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The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There Kindle Edition
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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However, the story was well-paced and interesting, with some unexpected turns and characters that were easy to like. I'm on the third book in the series, so I can't complain too much. The first book follows the story of Nebraska farm girl September as she is invited to ride to Fairyland with the Green Wind on the back of a giant cat. She loses a shoe as she jumps out of her window, and this turns out to be a plot point, but not such an important one as the book led me to believe. The Green Wind disappears at the gates of Fairyland, and September meets up with three witches working at a huge cauldron. One of them has lost her spoon to the evil Marquess of Fairyland, who some years back replaced the good and gentle Queen Mallow. September makes it her quest to find the Marquess and get the spoon back for the witch. On the way, she acquires a friend called A Through L, which calls himself a Wyverary because his mother was a Wyvern and his father was a library. He turns out to be a very handy friend to have around, despite the fact that he can't fly due to a law enacted by the Marquess that required all wyverns to wear chains around their wings. September finds the Marquess, gets the spoon, but is required by the Marquess to go to the furthest reaches of Fairyland and back in 7 days, or she will be eaten by lions. Through a string of lucky breaks--including help from her sentient clothing, acquiring some new friends, and taming a wild velocipede--she makes it to the farthest reaches in 4 days, whereupon she turns into a tree. But the Marquess sets the lions on her and her friends. But the lions don't recognize the tree, so...eventually September makes it back to the Marquess, and there's a battle to the death to save her friends from their prison--or maybe not. Everything is not as it seems, and if you want to find out the rest, you'll have to read the book.
Hardly a day has passed since September hasn't thought about Fairyland and Ell and Saturday and the Green Wind. Sometimes she even wonders whether she imagined the whole thing, but it was all so very real because September's shadow is gone; she left it behind in Fairyland. But she's thirteen now, and so much time has passed and she begins to think she'll never make her way back, until one day she sees a rowboat floating across the fields behind her house. She knew this was her opportunity and hastened to follow them to wherever they were going. Upon her return, she realizes that Fairyland is quite different from when she left it several months ago and that September is not the only one missing her shadow now.
"...your light side isn't a perfectly pretty picture, either, I promise you. You couldn't dream without the dark. You couldn't rest... You need your dark side, because without it, you're half gone."
September was once again an incredible character: full of heart, strength, and loyalty. Realizing that the problems in Fairyland stemmed from her actions from her previous visit, she didn't hesitate for a second before starting her adventure to make things right. I loved the implications of the purpose of shadows and how their importance reaches far beyond their physical presence. Very mature topics that I see as being a fantastic 'learning opportunity' for children during a potential read-along with their parents. The writing is not just full of beautiful prose but manages to also have substantial meaning behind every word.
'She did not know yet how sometimes people keep parts of themselves hidden and secret, sometimes wicked and unkind parts, but often brave or wild or colorful parts, cunning or powerful or even marvelous, beautiful parts, just locked up away at the bottom of their hearts... all of those brave and wild and cunning and marvelous and beautiful parts they hid away and left in the dark to grow strange mushrooms--and yes, sometimes those wicked and unkind parts, too--end up in their shadow.'
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland was wonderful, original, and full of incredible prose and The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland doesn't disappoint. If anything, the second installment is even more brilliant. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland will be well received by children but I so love that it's equally (if not more so) able to be enjoyed by adults. Catherynne M. Valente has definitely done it again; full of adventure mixed with a new take on old-world fairytales.