Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Series: Fairyland (#2)
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
How Received: publisher ARC
Read my review of The Girl Who Circumnavigated... (#1)
Release Date: 7 October 2012
September returns to Fairyland to reunite with A-Through-L, Saturday, and Gleam, and to confront her shadow-self, who has become the queen of Fairyland-Below, the upside-down world beneath the Fairyland of the first novel, filled with creatures of water and shadow, tales of ancient Fairyland before the human world was born, and not a few hungry buffins, blind birds of ice and moonlight. The yearly revels of Fairyland-Below climax in a mysterious rite September must avert or else lose her shadow forever.
I was one of many who wished for a sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Though The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There was awesome in its own right, it's a lesser book than its predecessor.
I can't quite put my finger on what it is that made me not like it as much as the first one. It's very good. I loved seeing her explore Fairyland-Below, reuniting with the shadows of her friends and being her generally awesome September-self. I enjoyed meeting the new characters and reuniting with old ones. The scene with the Goblin Market was, by far, my favorite.
September's continual development as a character without losing any of her ambition or charm was awesome.
But it missed some sparkle. Things that were drawn out and elaborated on in the first book - the magic, the secret of how September would escape - breezed by really quickly here. And the entire summary of who the prince of Fairyland-Below was sent me into a bit of a confused tizzy. (For the sake of the review, I'll keep this spoiler-free, but let's just say that it didn't make sense to me.)
It is still a very, very good book. With September, it wouldn't be anything less. And I did devour it all in one shot.
It just lost some of its magic.
Overall Rating & Final Comments: 8/10. A great cast of characters, but missing some of the sparkle of the first book -- with a very strange ending.
Did you read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Nicole's Blog With A Title Too Long To Continuously Type? What did you think?