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

(Fairyland #0.5)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,740 ratings  ·  296 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

Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 31 pages
Published July 27th 2011 by Tor Book
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Reread, January 2018. A lovely, magic-filled novella, filled with whimsy, and bittersweet. I'm upping my rating from 4.5 to 5 stars on reread.

This is one of my favorite free Tor online short stories, a highly whimsical fantasy from Catherynne Valente, which you can read here.

So, I was complaining to a couple of GR friends that I was convinced I should love The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, but I had read a few chapters of it and it just wasn't grabbing me. At a
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
mark monday
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
She is a practical girl and will get the job done. One terrible job. He is a greedy king and would eat the world if he could. Many worlds.

Valente is a witch with the words, an enchantress. She made a layered trifle of surprising richness: the top a dreamy wisp of airy gauze, the bottom a corrugated sheet of metal; between them some brightly-colored ribbons of whimsy, spicy bits of savory and sugary bits of sweet, daintily shaped but stone-hard filigree, and a fragile flake of vellum heartbreak c
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
No matter where one begins telling a story, a very long road stretches out before and behind, full of wild and lovely creatures performing feats and acts of daring. No matter how much a narrator might want to, she cannot pack all of them into one tale. That’s the trouble—history goes on all around the story at hand, it is what made it happen and what will happen after, all of those extraordinary events and folk and dangers and near-misses, choices that had to be made so that everything after cou ...more
Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
And she does it again, in a short story this time!

This is ever so slightly shy of a 5, but that is merely because I wanted just a touch more out of it.

What a wonderful world Valente's fairyland is! As in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making, I found myself struck by the paganist vibe within her magical world. This short may be just a smidgen more fantastical in it's language - many of the words she uses do not exist in our world - but not to such an extent that it
Richard Derus
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
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have all the books I could need, and what more could I need than books?
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
Fantasy. It covers a wide variety of worlds, doesn't it? You have the Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones variety of complex worlds, long-faced wizards, dark and ancient magic, burned scrolls, and buried secrets. Then comes the Neil Gaiman/Tim Burton kind chock-full of colorful underworlds, parallel universes, new and creative beings parading the streets of the unknown. The Harry Potter realm with good vs evil thematic elements, magic and goblins, fire-breathing dragons, and a reinvention of c ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it

Well this was ... different. Not bad, not by far. But different.
Considering that this is the origin story of how Mallow became Queen, I expected more. And considering that this is also the story of how Fairyland was before Queen Mallow's reign and before the Marquess took over, I expected Fairyland to be more as well.
I did love the story of the Great Cats of Nephelo though and of how one can become one of the winds.
So all in all, this was a nice little interlude to pass the time with until the
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
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
Suanne Laqueur
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was between books and needed a little something. Like a scoop of sorbet between courses. This was utterly perfect. Quick. Beautiful. Charming. Lovely. Magic. It made me feel like I was 7 or 8 and sitting on the carpeted floor of the school library, listening to a story.... Yet it resonated with me as an adult. The language was amazing: as you read you could feel the words in your mouth. This books begs to be read out loud.

I highly recommend this one-sitting jewel of a book to take you someplac
Nostalgia Reader
*fangirl gibberish* The aesthetic... I just can't even.... *melts*

I cannot describe how well this made Mallow a sympathetic character--a character I rooted for and want a right proper novel about. Wistful and sad and empowering all rolled up into a neat little bundle of Nostalgia Magic.

"I have all the books I could need, and what more could I need than books?"
Kira Simion
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: got-for-free, 2019
You can read this free on her website!

I’m sorry, but this writing style was not for me. It made the happy moments no longer happy and the sad no longer sad. Just filled each with description after description and new words to fill in missing parts of description.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story of Mallow, and the people she meets, was really well-written. But there was a quirk to the writing style and the story that didn't completely appeal. I'll sit on it for a bit and see if it's worth tackling the novel or not.
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's not often books captivate me with the first sentence - this book did just that: History is a funny little creature... It then goes on to explain that history is like a bitch-ass cat, which in my opinion is totally accurate. Yeah, this is my jam!

I haven't read any other books in the Fairyland series, but I'm already sensing a strong liking towards them - if they're anything like this little number. This odd story has such a individualistic element to it, I couldn't even relate it to any oth
“Listen,” Mallow interrupted. “I haven’t any interest in following you to a stash of gold in the hills or dancing at a Fairy ball or answering riddles or meeting any eligible Fairy dukes who have a castle just on the other side of a curtain of mist—no. I am a magician—mostly—and I am on my way to the Foul like everyone else. Don’t try to charm me, please. I am a practical girl.”
Practical girl, my ass.

Started interesting but lost me at ''But ducks must always have the last word, and they are
Mallow really is a practical girl.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
A most whimsical and charming (albeit at times gory) tale. I definitely should start reading this series as soon as possible.
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoy the whimsy -- the mournful cast-iron ducks who love their mistress, the talking bed that composes poetry, the wrathful clouds -- so much.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-freebie
A bit on the over descriptive side for me. Not bad, very fairy tale feel to it. 3 solid stars.
Annemieke / A Dance with Books
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 4-star, 2018, novella
You couldn’t tell what it thought or felt, or how old it might really be, or whether it would one day, miraculously, decide to let you put one hand, very briefly, on its dusty head.

History is like that.

Such excellent writing.

What have I read just now?
...faeries , magicians ,a house on the shores of a whiskey lake ,a talking bed,and pet metal ducks,lively hairpins , and that just the beginning. The heroine Mallow is on her way to the drifting capital of Fairyland riding inside a the Carriageless Horse... my head is spinning.
This short story makes me feel like I landend in OZ or Wonderland ... all shades of weird.

It's my first encounter with Catherynne M. Valente , and it won't be the last (I so love quirky stuff).
Long before the events of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, Mallow lives a quiet life on the edge of a fairy village--until a grand event in the capital draws her into the wider world and its dread Politicks. Valente's voice is particularly lovely in short form, where her distinctive imagery and rich language can run rampant. Fairyland is the perfect setting for that style, and tolerant of prequels with their cameos and backstories; the bittersweet tone keeps the whimsy in check. Mallow, r ...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. ...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.


Update 7/12/15

Now being so very familiar with Fairyland it calls me friend, I still think this short story drowned in its own quirk and mess. Too much telling, not enough showing and very little dialogue.

Stick with the novels, they are superb.
Courtney Umlauf
I love the world Valente's created, so it's not surprising that I loved reading about its history. I hope she writes more short stories set in Fairyland.

I'm not saying this series should be made into movies...but if it were, it should be made my Terry Gilliam.

Nadine Jones
Not quite what I was expecting from Mallow. And where was Lye?. I would have enjoyed this more if I hadn't expected something different. Read it for yourself here:
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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

Other books in the series

Fairyland (5 books)
  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1)
  • The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2)
  • The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Fairyland, #3)
  • The Boy Who Lost Fairyland (Fairyland, #4)
  • The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home (Fairyland, #5)

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