Monday, March 11, 2013
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Being heartless, September does not hesitate to accept the Green Wind's offer to take her to Fairyland: once she gets there, she befriends strange creatures and is conscripted by Fairyland's ruler to complete a dangerous quest.
Terrible events befall our heroine, who may be heartless in leaving her home without a backward glance but who proves she is as loyal, compassionate, and tough as they come. Valente's book has all the strangeness and wonder required to narrate a story set in Fairyland. Her description of a fairy harvest feast is mouth-watering, and I loved the concept of Pandemonium, a city made of embroidered cloth. I especially appreciated the appearance of tsukumogami, which are natural denizens of Fairyland.
Bookish has two book trailers for The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland.
Readers who enjoy this may want to check out its sequel, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, or Valente's upcoming collection of scifi/fantasy short stories set in Japan: The Melancholoy of Mechagirl.
You might also try Kelly Barnhill's Iron-Hearted Violet, about another brave girl adventurer. Or go back to the book that started it all, and is the clearest ancestor of Valente's fairy tale: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.