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The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There Paperback – October 1, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Valente returns listeners to Fairyland in this sequel (2012) to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (2011, both Feiwel and Friends). An awkward and lonely girl, September consoles herself with the delicious secret that she has been to Fairyland and saved it from an evil queen. On an ordinary day, after a long, impatient wait, September trips over a wall and falls into Fairyland where she discovers that things are not as she left them. The shadows of the inhabitants are being sucked into Fairyland-Below. September begins a quest, along with her dear companions A Through L, a Wyvern (a sweet, loyal, and dragonish beast), and Saturday, a Marid (a bluish boy). Divinely verbose, Valente's brilliantly crafted words evoke exquisitely lush and detailed images in the listener's imagination. She seamlessly and brilliantly blends elements of fantasy, mythology, and historical fiction to create a magical world so cunningly described that it's utterly believable. Startling truths reminiscent of J. M. Barrie, L. Frank Baum, and others ground the story and give it depth. Singer/songwriter S.J. Tucker's satiny voice blankets and captivates listeners. She is a storyteller in the classic sense, and voices lively, distinct characters, some with hints of exotic accents. It is not imperative that listeners are familiar with the first book, but it will lend clarity to some details of the story.-Lisa Hubler, Charles F Brush High School, Lyndhurst, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
*Starred Review* In this stellar sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (2011), September is 13 years old and in possession of a teenage heart that is “raw and new, fast and fierce.” It is this heart that guides her sophomore trip to Fairyland. When she literally stumbles into the magical realm, September finds that the inhabitants of Fairyland Above have been losing their shadows—sucked Below by the Alleyman, a floating red-feathered hat—and, along with them, their magic. As Fairyland Above becomes depleted, the underworld becomes a stronger, darker, increasingly renegade place under the rule of Halloween, September’s shadow. Can September return the shadows and reset the equilibrium in Fairyland? On her quest, she’s reunited with friends Saturday and Wyverary—well, their shadows at least—but mostly meets exciting new characters, from Belinda Cabbage, mad scientist, to a soft-spoken Physickist dodo bird named Aubergine. As with the previous title, Valente’s inviting, lush, and densely detailed world is evocative of well-traveled lands, such as Neverland and Oz, but, at the same time, is uniquely its own. This is sure to draw new fans, but those familiar with the first book will find the reading a richer experience. Juan’s shaded chapter-opening art puts bizarrely wonderful faces to names and sets just the right tone. Let’s just hope the Green (or Silver) Wind calls us back to Fairyland soon. Grades 5-8. --Ann Kelley --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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.
Even though I enjoyed The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, I was at the same time pretty disappointed because it didn't live up to my expectations. After thoroughly enjoying the previous book I couldn't wait to start this one and I thought for sure that it would be just as good. It wasn't. Still a good and exciting read, but just not as good as the other. However, I liked it enough to want to keep reading the series and I think a lot of that has to do with the main character as well as the ending of this book, which was fantastic.
I was so excited to get back to Fairyland with September and see all of her friends again. We do get to see them, but not in the way you may think. We are also introduced to a number of new characters and I think there were only two that I really enjoyed. Aubergine and Belinda Cabbage. I found them both very interesting. I also enjoyed the Watchful Dress, which isn't a character per se, but a very useful tool. It was pretty awesome and I wish I had a dress just like it. Most of the other characters just didn't appeal to me and weren't as developed as well as those in the previous book.
I thought the plot of the story was entertaining, but during some parts of September's adventure the story moved more slowly and became uninteresting. I was always counting the pages until the next chapter; I hate having to do that! This didn't happen more than once or twice, so it didn't discourage me from reading. It was just a little bump in the road. However, the ending was so amazing and emotional that I actually shed some tears! It was because of the ending that I gave the book 4 rather than 3 stars. The book also became way more interesting towards the end and it really picked up the pace.
Overall, I did enjoy the book and bumped up my rating because of the ending. I was a little disappointed that it wasn't as good as the first, but I still recommend reading this one. I love the world and the characters so much that I am going to have to pick up the next book in the series right away. If you love Alice in Wonderland type books I think you will really enjoy this series. I actually like these books more than Alice in Wonderland.
Our protagonist is September, a young girl who is once again thrust into saving Fairyland. This time, she has only the shadows of her allies, and they're just not the same. As her heart learns to open, so too does it learn to grieve and be betrayed and be strong and fierce.
This book is just delicious, magical, and lingering.