Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Early Review - The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan (5/5 stars)

Reading Level: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy
Size: 272 pages
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: October 2, 2012
ISBN: 978-0312649623
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in The Girl Who series
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 5/5 stars

This is a sequel to the book The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. It is a wonderful book just as beautifully written as the first, if aimed at a slightly older age group. You never know what wonderful things you are going to run in to from one page to the next.

September is eager to journey back to Fairyland and leave her mundane life of school behind. When she finally does though, she finds out things are very wrong. Magic is being rationed in Fairyland and shadows are constantly going missing. September must journey deep into the Fairyland-Below if she is to save the shadows and return magic to Fairyland.

Incredibly creative, beautifully written, and full of beautiful sparkling images both light and dark that will really make your imagination sore. You can absolutely not predict what wonder the next page will hold. Valente has such a creative and wondrous mind that she thinks up things and ideas I can only begin to comprehend.

September is slightly older in this book and has more mature worries than in the first book. Her mother isn’t around much because she has to support them and her father is still at war.

This book has a darker tone to it than the first. When September journeys to Fairyland-Below she finds the shadows of her friends who accompany on her journey. This is interesting because the shadows of her friends are similar to her friends but different, they are a little darker and a little wilder. Valente did an excellent job making the shadow versions of all the characters we know and love the same, but different.

September is forced to confront her Shadow-self who has become the Queen of Fairyland-Below. It is an interesting battle and there are some fun and creative twists and turns to the story that are very well done and unpredictable.

You definitely need to read the first book to understand what’s going on in this book; you run into a number of characters that played a major role in the last book and continue to have some influence on the story in this book.

The book ends well and is fairly well tied up. I am hoping we see future adventures with September, but the story is happily complete at the end of this book. Valente’s writing style is just absolutely spectacular; her writing is lush and sparkling, dripping with wondrous description, and full of magical creatures and settings. If you loved the first book, you will adore this one as well. Both of these books are much less ambiguous than some of Valente’s other books and should be more accessible to a wider range of readers.

Overall an absolutely spectacular read. I love Valente’s creativity, beautiful writing, and unpredictable twists and turns. You never know what spectacular new thing each page will hold. This book builds on the story started in the first The Girl Who book and ties up all of the loose ends in a wonderful way. Highly recommended to those who love fantasies written in a beautiful and lyrical way. The stories have a very fairy tale feel to them.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge


  1. I just finished the first book and it was really good. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, to see where things go. Sounds really good--great review!

    Debz @ Debz Bookshelf

  2. Glad you enjoyed the review. I hope you enjoy the second book just as much as the first!