Ian'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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really liked it
bookshelves: fairyland, fairy-tales, young-adult

September is one year older, somewhat less heartless and definitely ready to go back to Fairyland and have a proper Adventure. Things however have changed a lot since she left: magic is leaving Fairyland along with its shadows, all because of Halloween, the Hollow Queen of Fairyland Below - her own shadow.
Once again, it's up to September to travel down the depths of the earth and try to fix the problem before it's too late.

This is a beautiful book. Valente's imagination is on fire as usual, delighting us with wonderful new creatures and characters, and returning old ones with a twist. Fairyland Below really feels like its own place and not just a shadow or a bad copy of the world above, though it still retains the characteristic traits that mark it as a part of Fairyland.
I can't however give the book a full five stars because its main strength is also what made the book slightly unsettling for me: this is a book of not-quite-shadows, not-exactly reflections. We meet Saturday and Ell's shadows, who still love September but do not respect her the same way. We meet Halloween, who is quite a lot like September and at the same time isn't. And September herself is a lot more impatient and snappy than the cautious and bewildered girl who set off to retrieve a Spoon.
While the part in Fairyland Above feels like a direct continuation of the first book, the story, the world, and the characters take a turn for the dark -literally and metaphorically- as soon as September crosses the Sybil's door into the underworld. There is always a lingering sense of menace, friends are not as trustworthy, and even the wonders and the magic do not feel quite as fun.
In a way, The girl who fell... sometimes feels more like a sequel to Valente's own The Labyrinth.

I also have a slight reservation about the ending. Maybe it will grow on me on a second read, but (view spoiler)

But do not be dissuaded, gentle reader. This is still a wonderful book and well worth every minute. Even more, it's a sequel that stands on its own and not just as part of an ongoing series.
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Quotes Ian Liked

Catherynne M. Valente
“This is what comes of having a heart, even a very small and young one. It causes no end of trouble, and that’s the truth.”
Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

Catherynne M. Valente
“A book is a door, you know. Always and forever. A book is a door into another place and another heart and another world.”
Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

Catherynne M. Valente
“A labyrinth, when it is big enough, is just the world.”
Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There


Reading Progress

November 11, 2012 – Started Reading
November 11, 2012 – Shelved
November 11, 2012 –
page 62
24.03% "September is growing a heart, Fairyland gets more complicated, and the shadows of our friends are not quite like the proper thing."
November 13, 2012 –
page 100
38.76%
November 18, 2012 –
page 196
75.97%
November 20, 2012 – Finished Reading
November 22, 2012 – Shelved as: fairyland
November 22, 2012 – Shelved as: fairy-tales
November 22, 2012 – Shelved as: young-adult

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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Anna [Floanne] Wow! Questo non lo conoscevo! Aspetto le tue stelline ;-)


message 2: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian Per ora è bello come il primo. :)
Mi sono però spoilerato un po' il finale perché ho letto il primo capitolo del terzo... non ho saputo resistere!


Anna [Floanne] È sempre magnificamente illustrato come il primo? Mi tocca ordinarlo oggi stesso, mi sa... Buona lettura!


message 4: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian Sì, sempre una immagine per capitolo dalla stessa illustratrice.


Anna [Floanne] Mi dovrebbe arrivare oggi! :)))))


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