Dawn's Reviews > The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente
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Sep 29, 12

Read from September 22 to 29, 2012

September has just turned 13 when she finds herself back in Fairyland, unaware of the adventures that await her.

At 13, her young heart has just begun to beat and blossom. The story never for a moment preaches or nags about how important it is to have a heart, but this truth breathes life into September's story, guides her in her quest in Fairyland, helps her defend and care for friends old and new.

The main part of September's quest as she returns to Fairyland is to find out where Fairyland-Above's shadows have gone, and why. It appears a villain-like mystery creature called the Alleyman has been stealing shadows, and September must go to Fairyland-Below to discover why, and how to reunite shadows with their other halves, before all the magic disappears from Fairyland-Above.

In her quest to restore magic and unity, she must face the Hollow Queen - her very own shadow she had cut away from herself to save the life of a child. "Shadows are the other side of yourself," says the Marquess's shadow - the Marquess being September's old nemesis. But is her shadow bad, too? Can September rely on her? And surely she should trust her old friends Ell and Saturday's shadows, even though they behave in ways her friends never behaved in the past ...

This fairy tale has depth, spunk, style, and lots of clever, delicious treats to think about and savor (September's thoughts, "That's how villains get you, she knew. You feel badly for them, and next thing you know, you're tied to train tracks." And this one from the Marquess's shadow: "It's not always nice to wake up. It's better to dream. You don't remember the things you've done in dreams." And this one from the big cat Iago: "...though you might be prejudiced against the dark, you ought to remember that that's where stars live, and the moon and raccoons and owls and fireflies ... and a rather lot of good, necessary things.")

I love how September and many other Fairylanders, including the reader, end up having to think "slantwise and backward" to find our way through one wild and crazy adventure, including a labyrinth, as we fall beneath Fairyland and lead the revels there.
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09/23/2012 page 63
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