Book Review – The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

Title: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

Author: Catherynne M. Valente

Format: Hardback

Year Published: 2012

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland is the sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland and picks the story up a year later. September has returned from her adventures in Fairyland changed, and the past year has forced a bit of growing up, but also thrown a few obstacles in her way. She no longer fits in with her classmates – she’s been through things, seen things, that they haven’t.

On the eve of September’s thirteenth birthday, she finds her way back into Fairyland again. What she discovers there is that everything is completely wrong – her shadow, given away during some of the events of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, has taken over the Fairyland-Below and is stealing everybody’s shadows. In doing so, she’s also stealing the magic out of Fairyland.

Although September longs to see her friends again, she chooses to go to Fairyland-Below to fix the mistakes she’d made. There she meets with the shadow versions of her friends, but they’re different, just as her shadow-self is different. She also makes new friends, and new mistakes. One of the best things about September, though, is that she’ll admit she’s made a mistake and then try to fix it. (Sometimes she knows it’s a mistake and goes ahead and does the thing anyway, which keeps her from being perfect-and therefore boring.)

The big twist in the story resolves a question I’d had about a thing in the previous book (I won’t spoil either), and although it took a while for me to get into the one – I think i was more than halfway through before I got to the “no stopping place” – once I did, I plowed through.

All in all, I’m giving this 3/5 stars –  though it would have been closer to four with the slowish start.

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