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

Fairyland, Book 1

Synopsis: Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.

Review: After seeing some nice reviews about this series, I confess that I was quite curious to try it and discover the September’s story.

September is a twelve years old girl who would like to go on an adventure and change her life. The solution comes in the form of Green Wind who offers her to go to Fairyland and so discover this new world. From there she will meet some characters who become her friends as Ell, a dragon who is not a dragon and Saturday a little endearing boy, who will help her throughout their adventures. But the place is governed by a Marquess, a young woman that everyone fears and who dictates the actions of each character. While September discovers this place so different from her own country, she meets many unusual characters such as Death, Ly or even Goodbye. Yes names that we do not expect to find here, and yet that makes us smile every time and I loved to discover more. But while her quest progresses, she will be forced to return and to obey to the Marquess, this detestable woman who tries to trap her.

I liked the ideas of the author here. We have a history in a “Alice in Wonderland” way. The author even has her own voice throughout the pages, giving us the impression of a nice tale told us by another person. We also have some beautiful images at the beginning of each chapter, allowing us to imagine the world and to have a glimpse of what we would discover.

September is a girl that we love to follow. She is eager for adventures while trying to pay attention to her actions. She tries to do the best in terms of people moving around her and this kindness attracts people around her. Moreover, I must say that I really loved Ell! This Wyvern is unusual and makes us smile at any time. His desire to be accepted and believed in, touched us and affects us. He is always present for our heroine, whatever happens and I can not wait to find him again.

It was a nice story and I can say that the author has a very original story that brings us back to childhood.



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

  1. The character is a bit too young for me (I would find it difficult to relate to her if I tried to read from her POV) but this is something I know my younger sister would adore. Also, I love the characters name. September.

  2. I SO want to read this series, and this may be a great read to share with my youngest daughter as well! I’ve read I think only one book by Catherynne M. Valente, and I LOVED it so much. It’s called In the Night Garden (The Orphan’s Tales, #1) if you want to read more of her magical tales in another series, Melliane 🙂

  3. September is a really cool name!! It’s the first time I see someone named September. But yeah I’ve been curious about this one for long and I love stories that get my back to my childhood. So it’s a must read for me. Great review 🙂

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