The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland — For a Little While
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The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland — For a Little While (Fairyland #0.5)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,305 ratings  ·  157 reviews
This original short story tells the tale of how a girl named Mallow defeated King Goldmouth with the help of the Red Wind, Mr. Map, and many fairyland friends new and old--from Catherynne M. Valente, author of the children's fantasy sensation The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.
At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digi...more
ebook, 1st Edition, 32 pages
Published July 27th 2011 by Tor
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As it has become customary in Valente's Fairyland books, this one is made of wistful melancholy and whimsical sadness dressed up as children's story.
“Temptation likes best those who think they have a natural immunity, for it may laugh all the harder when they succumb.”
Temptation to make things better can lead you down a dangerous road, and having a pure and practical heart thirsty for knowledge and peace is not always the shield from badness. The big fat cat of History preys on hearts just lik...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: In which a young girl named Mallow leaves the country for the city, meets a number of Winds, Cats, and handsome folk, sees something dreadful, and engages, much against her will, in Politicks of the most muddled kind.

My Review: How can anyone not fall a little in love with characters like Valente's? Don't ask me, I am one of the smitten. Since I don't support censorship-ridden sites, you'll have to read my review at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud. I hope you...more
I have all the books I could need, and what more could I need than books?
Really a 3.5 - I gave this one four stars mostly because I was happy to return to Valente's Fairyland. This is a short story prequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and it won't make much sense if you don't read that first. On its own merits, the short story is good but light. Valente's style - which I very much enjoy - is evident but the story does not have the substance of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland.

That being said, I think Valente's style gene...more
Once upon a time, a girl named Mallow grew very tired indeed of her little country house, where she grew the same enormous luckfigs and love-plantains every summer, slept on the same talking bed, and studied the same tame and amiable magic. Her friends would visit her from time to time, for she lived on the shores of a whiskey lake where trifle-trees hung heavy with raisin and soursop tarts, but they had their own quite thrilling lives, and Mallow did not insist that they stay just to make her h
When I posted my review for Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, I knew I had to take the time and read the short story Valente published on last year. I didn't know how it fit into the book I'd read for December's book club, but I did know it was all a part of the same world, and I didn't want to read it until I had the book firmly under my belt.

You can read "The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland -- For a Little While" for free on However, it loo...more
A prequel to the excellent The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, this story is pleasant but too slight to stand up on comparison. It does its job and provides some backstory for those who wondered how Mallow became queen of Fairyland. It crams a whole lot of fancy into a relatively small space. It's a stylistic match to the full length book, but without room to breathe the whimsy becomes a little overpowering. Still enjoyable.
This digital addition to the series is a brief one, set before the events of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Mallow is the central character here, and Valente provides more background in Mallow’s rise to ruling Fairyland. Other familiar characters and creatures appear here, too - Valente’s clever and wonderfully creative writing style remains consistent even in this abbreviated storyline. Truly, my only complaint is that I wish it had been longer! It really is...more
Gabrielle Carolina
Ambitiously quirky, perhaps too much so.

"But ducks must always have the last word, and they are very much heavier than hairpins."

What now?

Short story? I skimmed.
Dena (Batch of Books)
Catherynne M. Valente is one of my favorite authors. This is the second book of hers that I have read and I felt much the same about this one as I did the first. It was a delightful change from the usual formulaic plot and bland characters employed in most contemporary novels.

Mallow, Mabry, the Winds, and Fairyland are all so unique and different from anything else that it is impossible to forget this story. I love the way nothing is impossible in Fairyland. Cities are literally alive, the Winds...more
Kayla Parker
The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland-For a Little While by Catherynne M. Valente is the prequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. This story is a breathtakingly colorful, sweet, specular, heart breaking, and fanciful!

All Mallow wants is to live peacefully with her books on the edge of a small town full of fairies with her talking bed, her pet ducks, read her books and learn Dry Magic. When everyone in Fairyland is summoned to the capital for a mysterious "tithe" tha...more
Who doesn't love a good reluctant-leader story?

This one involves a girl who lives by a lake of whiskey and hangs out with iron ducks. Like you do. But the god-king of fairyland called for a census, and everyone had to travel for it, and we all know how that turns out for the god-king. (hint: poorly).

As a fairy story, it's very whimsical and full of lovely details. As a parable about the corruption inherent in power, it's a little obvious, but still full of lovely details. The moment when Mallow...more
Mairéad (stuck at the Edge of Nothingness)
Originally 3 for being too short to develop things more but 3.5 Stars for its whimsicalness.

Quirky and descriptive, this story weaves a story of magic as we meet Mellow who only wishes to read her books and learn various kinds of magic--Dry, Wet, etcetera. Although its short and its explanations to its world building, it is strange. A strange tale, bizarre even. Mixed with a fairytale type of storytelling feeling to its wording.

I enjoyed it, but I think it would have better if it had been a bit...more
A prequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making but one that really should be read after you read that book first. In this book we find Mallow, a magician residing outside a small village in Fairyland. She's a practical girl and does practical magic and while she would like to learn some other types of magic, that hasn't happened yet but she will trade with the villagers for interesting books. It's the story of how this very practical girl ends up as Queen Mallow...more
I enjoy the whimsy -- the mournful cast-iron doves who love their mistress so much, the talking bed that composes poetry, the wrathful clouds -- so much.
Perhaps it's just that there is such a thing as too much Catherynne Valente at any given time. (There is such a thing as too much Catherynne Valente at any given time.) But I didn't enjoy this book as much as its two full-length sisters. I will come back again after a breather and see if I still feel the same, but this book didn't sing for me like the others did and I found myself looking with hope at how much I had left, ready to be done.

It's in the same vein as the other books, and the writing...more
This was wonderful- I listened to the first book on audio (which was amazing), so it was really interesting to actually read how the passages flowed. I adored the beauty, the way each sentence had so obviously been picked and chosen with optimum care and everything MEANT something, everything was necessary. I really am interested in Mallow's story, so while this still left me a tad confused, I throughly enjoyed learning about her and seeing fairyland before September's entrance.
Karyn Kar Mun (Thy Evil Queen)
This is a pretty, pretty little prologue of a tale, set in the Days Long Past, many a year before a girl called September came along and became The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

If you've never read the series before, this could be a good place to start, to see if you like C.M. Valente's style. I personally think it is a hit-or-miss, as she sometimes waxes lyrical for paragraphs on end, and while it is very pretty indeed, sometimes it lacks substance. Take for i...more
Whilst this book had the elements of what made the proper first book in the novel so good, the prequel was a bit rushed and hurried.

I would definitely recommend to start reading from the first proper book rather than this one.
A nice little prequel to the Fairyland books. You get to see how Mallow became queen. Now I want to know more about what she did AS queen.
A meh interlude in an otherwise very imaginative and enjoyable trilogy for 12 & up. Good thing about the age level, any younger and this novella likely would dampen interest in Book 1 and/or confuse readers if it had been actually read prior to book one. Luckily unreleased in paper format, in the series this unnecessary foray is known as book 0.5.
Belle Forcible
Oh, this pretty little tale. Now, I really must grab a copy of the Fairyland book.

My new dream avocation: To be the Fairyland's Red Wind. Or the Silver, or the Green, or the Blue, or the whatever color... Charming!

My, my, this is just too cute and lovely :)
"I have all the books I could need, and what more could I need than books?"

It's easy to lose one's self in Valente's writing.
Violet Nightfall
Un racconto che ha il sapore delle filastrocche!
Quando ho iniziato a leggere questo racconto ho arricciato il naso e ho pensato "che modo bislacco di scrivere" e immagino che sia stato un pensiero comune. Ma poi ho ricominciato e ho affrontato la lettura con mente aperta, riscoprendo una narrazione infantile che da bambina amavo molto. "La bambina che divenne la Regina di Fairyland" è una filastrocca moderna, non in rima ma è questo il senso che mi ha lasciato. Al di la della storia che ho trova...more
A short novella about Mallow before she was Queen and the prequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

And while Mallow is great, this was fairly underwhelming. The action felt rushed at the end, when everything up to then was slow, airy, buildup. I liked the buildup, but the ending was jarring.

But mostly, the very-very-very end was confusing. I am completely guessing about the Green Wind. (view spoiler)...more
Catherynne M. Valente writes like no one else. Her words are magic, and I just love her. This was just a short story, and I usually don't like short stories, but it was a wonderful little addition to the Fairyland world.
I am a practical girl, and a life is only so long. It should be spent in as much peace and good eating and good reading as possible and no undue excitement. That is all I am after.
Drew Cernava

Very strange, descriptive, and gory. I was expecting a sweet prequel to a children's typical fantasy series, but this was quite different. It kept me mildly interested; I liked Mallow's character well enough. I think the setting was just too weird for me to enjoy it.

I actually didn't mind the author's detailed writing; I just wish she'd written more info explaining the strange creatures and the world of Fairyland instead of describing colors and feelings and what everything looked like.

I gues...more
The more I read from Cat Valente, the more I love the way she writes. Lovely little story.
Gabriella Sarah Gricius
Why Read: I mostly chose these books for the reason of an author bond. Normally upon finding a new author that I absolutely adore, I feel the need to read as many books as I possibly can. In Catherynne Valente’s case, this stemmed from ‘Labyrinth’, her first novel that is available for free (I KNOW, difficult to believe) on her

After having read the other 3 books in the trilogy, I found this Prequel a little harder to get into. Perhaps it was because I was more attached to the character of the o...more
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Catherynne M. Valente was born on Cinco de Mayo, 1979 in Seattle, WA, but grew up in in the wheatgrass paradise of Northern California. She graduated from high school at age 15, going on to UC San Diego and Edinburgh University, receiving her B.A. in Classics with an emphasis in Ancient Greek Linguistics. She then drifted away from her M.A. program and into a long residence in the concrete and cam...more
More about Catherynne M. Valente...
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1) Deathless (Deathless, #1) The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2) In the Night Garden (The Orphan's Tales, #1) Palimpsest

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“I have all the books I could need, and what more could I need than books?” 53 likes
“Temptation likes best those who think they have a natural immunity, for it may laugh all the harder when they succumb.” 27 likes
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