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The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

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September has longed to return to Fairyland after her first adventure there. And when she finally does, she learns that its inhabitants have been losing their shadows—and their magic—to the world of Fairyland Below. This underworld has a new ruler: Halloween, the Hollow Queen, who is September's shadow. And Halloween does not want to give Fairyland's shadows back. Fans of V September has longed to return to Fairyland after her first adventure there. And when she finally does, she learns that its inhabitants have been losing their shadows—and their magic—to the world of Fairyland Below. This underworld has a new ruler: Halloween, the Hollow Queen, who is September's shadow. And Halloween does not want to give Fairyland's shadows back. Fans of Valente's bestselling, first Fairyland book will revel in the lush setting, characters, and language of September's journey, all brought to life by fine artist Ana Juan. Readers will also welcome back good friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. But in Fairyland Below, even the best of friends aren't always what they seem. . . .


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September has longed to return to Fairyland after her first adventure there. And when she finally does, she learns that its inhabitants have been losing their shadows—and their magic—to the world of Fairyland Below. This underworld has a new ruler: Halloween, the Hollow Queen, who is September's shadow. And Halloween does not want to give Fairyland's shadows back. Fans of V September has longed to return to Fairyland after her first adventure there. And when she finally does, she learns that its inhabitants have been losing their shadows—and their magic—to the world of Fairyland Below. This underworld has a new ruler: Halloween, the Hollow Queen, who is September's shadow. And Halloween does not want to give Fairyland's shadows back. Fans of Valente's bestselling, first Fairyland book will revel in the lush setting, characters, and language of September's journey, all brought to life by fine artist Ana Juan. Readers will also welcome back good friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. But in Fairyland Below, even the best of friends aren't always what they seem. . . .

30 review for The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nataliya

    Oh, September... You have grown up a bit, haven't you? And learned that actions have consequences. And you are not Heartless any more, are you, my dear girl? "Hearts set about finding other hearts the moment they are born, and between them, they weave nets so frightfully strong and tight that you end up bound forever in hopeless knots, even to the shadow of a beast you knew and loved long ago."Oh, September... You've hardened up and toughened up a bit now, haven't you? It's about time for you to Oh, September... You have grown up a bit, haven't you? And learned that actions have consequences. And you are not Heartless any more, are you, my dear girl? "Hearts set about finding other hearts the moment they are born, and between them, they weave nets so frightfully strong and tight that you end up bound forever in hopeless knots, even to the shadow of a beast you knew and loved long ago."Oh, September... You've hardened up and toughened up a bit now, haven't you? It's about time for you to learn the hard way that things are not always what they seem or what they ought to be. That you need to set right what you did wrong. But setting things right is not always what it seems to be. That sometimes what we are is not what we want to be, and vice versa. That doing what needs to be done can be tiring and tedious and unhappy. "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 away at the bottom of their hearts." Oh, September... You learn once again that not everything in the world is divided up nicely and neatly. That it's not all about light and dark, people and shadows, good and bad. That your newly found heart can go to the lengths that you did not know it could, that it could go out to those who you never thought would be able to grow their own blooming branch in it. That sometimes you must forgive, no matter how much the hurt and pain was and is."Poor September! How much easier, to be hard and bright and heartless. Instead, a very adult thing was happening in that green, new heart. For there are two kinds of forgiveness in the world: the one you practice because everything really is all right, and what went before is mended. The other kind of forgiveness you practice because someone needs desperately to be forgiven, or because you need just as badly to forgive them, for a heart can grab hold of old wounds and go sour as milk over them."Oh, September... You have so many things to experience for the first time. The forgiveness from you brand-new heart. The First Kiss, somewhat rudely taken from you. The betrayal, so hurtful, even if you know it was done with the best intentions in mind."'How could he? That's as bad as killing, to take away everything a person is.' September had never been betrayed before. She did not even know what to call the feeling in her chest, so bitter and sour. Poor child. There is always a first time, and it is never the last time." Oh, September... It is time you learn to stand up for yourself, and stand up to those who love you dearly, even if it hurts you to do so. Because you know yourself, and you have a Heart. Because some things that need to be done are your job, even if you are not certain about where life is meant to take you. Because you are beginning to grow up and you need to decide what you will take with you and what you will have to leave behind. It is a hard choice, but it has to be done, and such is life, even in Fairyland. And sometimes Fairyland is not that far off from Nebraska, after all. "I shall do what needs doing myself, thank you," September said finally. "And I'll ask you kindly to stop telling me what I need and what will be wonderful just as soon as I agree with you! And most importantly to stop turning me into things I didn't ask to be and kissing me when I didn't ask to be kissed!" Oh, September... You learned your lesson well - "You need your dark side, because without it, you're half gone." You learned that taking one's choice away is never the right thing to do, even if sometimes it seems like the only thing to do. You learned how to think slantwise and backward, like a true Bishop. "After all, if enough lost things band together, even in the darkest depths, they aren't really lost at all anymore." "Perhaps memory is a thing that everyone involved has to work at, like stitching up a big quilt out of everything that ever happened to you." Dear sweet September, you get to meet the other you in this Fairyland-Below, just to find the true you in the end. And this journey was not easy and not as whimsical as your first one - because you have grown, and things are now more wistful and just a touch darker. And I'm lucky to have taken this journey with you, holding your hand along the way, marveling at all the strange weirdness, smiling at occasional Russian words here and there (oh, Catherynne Valente!) and sighing as my heart recognized the sentiments in each insanely quotable passage. I cannot wait to join you on the next journey you take, and someday maybe take my (future hypothetical) daughter on it with me and you. "You can never forget what you do in a war, September my love. No one can. You won't forget your war either."Oh, September, I easily give you 4.5 stars, wired into the ceiling of Fairyand-Below, next to the crystal moon with time on its face."A book is a door, you know. Always and forever. A book is a door into another place and another heart and another world."..................................... My review for the first September book, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, is this way, if you're interested.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Catie

    “A book is a door, you know. Always and forever. A book is a door into another place and another heart and another world.” I can’t wait to open the doors to Catherynne Valente's Fairyland with my daughters, and maybe even my grandchildren. These books are destined to be placed among the classics of children’s literature; I’m absolutely sure of it. I know they’ll each have a permanent home with me, right next to Alice in Wonderland, Coraline, A Wrinkle in Time, Alanna, The Witches, and all of the “A book is a door, you know. Always and forever. A book is a door into another place and another heart and another world.” I can’t wait to open the doors to Catherynne Valente's Fairyland with my daughters, and maybe even my grandchildren. These books are destined to be placed among the classics of children’s literature; I’m absolutely sure of it. I know they’ll each have a permanent home with me, right next to Alice in Wonderland, Coraline, A Wrinkle in Time, Alanna, The Witches, and all of the other fantasy stories that are just as enjoyable for me to read out loud as they are for my girls to hear. Earlier this year, Catherynne Valente addressed the fans of this series, writing in particular about some concerns that these books are “too old” for kids. She wrote, in part: “There is always a balance in literature for the young–you write to teach and entertain the kids, to delight their older selves, and to amuse their parents while they read aloud or watch along. The best books, to my mind, accomplish all of these at the same time.” And that is precisely what she has accomplished with these books (also, if you haven’t read that post in full, you need to). Not only are her Fairyland stories magical and fun, not only will they whisk you away on whirlwind madcap adventures through strange and highly imaginative landscapes – they’re also beautifully written, deeply profound, and intelligent. I have to admit that sometimes the million quirky little oddities in these books feel a bit overwhelming to me. Don’t get me wrong; I love over-the-top imaginative detail. I guess I just don’t love it for its own sake. There has to be solid emotion and truth tethering it to reality for me to truly connect with it. And I think that is where Catherynne Valente really shines. How else can I explain how an underground tribe of antlered people made me think about freedom in marriage? Or how a mining kangaroo made me think about how important it is to hold onto the memories that hurt – maybe even more important than holding onto the ones that heal? How can I explain how a rogue shadow made me think about our secret selves and how they change as we grow up? I just have to sit in awe of this woman a little bit, for managing to suffuse these surreal, odd little books with so much wisdom. For example: “Poor September! How much easier, to be hard and bright and heartless. Instead, a very adult thing was happening in that green, new heart. For there are two kinds of forgiveness in the world: the one you practice because everything really is all right, and what went before is mended. The other kind of forgiveness you practice because someone needs desperately to be forgiven, or because you need just as badly to forgive them, for a heart can grab hold of old wounds and go sour as milk over them.” I loved The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, but I love this one even more. September has grown up in this book, and as a result everything here is more complex and grey. Her chief foe in this book, “Halloween” the Hollow Queen, is her own shadow – cut from her body and living the life she never dared to. As September descends into Fairyland Below, populated by “devils and dragons” and all the lost shadows of Fairyland, she confronts the hidden, secret selves of her best friends, her enemies, and herself. “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. They do this because they are afraid of being stared at, or relied upon to do feats of bravery or boldness. And 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 shadows.” However, just as in the first book, September’s “enemy” The Marquess stole the show for me. The Marquess just seems to leap off the page whenever she appears – and in this case, it’s actually her shadow. Everything about her hits me right in the heart. I just adore a grey villain. Her story in this book, as small as it was, nearly broke me. “Just above us, the light shines golden on daffodils full of rainwine and heartgrass and a terrible, wicked, sad girl I can’t get back to. I don’t even know if I want to. Do I want to be her again? Or do I want to be free? I come here to think about that. To be near her and consider it. I think I shall never be free. I think I traded my freedom for a better story. It was a better story, even if the ending needed work.” I simply can’t wait to read these out loud to my daughters – because they’re imaginative and profound and beautiful, yes, but also because there’s a wonderful current of feminism running through them both. September, The Marquess, September’s mother, and Halloween are all examples of strong, daring, passionate, bold, wild, logical, clever women and I love them all. There’s one small bit of romance in this book near the end that actually made me press my hand to my heart and say “Oh Saturday…” in a huge dreamy sigh like a young girl. So yeah – you definitely have that to look forward to (and also, as a side note: loving a woman for her self and not her (lack of) experience is always romantic). Everyone, please buy these books and support this woman. That is all I have left to say. Perfect Musical Pairing Joanna Newsom – Autumn Okay, I guess I do have a bit more to say. I loved Joanna Newsom’s Bridges and Balloons for the first book, because it was quirky and sweet and spoke about flying away and finding new places and destinies. But this book deserves a much darker, more complex song. This song actually reminds me so much of The Marquess, so this is for her. Also seen at The Readventurer.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    What an amazingly and gloriously smart YA. It's not only a fun and delightful quest and beautiful flight of imagination, but it's also rife with tons and tons of literary and mythical allusions, whether oblique or referenced almost directly. It's keeping my adult brain most occupied and thrilled and slathered in smarts. And how in the world can such a tale also be written so smoothly and cleverly that a young child can follow it without a care in the world? Answer: Catherynne M. Valente. Seriously, What an amazingly and gloriously smart YA. It's not only a fun and delightful quest and beautiful flight of imagination, but it's also rife with tons and tons of literary and mythical allusions, whether oblique or referenced almost directly. It's keeping my adult brain most occupied and thrilled and slathered in smarts. And how in the world can such a tale also be written so smoothly and cleverly that a young child can follow it without a care in the world? Answer: Catherynne M. Valente. Seriously, people. She writes as if her pen were Michaels fiery sword or as if she were drawing from the long-brilliant tradition of the best snarky English authors, and Valente is American. *gasp* Shadows are magic and allow you to have magic, you know, and the lady of teas and the mister of coffees have a way of masterfully messing up your drink. One word of warning, though. The Revels don't actually happen until the very end. Sorry for the spoilers. The rest of the book is sheer adventure.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Megan Baxter

    Even if I didn't love this quite as much as I loved the first one (and I loved that one quite a lot!), I still very much enjoyed my second trip to Fairyland, holding on to September's coat-tails, hiding while she underwent another set of adventures, but this time with the burden of a newly-grown heart. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire revi Even if I didn't love this quite as much as I loved the first one (and I loved that one quite a lot!), I still very much enjoyed my second trip to Fairyland, holding on to September's coat-tails, hiding while she underwent another set of adventures, but this time with the burden of a newly-grown heart. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mari

    [March 23, 2015] Putting together any semblance of a review is difficult for me because of all the ways I loved this book and how much I'm loving this series. My notes are really just a bunch of highlights and exclamation points and things I wish I could memorize instantly and internalize forever. Words I want to eat and I wish were my own and I'd love to display. Characters as bright as the setting and a setting as unique as the characters. I want everyone to love this as much as I do, but here [March 23, 2015] Putting together any semblance of a review is difficult for me because of all the ways I loved this book and how much I'm loving this series. My notes are really just a bunch of highlights and exclamation points and things I wish I could memorize instantly and internalize forever. Words I want to eat and I wish were my own and I'd love to display. Characters as bright as the setting and a setting as unique as the characters. I want everyone to love this as much as I do, but here is one instance where it wouldn't bother me if no one else loved it; there'd only be more to keep to myself. I loved the first installment of this series and was a little hesitant going into the follow-up, scared that I would be disappointed with what I found. Not so. The Girl Who Fell is every bit as wonderfully written and beautifully woven as The Girl Who Circumnavigated. It even seems a bit smarter for the line of continuity it created. One scene of the adventure she had in book one has led to a new situation needing solving in book two. Not only that, but we find September a year older, that much smarter, and all of her story a helping darker for the lessons she's learned and what she still has to learn about people, and the burden of having an ever-growing heart. This story is jam packed full of oddities and details. Every encounter brings a new creature with a new story and I suppose that this could be completely overwhelming. What keeps it grounded for me are the messages Valente sends through every interaction. There is so much to chew on and so many big life observations mixed into a seemingly simple fairytale. Valente does an amazing thing by making Fairyland deceptively accessible. None of her prose feels overly dressed up, and yet all of her prose feels full of life. The entire premise of this book is a good example. September travels to Fairyland-Below to find her shadow and set things right. At face value, it's the story of a girl and her shadow, yet Valente manages to fit in so much about light and dark and gray and forgiveness and the good and bad things people do and hope and memories and pain and what makes a person a person. Yes, this is one big squee-fest. I will say that I was a little slow to really get into the story, mostly because I was anxious to see 1- if we would encounter some of my much loved supporting characters and 2- I wanted to know how September would make it out of her dilemma. It was probably my own mindset that made it difficult to settle here, though there is a sort of ambling pace as all the pieces of the new adventure fall into place. I wish I had more to say. Perhaps one day, I will have. For now: I loved this book. [April 6, 2016] My full review above does a pretty good job capturing my love for this series. I'm marking for reread and to make one additional note: The slower pace of the first half of the story wasn't a me thing, I don't think. I think this book does just amble a bit more than the first. Something about being already familiar with the world and yet discovering all these new pieces of it just slows the story down a bit. Not enough that this is anything less than 5 stars for me, but the slowness is there. I loved the continuity here. I think it was frustrating for me the first time around to not get more of the characters I fell in love with, but this time, I appreciated the ones we were introduced to and the way we got some really wonderful and significant cameos. [April 1, 2020] Marking for reread. [December 2, 2020] Marking for reread. "The smell of loving is a difficult one to describe, but if you think of the times when someone has held you close and made you safe, you will remember how it smells just as well as I do." "Hearts set about finding other hearts the moment they are born, and between them, they weave nets so frightfully strong and tight that you end up bound forever in hopeless knots, even to the shadow of a beast you knew and loved long ago." "But some stories sprout bright vines that tendril off beyond our sight, carrying the folk we love best with them, and if I knew how to accept that with grace, I would share the secret." "Friends can go odd on you and do things you don't like, but that doesn't make them strangers." "A book is a door, you know. Always and forever. A book is a door into another place and another heart and another world." "People will call you whatever they want. New owners, new name. If it bothers you, you oughtn't come when you're called. They'll learn eventually. I rarely come trotting when someone hollers for me. That's all a name's for, in the end."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Misty

    INITIALLY: Whoa, wait a minute. More September? Woot! Edit: Just read the description, and Holy Effing Velocipedes, I want this NOW. AND THEN: What can I say that I didn't already say in my review of The Girl Who Circumnavigated ? When I finished the first book, it felt complete. That's not to say there wasn't room for more, but it felt like it easily could have been a somewhat open-ended stand-alone book, and I was happy about that. But that doesn't mean I wasn't tickled to death to hear there INITIALLY: Whoa, wait a minute. More September? Woot! Edit: Just read the description, and Holy Effing Velocipedes, I want this NOW. AND THEN: What can I say that I didn't already say in my review of The Girl Who Circumnavigated ? When I finished the first book, it felt complete. That's not to say there wasn't room for more, but it felt like it easily could have been a somewhat open-ended stand-alone book, and I was happy about that. But that doesn't mean I wasn't tickled to death to hear there was a book two - and that it dealt with September's shadow! In fact, I wasn't even nervous going into this that it was going to be a lesser book than the first, as I often am with sequels and 2nd-in-a-series books. I went into this fairly confident that Valente would masterfully avoid the Sophomore Slump, and I think she did.  The Girl Who Fell is just as strong as its predecessor, but with a with a more mature, more insightful September at the helm. Now, I think some people are going to find this a little...hmm - harder? to connect to; I think they'll find it less whimsical and a bit darker, and September a little more serious, and they may interpret that as the story losing some of its magic and charm. But I don't think that's the case, and I personally found it the opposite. I think it's simply that things have changed. September is older now (as our narrator coyly tells us, she now has the beginnings of a heart), and her perception and experiences are different. She's more thoughtful - and more hesitant - which I think for some readers will mean the magic is starting to die. Which in the scope of all things fairy is generally true - the older you get, the more it slips away... But September is still September, even though everyone around her is a shadow of what they're supposed to be (literally), and I think she still comes through very strongly. I actually  really really love  that September is starting to grow up (as much as we may not want her two); this makes her so much more authentic, AND ALSO this means that a younger audience reading this can potentially grow alongside September and relate to her, and that gives me Happy Reader Shivers. But even if September is a little older, a little wiser, and a little more introspective, the fact remains that she's still September and she's still going to do Septemberly things and approach the world (both "real" and Fairyland) as only September would. And frankly, Fairyland-Below = awesome. It expands the world of Fairyland really nicely; familiar characters popped up in unexpected ways, and new characters crept in - many of them fleetingly so, as in the way of the first book, but what's so wonderful is that even the minor characters who just pop up and disappear are never confusing. Instead, they make the world full - everything has a place, everything has a purpose, and everything comes into play. The struggle with the shadows and with Halloween (the Hollow Queen, ie September's sort-of-stolen shadow) are just fantastic. I loved that nothing is ever easy/black and white. I love that you begin to feel for the shadows and for Halloween just as much as you do for their tangible counterparts. I LOVE the idea of everyone's shadows just hanging out, being a part of you but never really getting to experience, never getting credit, never getting to do their own thing. The bittersweet, melancholic streak I talked about (and loved!) in Circumnavigated ;is stronger in Fell; (shortest yet), and perfectly suited to Fairyland Below, AND to where all of the characters are now; it's not just September who has grown and changed, but all of the characters - even some you may not expect. There are FACETS. I like FACETS. Makes everything shiny. Basically, I doubt anyone who liked Circumnavigated  will dislike Fell;  those that found the beginning of the first slow moving will find the same here, but again, it's a good slow. It's a savory slow.  And it will once again charm the pants off kids and adults alike. (Um, scratch that; everybody keep your pants on. You can be charmed with pants.) Valente is still the Queen of Nonsense, and I still mean that in the best of all possible ways. As far as I'm concerned, she always will be. Long may she reign. So if you've read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and liked it, you should pick this up. If you haven't, you should do that. But if you can't pick it up just yet, maybe read this Fairyland short story to tide you over? -----> But before you go, head over to my guest post from Catherynne (and while you're there, enter to win!!) (Ends 10/8/12) And don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour here!

  7. 5 out of 5

    carol.

    Once you’ve been to a world filled with magic, what happens next? September first visited Fairyland in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Young, carefree and heartless: her adventures there exposed to her wonders and dangers; she formed new friendships with barely a thought for home. Now September is back in Omaha, Nebraska, at the end of a very long, non-Fairyland year. It’s been tough; though she has a secret she carries “with her like a pair of rich gloves, whi Once you’ve been to a world filled with magic, what happens next? September first visited Fairyland in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Young, carefree and heartless: her adventures there exposed to her wonders and dangers; she formed new friendships with barely a thought for home. Now September is back in Omaha, Nebraska, at the end of a very long, non-Fairyland year. It’s been tough; though she has a secret she carries “with her like a pair of rich gloves, which, when she was cold, she could take out and slip on to remember the warmth of days gone by,” she is more ostracized than ever by her classmates. Even worse: her shadow is still missing, left in Fairyland, and her father remains away at war in France. Like most storybook heroines returned to the real world, she has hopes of returning to a land of magic: “being quite a practical child, she had become very interested in mythology since her exploits on the other side of the world, studying up on the ways of fairies and old gods and hereditary monarchs and other magical folk.” (See what Valente does there? Clever, clever!) **************************************** Naturally, I have more to say. Naturally, I'll say it on my blog, where I can't be censored. https://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2014/... Or join me at Leafmarks or Booklikes.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    This comes out on Tuesday, and if you have not yet read Fairyland #1 (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making), you definitely should. You may also zip over to Tor.com where they have the first five chapters up for free (of this volume). Check out the illustrations too, as I really love the art in this book. While not quite my favorite Valente (that will always be Palimpsest), I think the Fairyland books are probably going to be what most people will love the most of he This comes out on Tuesday, and if you have not yet read Fairyland #1 (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making), you definitely should. You may also zip over to Tor.com where they have the first five chapters up for free (of this volume). Check out the illustrations too, as I really love the art in this book. While not quite my favorite Valente (that will always be Palimpsest), I think the Fairyland books are probably going to be what most people will love the most of her work. They demonstrate the author's ability to look at something familiar and find beauty and the bizarre in it, and to see it from a different angle. The world feels fresh despite some moments of homage, and I enjoyed this second trip back to Fairyland with September. One moment I loved that explains why I love Valente - the periodic table of teatime. Another memorable moment is the onion dance, so much more wonderful than you could imagine. Of course, like most trips back to a place we loved as children, not everything goes as easily, and September has been growing up in her real life too. There is an underlying question of whether or not she will forget Fairyland, if she can keep returning, and if she even fits in. The shadow of her Wyverary answers this question (view spoiler)[: "You'd never notice what was wrong unless you tried something really savage or magical, but the wild bits of you have been shrinking up and blowing away bit by bit. It's only that you don't really need them in Nebraska. You probably just thought you were growing up. It's an easy mistake." To me, that's a relief. Maybe we can journey back to Fairyland with September for a third time. (hide spoiler)] One little bit I just liked in general comes from a Minotaur character: "The ancient world was an appalling place. Even if it were not, love may unclose itself between any seemingly upside-down and turned-around folk. Especially if one is a Fairy Bull who can talk and write poems and have tea and discourse on natural philosophy." I think you can see why I'd rather live in Valente's universes than anywhere else.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    [9/10] I thought the first Fairyland book was mostly inspired by The Wizard of Oz. This second journey of the practical and courageous girl named September makes me think more of Alice In Wonderland. Probably because we travel through a hole in the ground to Fairyland bellow and we meet a host of incredible creatures on a twisting and turning quest of self discovery. Before I start on the story, I would like to point out that, while the first book could be read as a standalone, The Girl Who Fell [9/10] I thought the first Fairyland book was mostly inspired by The Wizard of Oz. This second journey of the practical and courageous girl named September makes me think more of Alice In Wonderland. Probably because we travel through a hole in the ground to Fairyland bellow and we meet a host of incredible creatures on a twisting and turning quest of self discovery. Before I start on the story, I would like to point out that, while the first book could be read as a standalone, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There is relying heavily on characters and events from the aforementioned first story, and it's better read after it. *** A few years have passed in the real world since the Green Wind has picked Saturday up and led her to Fairyland. The girl who had discovered that children do have hearts after all, is a teenager now, going to school, her mother still working in an airplane factory and her father still missing in the war in Europe. Growing up is not what is all cracked to be, and she misses the wonders of the other realm, the friends she made there, as well as her lost shadow: For though, as we have said, all children are heartless, this is not precisely true of teenagers. Teenage hearts are raw and new, fast and fierce, and they do not know their own strength. Neither do they know reason or restraint, and if you want to know the truth, a goodly number of grown-up hearts never learn it. And so we may say now, as we could not before, that September's heart squeezed, for it had begun to grow in her like a flower in the dark. We may also take a moment to feel a little sorry for her, for having a heart leads to the peculiar griefs of the grown. Soon her prayers will be answered and she will be swept once more into the magic land, only to discover that magic has been leaking out of the kingdom, leaving a host of troubles in its wake. Apparently the culprit is none other than her lost shadow, Holloween the Hollow Queen leading the shadowlands under Fairyland into an endless party. Bold and practical, September feels it is her duty to fix the troubles and reunite with her doppelganger. The knack is to convince this wild creature that has tasted freedom to accept the 'slavery' of being tethered to her original host and behave herself: Just think, if another version of you who had not really listened when your parents tried to teach you things, or when you were punished, or when the rules were read out, decided to run off and take a holiday from being sweet and caring about anything at all? What could you possibly say to your wilder and more wicked self, to make your wanton half behave? September is not the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity ( I shall not be afraid of anything I haven't even seen yet.), and what a feast for the eyes lies ahead! Beside the shadow versions of her topside friends, Saturday the Marid and Ell the Wiverary, we are about to encounter: - a Hreinn named Taiga. What's a Hreinn, you ask? A half girl / half reindeer, fallen from the moon, chased by devious hunters for the purpose of marriage. - Aubergine the Night Dodo, a slightly autistic savant studying Quiet Physics, with an extremely shy disposition and a talent for becoming invisible by blending into the background. - Avogadra the Monaciello, another savant researching such Questing subjects as the Grail Equations, or the Damsell in Distress Variations ( The Troll-Goblet of Clinkstone Hall? A Forgetful Whale swallowed it, and took it to her pod so they could bring the Whale-Maiden Omoom back to life.) - Gneiss the Jarlhopp, a sort of kangaroo miner, hunting for precious gems. (Peridot for mothers, girasol for lovers, sapphire for sadness, and garnet for joy) - Prince Mirhh, Who Never Wakes, and who waits in vain for a queen to wake him with a kiss - A well dressed and bespectacled lady Minotaur, complete with enormous, curving dark horns - Nod the Baku, who is a tapir and likes to feed on people's dreams The shadow realm, as well as the plot, left me baffled for most of the journey (the only reason I gave a lower rating for book 2), but I would counsel patience and trust in the master pupetter talent. There are rules to follow even in the most chaotic realm, but the reader has to dig deeper into the text in order to get the gemstone of meaning: Rules of Fairyland-Bellow : - Beware of Dog - Anything Important Comes in Threes and Sixes - Do Not Steal Queens - A Girl In The Wild Is Worth Two In Chains - Necessity is the Mother of Temptation - Everything Must Be Paid For Sooner or Later - What Goes Down Must Go Up Since I mentioned gems, a particular passage jumped to my attention, pertaining to my own collection : Down here, in the deep, the jewels are more than the pretty baubles you find near the surface. They're memories - the memories of the earth, hardened and polished by centuries of brooding and dreaming and worrying. The whimsy, the humor, the subversive alterations to classical tales, the openly embraced but never mean feminism, the unbridled imagination, work just as well here as in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.. The author will make a few editorial comments in the text, a wink and a nod to the more mature reader, but my favorite speech is still coming from September (from the mouths of children): It seems rather silly to put all your eggs in one basket, King-wise. Just because he was born to it doesn't mean he'll be a good King, or do what you want. He'll be a real walking, talking person, and maybe he'll be bad. Anyone can be bad. And I warn you, in chess, Kings are important pieces, but they are very weak, they can only move a little, and the smart money is never on them to do much at all. Why not just have a revolution? It's easier. Then you can rule yourselves. In keeping with the darker landscape, the tone of this second story is darker, more maudlin, and with more painful revelations for the growing girl: It is so soon for you to lose your friends to good work and strange loves and high ambitions. The sadness of that is to grown up for you. Like Whiskey and voting, it is a dangerous and heady business, as heavy as years. [...] So much light, sweet girl, begins in the dark. A bittersweet ending left me both satisfied with the resolutions and sad that the journey has come to an apparent end. I want to know how the story of Saturday will develop from here, and I hope someday the author will feel drawn back to her character, and I will have one more book on the shelves, because: A library is never complete. That's the joy of it. We are always seeking one more book to add to our collection.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    As anyone can see here on GR, I've marked one hell of a lot of quotes from this book - just as I did for the 1st volume. That's how wonderful Cathrynne M. Valente's writing is. Poetic and beautiful without being pretentious or haughty. So this is the 2nd Fairyland book about the girl named September. Naturally, after all the things that happened in book 1, she wants nothing more than to go back to Fairyland. But she must wait her turn - something that hurt me as much as her while reading the firs As anyone can see here on GR, I've marked one hell of a lot of quotes from this book - just as I did for the 1st volume. That's how wonderful Cathrynne M. Valente's writing is. Poetic and beautiful without being pretentious or haughty. So this is the 2nd Fairyland book about the girl named September. Naturally, after all the things that happened in book 1, she wants nothing more than to go back to Fairyland. But she must wait her turn - something that hurt me as much as her while reading the first few chapters. ;P And as we already know thanks to the Narnia books, you can never get there the same way twice! That is another astonishing thing about this novel: the author had the same world, the same protagonist and - to some degree - the same characters, but the story was familiar AND different at the same time. From the first page on the reader (or at least I) felt right at home although everything was quite different. Oh, and speaking about that cozy feeling? As in book 1, September gets a very special piece of clothing here too. I actually mourned the fact that she couldn't have Green Wind's jacket any more but the red coat and especially the dress a bit later on definitely made up for that! I just love how the author makes something completely unthought of (after all, all heroes are dressed one way or another without anyone ever thinking about the clothes) into something with a mind of its own. This time the book is about feeling out of place, for example (view spoiler)[while September is still in our "normal" world she's being bullied at school (hide spoiler)] which was quite heart-breaking. This theme continued throughout the book (view spoiler)[with September not knowing what she wanted herself to be or where her place was (hide spoiler)] so there was a nice connection between the worlds (I would have hated for the protagonist to become a completely different person just because she was in another world). The other connection is that a thing September did in book 1 has more consequences than she thought it would, leading to one hell of a problem that has to be dealt with in this volume. After all, every choice has consequences. But Cathrynne Valente weaves many more layers into this story. We also have the still heart-breaking theme of war and the story about September's father not being home yet. If you think about it, she's thirteen and her father is fighting in a World War (World War II, I believe) - how is anyone expected to deal with THAT. We have her mother having to be the strong one at home, keeping everything together which cannot have been easy. We have the story of being strong in general - and about being your own person (I adore September for being strong-minded but not a bully, not knowing yet what she wants to be when she grows up but knowing she has to find her way on her own)! Fortunately and appropriately, we also have comic relief again. And boy, Cathrynne Valente is really good at that too! See for yourself: The scene is about a labyrinth and a minotaur that was not as ghastly as expected but actually let some people being sent to the labyrinth live, leading to an entire village growing down there. Of course, the town didn't end well. Some years later, a ruffian broke into the place and bashed Grandfather's head in, just to impress his daddy with how big and strong he was. This had me chuckling for a little while, especially since I'm very much into mythology (to which the author gave secret nods here and there throughout the book) and know which "ruffian" they were talking about. xD Moreover, it's always nice to take a well-known mythological tale and think about whether or not it might have been different than perceived. And here is one very funny moment when I had to think of my dear friend Sean: "Well, someone has to end this! End the Alleyman and Halloween and keep the worlds separate, or else we shall all have to get jobs in advertising, and I for one would rather blow out completely!" snapped the Silver Wind. Muhahahahahaha. These lighter moments get chased around the place by more deep notions such as this conversation: "I'm a monster," said the shadow of the Marquess suddenly. "Everyone says so." "So are we all, dear," said the Minotaur kindly. "The thing to decide is what kind of monster to be. The kind who builds towns or the kind who breaks them." See? Like I said: there seems to be nothing this author isn't brilliant at! She can be funny, deep, addressing difficult topics (in a book for children!), all while writing an exciting adventure full of the most magical places and creatures in the most magical writing style I have ever seen or could have imagined! One of my favourite magical things in this book was the Stones of Memory in the mines. And the feast before the Revel with all those impossible foods watering my mouth! Never throughout the story did the pacing slow or was I not thrilled, puzzled and/or enchanted and whenever I couldn't read, I longed to get back to Fairyland! For now, right after having finished the book, the best part for me is that (view spoiler)[September's father is finally home - not just his shadow, but he himself as well! I was actually scared he would die in the war! (hide spoiler)] But this is closely followed by the unbelievable excitement over the most astonishing revelation that was right at the very end of the book, in the very last sentence, when we get to know that (view spoiler)[September's mother must have been to Fairyland as well since she knows the Green Wind (hide spoiler)] ! Weeeeeeeee, this will be interesting some time later, I'm sure! :D

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    4.5 stars. Scrumptious language, bizarre and off-kilter individuals and environments, so much colour, and so many interesting choices September has to make in her journey to deal with her shadow (excised in book 1). And there's a dodo! 4.5 stars. Scrumptious language, bizarre and off-kilter individuals and environments, so much colour, and so many interesting choices September has to make in her journey to deal with her shadow (excised in book 1). And there's a dodo!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    If you liked the first book, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, I can’t see why you would dislike this one. The writing is of the same quality, the world is just as strange and intriguing — and there’s a lot of new things — and the characters are just as dear. Particularly Aubergine, who was the star of the book. There wasn’t enough of Ell and Saturday, but the plot with their shadows was interesting because it looked at familiar characters and the parts they did If you liked the first book, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, I can’t see why you would dislike this one. The writing is of the same quality, the world is just as strange and intriguing — and there’s a lot of new things — and the characters are just as dear. Particularly Aubergine, who was the star of the book. There wasn’t enough of Ell and Saturday, but the plot with their shadows was interesting because it looked at familiar characters and the parts they didn’t show to September originally, and dealt pretty sympathetically with what it might like to be a shadow, without independent existence. For me, the one sour note was that it began to feel very rushed in the last couple of chapters. September bounced from person to person, place to place, after a slower progression up to that point. It’s Fairyland! Of course I’d like to stop and smell the roses, and get to know just a little bit more of the many many things there are to know. The speed here, though, made it feel that little bit disjointed — I think the pacing of the first book was better. Originally posted here.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Caro the Helmet Lady

    Somewhat less breathtaking than the first one, probably because the element of surprise is gone and you already know that ANYTHING can happen in Valente's book, but also very good. I wonder if Antichrist Hollywood wants to make a movie out of it? In which case I hope they hire Guillermo Del Toro of "Pan's Labyrinth" instead of Tim Burton of "Alice in Wonderland"... Somewhat less breathtaking than the first one, probably because the element of surprise is gone and you already know that ANYTHING can happen in Valente's book, but also very good. I wonder if Antichrist Hollywood wants to make a movie out of it? In which case I hope they hire Guillermo Del Toro of "Pan's Labyrinth" instead of Tim Burton of "Alice in Wonderland"...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Oh September, you have grown up so much but still have a lot to learn about Fairyland Question: how do you make one of the most creative literary world's i have ever read about even more imaginative? Answer: throw in a more mature heroine in September who after a year from Fairyland longs to return only to find things not as they were. The land she fell in love with is becoming more and more lifeless thanks to the mystery of the disappearing shadows that as a result mean the magic is going until Oh September, you have grown up so much but still have a lot to learn about Fairyland Question: how do you make one of the most creative literary world's i have ever read about even more imaginative? Answer: throw in a more mature heroine in September who after a year from Fairyland longs to return only to find things not as they were. The land she fell in love with is becoming more and more lifeless thanks to the mystery of the disappearing shadows that as a result mean the magic is going until there will be none left. In order to return the shadows to there rightful self's, September will go on a dangerous journey to Fairyland below. There we find "dragons and devils" that roam free along with the shadows, including September's, “Halloween” the Hollow Queen. September and her shadow Halloween September will encounter many obstacles in her quest with the biggest being the shadows reluctance to return to Fairyland. They are happy in there dark land with all the magic, while the biggest shock will be her own shadow is the queen of this land and nothing like her. Happy to rule while throwing huge revels(big parties) life is good for Halloween. September though is determined to bring life back to Fairyland and with the help of the shadows of her friends, Ell and Saturday, they encounter all manner of crazy characters and even a long unseen family member and see an old foe in a new light. After be blown away by The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, i can honestly say i think this one is just as good and in many ways superior. September for one is a character that i just can picture her growing in maturity. She is much more assured of herself and her bravery shines all the way through. The other characters complement September and the story perfectly, with the standout being The Marquess, who is shown in a different but equally brilliant way. The story has everything, with a wonderfully creative plot, superb characterization and even a little romance at the end that all adds up to to must read for anyone who enjoys Middle Grade fantasy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    gio

    4.5 “A book is a door, you know. Always and forever. A book is a door into another place and another heart and another world.” I don't know how Valente can come up with these ideas. This series, Deathless, I swear, are some of the most beautiful books I've ever read. Unique concepts, amazing, poetic writing style, complex worlds that literally come to life. Fairytales. The best fairytales one could ask for. “She did not know yet how sometimes people keep parts of themselves hidden and secret, somet 4.5 “A book is a door, you know. Always and forever. A book is a door into another place and another heart and another world.” I don't know how Valente can come up with these ideas. This series, Deathless, I swear, are some of the most beautiful books I've ever read. Unique concepts, amazing, poetic writing style, complex worlds that literally come to life. Fairytales. The best fairytales one could ask for. “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. They do this because they are afraid of the world and of being stared at, or relied upon to do feats of bravery or boldness. And 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 idea upon which this book is based is just...I don't know, it surprised me. It's actually simple if you think about but so complex at the same time. Valente is an amazing author, for she can write something like this, a book that children could read too, in a unique way. The Girl who fell beneath Fairyland and led the Revels there is a clever book, a gorgeously written fairytale that can appeal to adults and children at the same time. I'm not going to talk about the plot, because really, I don't want to spoil this. Just go into this series completely blind. Open the book and let it pull you into the story, to find your own way to Fairyland. “This is what comes of having a heart, even a very small and young one. It causes no end of trouble, and that’s the truth." P.s. Yes, Lys picked it :P

  16. 5 out of 5

    Arie

    5 star read right up until the end, and then... I don't even know what happened, exactly, but that may be the problem. Well, if it's a problem at all it's the most tiny, minor thing. 4.5 stars. Maybe even more... I'll let it settle a little first, before deciding. Catherynne Valente is simply astounding. I want to use words like “quirky”, “whimsical” and “creative to describe her storytelling – but after reading this, I can’t help but find those words… well, a little dull in comparison. Valente is 5 star read right up until the end, and then... I don't even know what happened, exactly, but that may be the problem. Well, if it's a problem at all it's the most tiny, minor thing. 4.5 stars. Maybe even more... I'll let it settle a little first, before deciding. Catherynne Valente is simply astounding. I want to use words like “quirky”, “whimsical” and “creative to describe her storytelling – but after reading this, I can’t help but find those words… well, a little dull in comparison. Valente is a true wordsmith, her Wonderland-esque stories elevated by playful, sophisticated prose. She doesn’t assume children should be talked down to, while remaining effortlessly readable, and is further proof that “children’s books” are worth reading at any age. Full review here...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessie (Ageless Pages Reviews)

    Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog! It's hard to duplicate a success - countless series and books that follow-up first-in-line beloved stories can easily attest to how hard a feat that is to accomplish. Happily, that is so far from the case here with Catherynne Valente's second foray into her magical, modernish fairytale series with The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There. Told once again in the same wistful, cheeky tone, and with the same immediately immersive feelin Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog! It's hard to duplicate a success - countless series and books that follow-up first-in-line beloved stories can easily attest to how hard a feat that is to accomplish. Happily, that is so far from the case here with Catherynne Valente's second foray into her magical, modernish fairytale series with The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There. Told once again in the same wistful, cheeky tone, and with the same immediately immersive feeling as the first one, but with a more mature September and a more convoluted journey, Catherynne Valente once again proves how imaginative and capable a storyteller she is. Set a year after the first novel wrapped up, readers will have all new marvelous adventures, new anthropomorphic creatures, more wondrous and weird locales to sink into as they go along with September in her fight to once again save Fairyland. These two books have been absurd, funny, poignant, and filled to the brim with odd, hard-won wisdom. The second adventure with September in Fairyland and Fairyland-Below has lost none of the originality or charm that so defined the first. Without a single doubt, this newest novel from the author is another winner from prosemaster Catherynne Valente. I loved this. Even more than the first, which I would've bet wouldn't've happened before I got a chance to read an ARC of the eagerly-awaited second. With the same narrator, who frequently breaks the fourth wall to directly address his audience about the goings-on of September and her "new" motley band of misfits, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There is as highly imaginative, and uniquely told as its predecessor. Though told in the same inimitable and thoroughly cheeky prose brimming with deeper meaning, Valente has a subtle way of intertwining hard-won wisdom amid her world of absurd and wonderful creations. With just as many quotable sections as the first, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland... benefits from a larger focus on plot than the novel before. The novel still reads more like episodic vignettes than a straight-forward novel, but the overarching need to save Fairyland from Fairyland-Below drives September ever on. The first September novel came across as an original and compelling mix of a modern fairytale, with a lot of ideas and events borrowed from the ages-old Persephone myth. The forced return for eating food, the regular mention of pomegranates further reinforced that feeling for me as I progressed in my read. Here in the second, I caught vibes of the Orpheus myth - someone sent into the underworld to retrieve something vital to her/others. Though in The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland..'s case, it is not someone but something that must be retrieved. So far, both novels in this hopefully-ongoing series have uniquely and successfully blended adult themes, ideas into an easily readable and immensely enjoyable, highly original take on fairy tales. This is a series and book like no other. More mature, and darker than the first novel, September's journey shows how much the main protagonist has grown and her battle with her darker self will appeal to readers of all ages. Filled with "mad and savage beasts", September's journey to save the world and put herself right easily blends classic fairytale ideas with new, more modern adaptations. With hints at a third, and more secrets than previously imagined, I anxiously hope that this is not the final adventure with September, Ell, Saturday, and everyone else. Full of brilliant prose, multilayered meaning, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There is another winner from a very talented and original author. These books -and this author - are nothing short of remarkable. "The sky glowed deep blue and rose, and a little yellow star came on like a lightbulb in the warm evening. That's Venus, September thought. She was the goddess of love. It's nice that love comes on first in the evening, and goes out last in the morning. Love keeps the light on all night." "[September] 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 or powerful or even marvelous, beautiful parts, just locked up away at the bottom of their hearts. They do this because they are afraid of being stared at, or relied upon to do feats of bravery and boldness. And 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 shadows.” "A book is a door, you know. Always and forever. A book is a door to another place and another heart and another world."

  18. 4 out of 5

    David

    The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is one of my all-time favorite books ever, even though I just read it last year. A wise, witty modern children's story with everything from Wonderland to Oz to Narnia stuffed between its pages by a grinning author, it has Catherynne Valente's trademark wordy bling, but at a level kids can enjoy as much as adults. It's a book to fall in love with books by. I was thrilled that Valente plans to do an entire series of Fairyland books, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is one of my all-time favorite books ever, even though I just read it last year. A wise, witty modern children's story with everything from Wonderland to Oz to Narnia stuffed between its pages by a grinning author, it has Catherynne Valente's trademark wordy bling, but at a level kids can enjoy as much as adults. It's a book to fall in love with books by. I was thrilled that Valente plans to do an entire series of Fairyland books, but I opened the cover of The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There with trepidation, for it had every danger of being a disappointment. Would September's new adventures in Fairyland be as clever and heart-stopping and full of quotable quotes as the first? Yes. “For though, as we have said, all children are heartless, this is not precisely true of teenagers. Teenage hearts are raw and new, fast and fierce, and they do not know their own strength. Neither do they know reason or restraint, and if you want to know the truth, a goodly number of grown-up hearts never learn it.” September has been longing to return to Fairyland ever since she returned to her Nebraska farmhouse, where her mother works in an aircraft factory while her father is off at war. So when the Black Wind and the Red Wind bounce across the cornfields in a rowboat, this time September not only hears the call to Adventure, but she goes chasing after it eagerly. When she falls to Fairyland, though, she finds that all is not right there. The events of the previous book are not simply history as is so often the case in children's books: when September lost her shadow, it became its own person. September winced. She did not want to ask. She knew already. "Who is Halloween?" she whispered. Shadow-Ell uncoiled his neck and turned in a circle, dancing a strange umbral dance. "Halloween, the Hollow Queen, Princess of Doing What You Please, and Night's Best Girl." The Wyverary stopped. "Why, she's you, September. The shadow the Glashtyn took down below. She says when the parties are, and how to ride them true." September's shadow has become the Hollow Queen, ruler of Fairyland-Below, and Fairyland-Below is stealing the shadows of Fairyland above. And September, who is now thirteen, a teenager with a very new heart, has begun learning important lessons about Consequences and Not Always Getting Your Way and, in this case, Cleaning Up Your Messes. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There is full of not just character growth for September, but for Fairyland. All of September's old friends are back, but they haven't stayed the same either. We meet new characters who are as delightful and fearsome and frolicsome as the original cast. But this time September's moments of introspect are sometimes as poignant as her confrontations. Her heart was bruised by the kiss, smashed and surprised and unsettled by it. September thought kisses were all nice, sweet things asked for gently and given gladly. It had happened so fast and sharp it had taken her breath. Perhaps she had done it wrong, somehow. She put the kiss away firmly to think about later. Instead, she smiled at him and pulled a carefree mask over her face. And in this brief incident, in which Saturday, the shadow of her Saturday, the blue-skinned Marid boy she loved so, kisses her without her say-so, September challenges hundreds of years of fairy tale tropes and children's stories — no, it is not okay for someone to kiss you without asking, and though she reacts as a girl is expected to react, by smiling and pretending it is nothing, it's not nothing and eventually September will have her say. Fairyland-Below has twists and surprises and moments of wonder and sharp moments of betrayal. September has to start growing up - testing that raw new heart - and sometimes that means getting hurt. It means forgiving enemies and learning that sometimes your friends are not your friends. Halloween, September's shadow, is not just a reprise of the Marquesse from the last book. Halloween is her own person, with her own Wants, and September can't simply defeat her, because she is her. These are wonderful books and you should read them. I don't care how old you are.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Serenity

    Look, if I could give this book a separate rating for prose, I would give it 5 stars. The writing is truly lovely and clever, but sparkly writing without depth of plot or of characterization is simply not enough to hook me. I'm not saying that the story is completely devoid of any depth, but the pretty pearls of wisdom delivered in little witty bits here and there fail to resonate in a meaningful way. This is partly due to the fact that the characters and the plot are too simple, too uncomplicat Look, if I could give this book a separate rating for prose, I would give it 5 stars. The writing is truly lovely and clever, but sparkly writing without depth of plot or of characterization is simply not enough to hook me. I'm not saying that the story is completely devoid of any depth, but the pretty pearls of wisdom delivered in little witty bits here and there fail to resonate in a meaningful way. This is partly due to the fact that the characters and the plot are too simple, too uncomplicated, and too...frivolous for me to be emotionally invested in them. To put it bluntly, I was bored almost the entire time. However, if you enjoyed the first book, you'll most likely enjoy this one. For me, the first book was more enjoyable due to its slightly darker elements, especially Mallow's story, which really moved me. I suspect that I enjoyed this book less because the novelty has worn off and nothing really distinguishes this book from the first. I feel bad for giving this book such a low rating, given how inoffensive and well-meaning it is. I wish to say more nice things about it, but I'm drawing a blank after "sparkly writing." I still strongly believe in the author's talent as a writer, though, and I'm still excited to read her other books for adults. Perhaps the plots and characterizations of her adult books will be more complex. With writing this good, a little more plot and compelling characters could make an extraordinary read!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    I loved the first book but I had trouble staying focused on this one, it lost the magic and dark whimsy of the first one for me and I wasn't attached to much that was happening. But her writing is great and the ending was sweet. I probably won't continue the series, I'm satisfied to end it here. I loved the first book but I had trouble staying focused on this one, it lost the magic and dark whimsy of the first one for me and I wasn't attached to much that was happening. But her writing is great and the ending was sweet. I probably won't continue the series, I'm satisfied to end it here.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

    Every bit as strange and wonderful and lovely as the first book. I can't wait to see what happens next ! Every bit as strange and wonderful and lovely as the first book. I can't wait to see what happens next !

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    4.5 stars A review copy of The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There was kindly provided to me by Macmillan. 'Shadows are the other side of yourself' 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 4.5 stars A review copy of The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There was kindly provided to me by Macmillan. 'Shadows are the other side of yourself' 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.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Sometimes after finishing a book, it’s hard to imagine a sequel being plausible or enjoyable. When I read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making, the story felt complete, but I felt as though Valente had only cracked the door to the world she created, and that there was much more inside her head and unpublished books. Valente’s sequel is different from the debut that charmed so many of us: readers see a different part of fairyland and a thirteen-year-old September. I Sometimes after finishing a book, it’s hard to imagine a sequel being plausible or enjoyable. When I read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making, the story felt complete, but I felt as though Valente had only cracked the door to the world she created, and that there was much more inside her head and unpublished books. Valente’s sequel is different from the debut that charmed so many of us: readers see a different part of fairyland and a thirteen-year-old September. I admit, there were times when I worried it wouldn’t be as good as the first book. However, the growth in September’s character, Fairyland, and Valente’s writing made this the perfect sequel that kept the magic alive in every way I could have hoped for. I began The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There wondering if September would seem crazy. I realize that this sounds ridiculous because I loved her so much in book one, but I worried that her frenzy to get back would have changed her entirely. Instead, she felt like the September I knew before, just older. As I read, it became clear that September had matured a great deal. Valente’s sequel had a tone that was more serious and somber, but September was growing into a girl with a heart and her emotions grew heavier, so it worked perfectly. If there was ever a sequel that proved just how creative, imaginative, and deep one world can be, this is it. I am completely serious. Valente’s additions to this world charmed me and once again made me wish I could go to Fairyland itself. Yet even in the midst of this, Valente maintained the slightly more serious tone of this book. September had to face characters and challenges that were difficult for her to confront on an intellectual and emotional level. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels there was more than I could have hoped for. The love and care that has gone into these books is not only obvious, but I would say worthwhile on Valente’s part. I was left satisfied, but Valente added a small twist towards the end, leaving me wanting more immediately. Wherever September goes next, I’ll be among the first to follow her

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lulu (the library leopard)

    childhood favorite remains a favorite!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shauna

    Valente has done it again. How do I go about reviewing a book whose each and every passage begs to be quoted? If I started, I think I might not be able to stop, and all you'd have is one long compilation of excerpts…which might be not so bad actually, but it would rather give the plot away. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making-an instant favorite for me- felt complete. There was nothing left unresolved in September's first trip to Fairyland, at least nothing that wou Valente has done it again. How do I go about reviewing a book whose each and every passage begs to be quoted? If I started, I think I might not be able to stop, and all you'd have is one long compilation of excerpts…which might be not so bad actually, but it would rather give the plot away. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making-an instant favorite for me- felt complete. There was nothing left unresolved in September's first trip to Fairyland, at least nothing that would recquire a sequel, which is why I am so glad Valente has allowed us to return there. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (in which September embarks on a quest to Fairyland Below) sees our heroine a year older, having to navigate a Fairyland that is a touch darker and with more gray areas where everything has ben turned upside down and slantwise. Her journey, as she once again sets about saving Fairyland is at once beautiful, surreal, and profound. Halloween, The Hollow Queen-her shadow-self-has become the queen of Fairyland-Below but, as September learns, "…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. They do this because they are afraid of the world and of being stared at, or relied upon to do feats of bravery or boldness. And 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." It is a difficult lesson for a child to learn, that not everything in the world is divided up nicely and neatly into good and bad, light and dark. I would share the secret. Perhaps this will help, if we whisper it to our September, as she watches her friend dwindle in the gloamy lilac breeze, borne away on a track of quicksilver tears: “So much light, sweet girl, begins in the dark.”

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shanleigh

    I had hoped beyond hope that this one would live up to its predecessor. I am sad, and quite heartbroken to find that for me, it fell rather than flew. Now this is not to say that I hated the book; there were elements I wholeheartedly adored. The Sibyl, the Duke of Teatime and the Vicereine of Coffee, Aubergine... I couldn't get enough of them. But there were moments (more than one) where the book just seemed to drag on. I'd find myself counting down the pages until the next chapter. The ending pi I had hoped beyond hope that this one would live up to its predecessor. I am sad, and quite heartbroken to find that for me, it fell rather than flew. Now this is not to say that I hated the book; there were elements I wholeheartedly adored. The Sibyl, the Duke of Teatime and the Vicereine of Coffee, Aubergine... I couldn't get enough of them. But there were moments (more than one) where the book just seemed to drag on. I'd find myself counting down the pages until the next chapter. The ending picked up quite a lot, and of course Catherynne Valente is a genius at the art of subtly. Her ability to weave the small and insignificant details into overwhelming moments of importance and clarity is inspiring. I really have never met another author who could do the same (Well, Ms. Rowling, but really she is in a league of her own.). I think if I hadn't loved the The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making so much, almost to the point of obsession, I wouldn't have been as disappointed as I am right now. Alas, such is not the case. While The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There is a book much and far better than the average, it didn't quite live up to the (possibly unrealistic) expectations I had. And yet, should Ms. Valente release another in this series, I will still be one of the first in line. September is one of the best heroines (Knight? Princess? Bishop?) ever created, and my love for her remains strong and most definitely intact.

  27. 4 out of 5

    K.

    Trigger warnings: violence, mentions of war. 10/7/2019 I think I stand by everything I said last time. I loved it in the end and the secret of the Alleyman gives me many feelings. But it took me quite a long time to get there because I just wanted to be back with the characters I know and love from the first book... 13/2/2016 I had mixed feelings going into this book. I wasn't sure it would live up to how much I enjoyed the first book, especially when I realised that certain characters weren't actu Trigger warnings: violence, mentions of war. 10/7/2019 I think I stand by everything I said last time. I loved it in the end and the secret of the Alleyman gives me many feelings. But it took me quite a long time to get there because I just wanted to be back with the characters I know and love from the first book... 13/2/2016 I had mixed feelings going into this book. I wasn't sure it would live up to how much I enjoyed the first book, especially when I realised that certain characters weren't actually going to be the same characters that I knew and loved from the first book, but instead were almost the opposite in terms of character traits. It actually made me a little sad, with September treating her friends the way she did in book 1 and not realising that they're actually not the same people she knew and loved. I think the turning point for me with this came through the writing. There were so many absolutely wonderful quotes that stood out to me, which is rare because I'm not really the kind of person to notice quotes in non-classic books. These two, in particular, stood out to me: "Friends can go odd on you and do things you don't like, but that doesn't make them strangers." "Folk are just folk, wherever you go, and it’s only a nasty sort of person who thinks a body’s a devil just because they come from another country and have different notions." So yes. I was hesitant, and it took me a while to get into it. But ultimately, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tania

    the book trailor A book is a door, you know. Always and forever. A book is a door into another place and another heart and another world. Even though Fantasy is not my favorite genre, this is series is exquisite. One reason for this is that Cathrynne M. Valente is so original when inventing characters. In this book I loved Avogadra (a Monaciello), Belinda Cabbage (a Fairy Physickist), Maud (a Shadow) and Nod (a dream-eating Tapir) best. She breathes live into every object, even a market becomes a the book trailor A book is a door, you know. Always and forever. A book is a door into another place and another heart and another world. Even though Fantasy is not my favorite genre, this is series is exquisite. One reason for this is that Cathrynne M. Valente is so original when inventing characters. In this book I loved Avogadra (a Monaciello), Belinda Cabbage (a Fairy Physickist), Maud (a Shadow) and Nod (a dream-eating Tapir) best. She breathes live into every object, even a market becomes a character in her world. Secondly she is a magician with words, I wanted to savour certain paragraphs and read them again and again. Here is an example: 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. They do this because they are afraid of the world and being stared at, or relied upon to do feats of bravery or boldness. And all 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 shadows. my review of the first book in the series

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Hiller

    I liked this better than the first book and I liked the first book a lot. In Book 2, our main hero September has to clean up the mess that she was accidental catalyst to. She goes through a labyrinth of adventures and meets an absurd cadre of characters and creatures, but the star of the book is Valente's writing. The wordsmithing is marvelous. It's creative, playful, and many times beautiful. What makes this book better than the first (in my opinion) is that the narrative flow is much improved. T I liked this better than the first book and I liked the first book a lot. In Book 2, our main hero September has to clean up the mess that she was accidental catalyst to. She goes through a labyrinth of adventures and meets an absurd cadre of characters and creatures, but the star of the book is Valente's writing. The wordsmithing is marvelous. It's creative, playful, and many times beautiful. What makes this book better than the first (in my opinion) is that the narrative flow is much improved. The story is rarely burdened by Valente's vast imagination and inventiveness. She's still playing with language and writing prose poetry, but unlike the first.... few of these bits of wordplay jut out and threaten to toss you out of the book. These books masquerade as children's books, but as with the best of that genre that's only true on the surface and a well written tale delights all... as long as the readers has a bit of a heart in them. Escapes to Fairyland, might just be worth losing your heart or an hour of your life. That's an Easter Egg for folks who haven't read it yet :)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    There are few writers I'm as jealous of as Catherynne Valente. She tosses out ideas that might hold up entire books - or at least short stories - for single sentences in the process of world building. The Fairyland that she built in the first book, and the Fairyland-Below which is the main setting of this sequel, are rich settings full of distinct characters. Like the Wizard of Oz and the Phantom Tollbooth, this is part quest and part travelogue. It has messages and meaning and wyveraries and wa There are few writers I'm as jealous of as Catherynne Valente. She tosses out ideas that might hold up entire books - or at least short stories - for single sentences in the process of world building. The Fairyland that she built in the first book, and the Fairyland-Below which is the main setting of this sequel, are rich settings full of distinct characters. Like the Wizard of Oz and the Phantom Tollbooth, this is part quest and part travelogue. It has messages and meaning and wyveraries and watchful dresses and quiet physicks and all sorts of things that deserve to exist, even if only on the page. I am grateful that Valente brought them into being, and jealous that she thought of them first, and happy that she put them into such beautiful sentences.

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