Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review - The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by: Catherynne M. Valente

Title: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Author: Catherynne M. Valente 
Series: Fairyland
Publisher: Corsair
Pages: 328
Format: Paperback 
Source: Personal purchase

Gather up your courage and your wishes; grab a little pinch of luck - and prepare to be swept away, in a ship of your own making, to a land unlike any other. September is a twelve-year-old girl, Somewhat Grown and Somewhat Heartless, and she longs for adventure. So when a Green Wind and a Leopard of Little Breezes invite her to Fairyland - well, of course, she accepts (mightn't you?).

When she gets there, she finds a land in crisis and confusion - crushed by the iron rule of a villainous Marquess - she soon discovers that she alone holds the key to restoring order. Having read enough books to know what a girl with a quest must do, September sets out to Fix Things.

As September forges her way through Fairyland, with a book-loving dragon and a partly human boy named Saturday by her side, she makes many friends and mistakes; loses her shadow, her shoes and her way. But she finds adventure, courage, a rather special Spoon, and a lot more besides . . .

My thoughts:

While reading The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, what I often found myself thinking was "I wish I were September!" I don't even know how to explain to you what a wonderful Fairyland this is without spoiling too much. Add in some Alice in Wonderland, and then some fairy dust from Tinkerbell, then stir that with ink from Neil Gaiman's LAMY fountain pen, boil it with Grimm's Fairytales and once it hits the boiling point, you probably will get Catherynn M. Valente's dream world.


September is a 12-year-old girl from Nebraska. She is very bored of washing the same pink and yellow cups. When he sees her like that, The Green Wind feels sorry for her and takes her away with him. (WARNING: That's when you'll start having jealousy fits). September takes off with him without saying goodbye to her mother and fathers. But then again, we shouldn't judge her because:

all children are Heartless. They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb high trees and say shocking things and leap so very high grown-up hearts flutter in terror. Hearts weigh quite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one. But, as in their reading and arithmetic and drawing, different children proceed at different speeds. (It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.) Some small ones are terrible and fey, Utterly Heartless. Some are dear and sweet and Hardly Heartless At All. September stood very generally in the middle on the day the Green Wind took her, Somewhat Heartless, and Somewhat Grown.”

In Fairyland, September meets witches, befriends a dragon, has to do as the evil hearted Marquees says. She meets a boy named Saturday, who's the son of water. And the narrator, on the other hand, is someone we do not see, someone who fills in certain information for us. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is really one of those books that you need to read and live through yourself since it cannot be put into words other than than the author's own.



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