Friday, March 22, 2013
We Return to Fairyland
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
September stumbles back into Fairyland again only to find that her own lost shadow, who is now Queen of the Underworld, is draining Fairyland of its magic.
September is a year older and wiser, but even her familiarity with the laws of Fairyland can't quite protect her in the Underworld full of runaway shadows. Her traveling companions this time around are at once familiar and untrustworthy, and the Queen's new servant the Alleyman has the Underworld's denizens shivering with fear. (Though personally I found the Onion Man more sinister.)
Valente plays with the traditional rules of magic (my favorite was her EKT field: Everyone Knows That), though some of the speeches when September visits a Questing Physickist might be above the heads of younger readers.
The Physickist tells September and her new friend the Night-Dodo: "A book is a door into another place and another heart and another world." All the intricate charm of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland is back, making our second trip through this particular door as vivid and weird as the first.