Customer Reviews

19
4.3 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Another great cover, and another long title! `The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There` follows on from `The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making`, which I reviewed last year. It's probably not necessary to read the 1st, if you've picked up this one, but it would certainly add to the experience, so I would recommend going back if possible.

Both books are quite difficult to describe, and I don't think my reviews do them justice. They are, in essence, wonderful fairy stories, with some very imaginative creatures and characters. Catherynne's style is very lyrical, and no matter what strange thing she is describing, the words seem to flow from the page.

Most of the important characters from her earlier adventure are there, but are not themselves. In the world under Fairlyland, she meets their shadows, almost the same, but with differences - some subtle, some not so subtle. Her own shadow, taken from her during that first adventure, is in charge, and September feels that things are not right, and it's up to her to put it right.

Amongst the strangeness and magic, there are serious themes and truths, and this felt like a more grown up book than the 1st. September is now a young teenager, and throughout her adventure, she somehow manages to go through those usual teen thoughts and situations, including learning to think about others, her plans for her future, and her first kiss.

I don't see these books mentioned enough, and I think they have the potential to be future classics - younger readers will enjoy the magical strangeness, whilst those a little older will start to see a little deeper. There are many layers, and I'm sure I will find more on re-reading.

Recommended for readers of all ages who enjoy falling into a book and getting lost there.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Going to a magical world always has one big letdown: going home. Returning to the world of the mundane just feels like a letdown after epic magical adventures.

So you can guess what happens in "The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There," Catherynne Valente's exquisite second novel about the adventures of a little girl named September. Valente's writing is as whimsical and lush as ever, bringing us back into an eccentric fantasyland that Lewis Caroll would be richly jealous of.

A year has passed since September's return, and she's been patiently waiting for the Green Wind. But when she manages to return, she finds herself in a very different part of Fairyland, far from her old friends -- and she learns that something is terribly wrong. Shadows are being stolen away into Fairyland Below, and no one knows exactly why.

Realizing that her own lost shadow is connected to this, September sets out to reclaim all the lost shadows from "Halloween, the Hollow Queen, Princess of Doing What You Please, and Night's Best Girl." Accompanied by the shadow of A-Through-L, she ventures into the mysterious land of tea, parties, goblins, minotaurs, dodos and the Weeping Eel. But soon September finds that she isn't the only one who has been pulled into Fairyland...

Catherynne Valente's first children's book was one of the best fantasy books of that year -- it was witty, whimsical and quirky. "The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There" has the same brand of charm, but Valente deepens the story slightly as she explores some of her heroine's more elusive desires. She's growing up, little by little.

We see this through the mirroring of September -- bright, sensible, clever and a little rash -- and her unrestrained shadow twin Halloween. Rather than a straightforward Spunky Little Girl, it subtlely expands September into a person with two sides that have been split apart. And she's not the only one whose "shadow side" is explored either -- some almost-familiar faces appear in Fairyland Below.

Valente's writing is as lovely as ever, full of sensual beauty -- forests made of tinkling glass, peppermint-flavored moonkin, moonlit revels, machine-beasts and bejewelled seas. She weaves in some delightfully witty moments ("That's how villains get you, she knew. You feel badly for them, and next thing you know, you're tied to train tracks"), but the slightly twee tone never undermines the emotional power that September's quest builds towards.

Catherynne Valente's second tale of September's quests in Fairyland is an enchanting, glimmering little story, which never allows its wry archness to overwhelm its beauty. A truly lovely little book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
I'm on a bit of a Fairyland binge this week, so here's my review of the second Fairyland book (and the first here if you missed it).

The second book is much like the first in its style and charm and that September is our wonderful protagonist once more. The book picks back up with her, returned to normal life and awaiting for the seasons to change so that Fairyland will come for her again.

But all is not well in Fairyland, and while September expects to go back and find her old friends and have a wonderful adventure, she has trials to face first, and they're ones caused by the consequences of her own actions in her previous adventure.

Someone is stealing the shadows from Fairyland above and draining the magic away, and once again it is up to September to save Fairyland.

While I enjoyed this book a lot still, it wasn't quite the five star read that the last book was for me. I loved the adventures and the character and creatures September met, and I thought the shadow land story line was brilliant and it was great to see the shadow versions of characters we know and love. The tension of what was happening in September's home life also added a sense of real danger to proceedings.

But there were just some bits that went on a bit too long to me, and some of the explanations of things felt tedious. I think it's the formula of the story, but I got a bit bored. September would meet someone and they;d explain something which, while often was charming and whimsical and strangely logical, it did go on a bit.

Still, I think this is a brilliant follow up to the first Fairyland book, and I know I'm looking forward to where September's adventures take her next.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 18 September 2013
I quite liked the first book in this series - The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making- It was nice. It had the feel of a classic children's book and is, like this one, perfectly good for adults. Unfortunately, this one was lacking for me.

It follows a similar structure to the first: September gets to Fairyland and spends the next few hundred pages wandering around, meeting various characters, then being given a quest. In this book, we visit Fairyland below. Here the shadows of Fairyland's occupants have been gathering, depriving Fairyland of its magic. September seeks to stop this before Fairyland ... well, therein lies the single biggest problem: the stakes aren't good enough. They sound big enough, but in the writing they aren't, so the whole thing feels like a bit of a trudge. By the end I didn't really care, in contrast to the first book where I cursed the fate which stopped me reading at a crucial moment.

The new ideas here are good, but too much felt recycled. It was ... *thinner* than the first book. There aren't any new characters as good as the Marquess.

I also had a problem with a particular moment in the book and I'm going to mention it because it's not really spoilery (more that it happens a good way in) and it would effect my decision to give this to a child to read: September's first kiss. The problem I have is that it's stolen from her - and yes, that's the way it's put and it's significant for the scene. It doesn't sit right with me, but then *that bit at the end* from the first book didn't sit right with me either. I really feel strongly about having a female heroine who isn't defined by her relationship with the male characters and the stolen kiss bit - and the other things to do with that character - would stop me passing this book on to the younger version of me.

The first one was worth 3 stars (which for me is doing what I expect it to), but I'd probably recommend it less as this book is so much weaker. I don't think I'd be interested in reading the next in the series.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 3 June 2013
This review was first published on my blog http://teachermoloneyking.com/2013/06/the-girl-who-fell-beneath-fairyland-and.html

Valente has managed to write another luscious and word-candied book. Our hero falls into fairyland beneath and she joins with her old pals to go questing. Fairyland beneath is full of shadows and as shadows have all the magic, well it's a pretty fun place to be. But Septemberis more concerned with restoring both fairylands to have they should be.

There is whimsy to be enjoyed, kisses to be stolen, and princes to be found. It takes time to read this book as there is a lot of detail and layers. Take your time and enjoy it. Valente has given you a book that can be reread and read aloud to others.

This is a detailed, jewelled romp into a new myth that can be read by both young and old. This book will be stored along with my treasured books.

Many thanks to Saskia Angenent at Constable & Robinson for the beautiful review copy.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2013
I bought this for my 9 year old grandchildren.
The three of them read it in turn, all said they enjoyed reading it.
I recommend this nice little book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 11 February 2013
To read this book, you must have read the first in the series (the girl who circumnavigated fairyland in a shop of her own making) so don't buy it if you haven't.
The first book definitely deserves 5 stars however I am not so sure about this one. The world, characters and general writing style are just as good, but it seems to struggle with the plot and some of it seems rather overdone.
I would however recommend it to anyone who has read the first one as it is definitely a satisfying sequel.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2013
Catherynne m valente has made a magic masterpiece. I hope the third one comes out soon. Really emotional and I really like d it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 18 October 2014
Excuse me it's a few months since I read it but I liked it enough to buy the other books in the series. It was one I felt I wanted to keep for my children. It's quirky but coherent and well written and can be enjoyed by an older reader. This review isn't selling it but I think it is one to be read!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 17 September 2013
Magical, whimsical and beautifully poetically written!! The perfect escape from the mundane, my imagination was very content reading this. I loved this more then the first and is a must read for people who like odd, brilliant, well thought of stories and characters.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed


 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.