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A Look at Ana Juan's Illustrations for The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
|Exeunt on a Leopard||The Wyverary|
|Thy Mother's Sword||One Hundred Years Old|
Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: sweet fairytale, shot through with salty tears -- magic!
Feiwel & Friends has done the world an enormous service by putting The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Catherynne M. Valente's extraordinary, award-winning, free web-novel, between covers. What's more, they've augmented it with Ana Juan's wonderful illustrations, one for every chapter.
Fairyland is a book that is both deeply in love with fairy tales and sharply critical of them: the story of September, a girl who flies from her dreary and sad life in Nebraska to Fairyland on the Green Wind. In Fairyland, she meets every sort of wonderful mythical beast (including a wyvern that's half library), eats the most wonderful and strange things, and has the most wonderful and extraordinary adventures and quests. And it really is wonderful: whimsical and lyrical and shot through with an imagination that simultaneously renders the traditional furniture of fairy tales fresh, and manages to make the author's own inventions seem as mythic as the first story told in the first cave in front of the first fire.
But Valente's fairytale broods and seethes, and it is not always such a nice place. For every velocipede herd thundering across the plain, ridden by a marvelous fairy in aviator's leathers and jodhpurs, there's a whipped blue water-djinn who bears the emotional scars of slavery. For every autumn kingdom filled with fiery sylvan alchemists, there is a political exile in the winter country, banished and sorrowing. For every brave sacrifice from September's companions, there's an abandoned soap golem that wishes the good queen would restore Fairyland to its glory.
And that's what makes Valente's work so truly fairytale fantastic: the sense that the magic sweetness is alloyed with a pinch of salty tears that makes it all so flavorful and complex, a wonder streaked with anxiety. So as September embarks on her quest to topple the evil Marquess who is bent on remaking Fairyland so that it is as dull and regimented as Omaha, Nebraska, we cheer her on, fear for her, and wonder, a little, if she might not be on the wrong side of the war.
Valente's lyrical fairytale is billed as a young adult novel, but like all the very best young adult novels, this is a book that can (and should be!) enjoyed by grown ups too.
“A glorious balancing act between modernism and the Victorian Fairy Tale, done with heart and wisdom.” ―Neil Gaiman, Newbery Award–winning author of The Graveyard Book
“September is a clever, fun, stronghearted addition to the ranks of bold, adventurous girls. Valente's subversive storytelling is sheer magic.” ―Tamora Pierce, author of The Immortals series
“A mad, toothsome romp of a fairy tale--full of oddments, whimsy, and joy.” ―Holly Black, author of the Spiderwick Chronicles
“When I saw that this book reminds me simultaneously of E. Nesbit, James Thurber, and the late Eva Ibbotson, I don't mean to take anything away from its astonishing originality. It's a charmer from the first page, managing the remarkable parlay of being at once ridiculously funny and surprisingly suspenseful. Catherynne Valente is a find, at any age!” ―Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn
“This is a kind of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by way of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland--it's the sort of book one doesn't want to end.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“[Fairyland creates] a world as bizarre and enchanting as any Wonderland or Oz and a heroine as curious, resourceful and brave as any Alice or Dorothy. Complex, rich and memorable.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“This book is quite simply a gold mine.” ―Booklist, starred review
“Amusing, wrenching, and thought-provoking.” ―The Horn Book
This is the best of the four books. It is such a fresh take on an well plowed trope.Published 16 days ago by Todd A. Kline
Alice in Wonderland reinterpreted by Salvadore Dali. The author is good at creating dazzling imagery, but it's a case of style over substance. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Britt Le Bonzo
Unless you really like long-winded rants this book is not for you. Yes some of the material is pleasing to the ears but its too few and far between. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
I knew this book would be very similar to other YA fantasy books, but I did not expect it to be some reminiscent of Oz, Narnia, and Wonderland. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Delta Stet
A lovely and lyrical YA fairytale, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a charming retelling and fusion of multiple myths. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Maria A Guglielmo
I thought it'd be better, to be honest, but it was still fun. I bought the whole set at once, so maybe I'll read the other two at some point. Read morePublished 1 month ago by N. Styler