Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Series: Fairyland (#1)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
How Received: publisher copy
Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t... then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland.
Ever since I saw the title of this story, I've been dying to read it. The fact that it was by Feiwel & Friends - the same publishing division that put out Lisa Mantchev's Theatre Illuminata series - just increased my curiousity.
And you know what? I'm beginning to think that Feiwel & Friends can do no wrong.
Just like the Theatre Illuminata series, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making is a fabulous fantasy romp with an overarching world and characters we think we already know. (Only think. Nobody is ever as they seem in Fairyland!)
September was absolutely adorable and did everything a 12 year old is expected to do on a journey like this; Ell the Wyverary was perfect and I wish he were real; the Marquess was a right little brat; all of the characters were interesting and intriguing and I loved them. I'm curious to see if the next book in the series picks up where this left off.
And the world is fabulously adorable. I love the rules and the laws and how magic works and how it sticks to the traditional 'iron hurts fey' without dwelling on it for too long. I love the alive furniture and the libraries and the Witches and how you have to lose your heart or your way or your mind or your life.
But most importantly, I love the narrator. Because it's not September, it's not the Wyverary, it's not a neutral third party. It's a mildly hilarious and interested spectator of all things, and I loved her. Him. It.
Overall Rating & Final Comments: 10/10. A perfect modern-day fairy tale, with a fantastic narrator, interesting characters and creative world.
Cover Thoughts: Ahhh oooo eeeee love.
Have you read it? What do you think?