The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Hey everyone, I hope your week has been nice. So I’m pretty sure this is a book that I found purely because of Sam. I think it was mentioned at her book club which I crashed so it ended up on my to-read list and then ended up coming free at the library (because I’m cheap and I love a good e-book) before Sam could get to it! Woo, go me.

I have to admit, I’m on a family trip so thanks family for the drinks, lets just say there was a lot of prosecco hadby me tonight. Tomorrow morning will probably suck!!! But I’ll be at the beachso who really cares…

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
by Catherynne M. Valente
 The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1)

Spoiler Free Review: A little girl named September is whisked to Fairlyand and things kind of immediately go wrong, but September is one of those sweet, kind-hearted kids who is yearning for adventure and willing to dangerous shit. She makes friends with a few creatures like aWyvern that thinks it’s dad is a library (It’s name is A-through-Ell and he’s very charming) and whatever the hell Saturday is supposed to be (because I don’t remember and I don’t feel like looking it up). Fairlyand is ruled by the Marquess who at times doesn’t seem so evil as much as she is the irritating part of bureaucracy, and everyone misses the good queen Mallow. The book is conflicting because at times it’s really cute and at other times it gets really dark. I kind of got the feeling that it wasn’t sure who it was going to be marketed to. There were jokes that were clearly meant for younger audiences, but a lot of the book seemed like it would be too intense for a youjnger audience. Then again all I have to base this on are my cousins. Basically it’s a small pool and I can’t tell if they’re “r” or the control group…. (woo Science!!!???). That being said the formatting is what you might expect from a book like this; a fairly consistent tale of one quest leading into another. I was pretty impressed by some of the ideas in this book. I’m not particularly familiar with fairy tales so maybe these are tropes that are just new to me, but there were some creatures that surprised me; a golum made of soap, a wyvern ( like a dragon but without the t-rex arms) that thought it’s dad was a library, inanimate objects that gain sentience at the age of 100. I liked the inventiveness of this universe even though I was confused by the target audience.

*****************Spoils Below*****************

Spoilered Review
Honestly I’m not sure how much there is to spoil on this book, except, oh wait, now I remember. So the book is September starting one quest, but in order to finish one, she has to move on to the next. Of course, the Marquesswho is meant to be evil with a capital E (she introduced taxes and shit to fairlyand, what’s her damage? Oh wait, this is the spoiler review, just wait a few lines) makes things more difficult than it should, so September almost dies a few times and then, near the end, you find out that humans in Fairlyand have a clock that determines how long they can stay in Fairyland. And then, dun dun dun, it turns out that the evil Marquess was the good queen Mallow. Her timer had run out, and after two sad years in reality she forced her way back into Fairyland but was bitter because she might have to live in the real world and wanted to destroy magic or something. Honestly the plot there was a bit thinn. I guess she had a reason to want to destroy magic but it still felt a little bit funky. I don’t think two years of disappointmenet and searching for Fairyland would corrupt someone the way that the Marquess was corrupted, but that’s my own opitnion. I was pleasantly surprised by the twist but I’m not sure how much of that is me being surprised by things in general. I do like to think that I pick up on foreshadowing but it seemed clever to me.

*****************End Spoilers!!!*****************

All the spoilers being said, I did enjoy the book, and the supporting cast was fairly strong. A-through-Ell was quite a bit of fun and I did enjoy September and a lot of the one off characters. There are a few people that I hope show up in the future books in the series; a la the various big flying cats, who could be fun, and a few of the characters that September helps along the way.


So this book wins 4 shots out of 5. It was overall a nice read (and a fairly quick one at that) but I want to see what changes in the future books before I would tell people to read this, though as I said above I liked the creatures that appeared.

This book is a high alcohol cider of some sort. It seems like it’s aimed at youjnger people but still has those darker moments that aren’t meant for someone new to this…

signing off ginny

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