10, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0312649616
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Bought
Rating: 5/5 stars

I am a huge Valente fan and so far have loved everything I have read by her.  So it is probably no surprise that I absolutely adored this book as well.  This book was much funnier and less vague than other Valente books I have read; but just as wondrous and creative.  

September is sick of washing teacups and sick of the company of her little amiable dog.  So when the Green Wind shows up and offers her a ride to Fairyland on the Leopard of Light Breezes she jumps at the chance.  September quickly discovers that not everything in Fairyland is going well.  The Marquess has been instating horrible rules (although she has a marvelous hat).  September decides to go to the capital Pandemonium and find the Spoon that the Marquess has stolen from the Witch Good-Bye.  She is accompanied by The Green Wind's thoughtful coat, and a red Wyvern who cannot fly.  Along the way her quest is diverted again and again and September learns many fabulous things.

This book was beautiful inside and out.   Valente's writing is a spectacular weaving of beautiful and lush images that absolutely come alive.  The book itself is wonderful with delightful pictures at the beginning of each chapter.  The book reminded me of Alice in Wonderland a bit, you just never know what new and fantastical thing September will find around the next curve.

Valente creates a classic tale that is very creative, beautiful, witty, and intelligent.  The whole book is just a delight to read.  The characters are easy to love; September is stubborn and determined but adores her friends and is quick to defend them.  Even the bad characters are understandable in their evilness.  

The book ends well but has a couple story threads left hanging.  For example we never find out what happened to September's shadow and then there is the mysterious girl that asks September to play hide and seek.

Overall an absolutely spectacular book; I was sad when it ended.  A must read for fantasy fans, especially fantasy fans that adore fairy tales. This is a beautiful, humorous, heartwarming, creative, and absolutely engaging read that no one should miss out on.  Fans of Neil Gaiman's books should also check this one out; there are times when the storytelling reminds some of his stories as well.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

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