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52 Reviews
5 star:
 (35)
4 star:
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3 star:
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning story made to be read aloud
Catherynne M. Valente is a name it's hard to miss in the SFF community. She's been twice nominated for a Hugo, won both the Tiptree and the Andre Norton Award and has won or been nominated for numerous other awards. She's also one of the SF Squeecast regulars, a podcast I listen to with pleasure every month. I follow several bloggers who adore her writing, such as The...
Published on 4 Jun 2012 by W.M.M. van der Salm-Pallada

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review courtesy of SteppingOutOfThePage
I've been trying hard to put off this review, or rather, trying hard to think how to rate and review it - it's been very difficult for me. I think that the only thing I can do is say it outright - this is a truly fantastic book, but it's just something that I just couldn't get away with. If I had to rate my enjoyment of this book, it'd be around 2 stars, but if I had to...
Published on 18 May 2012 by Stepping Out of the Page


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5.0 out of 5 stars Fairyland, 15 July 2014
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stunning adorable and cute I have 3 daughters and they love those books they have all of them it is amazing great for kids
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read in front of the fire (flames gently flickering), curled up on the sofa (under a snuggly hand crocheted blanket),, 30 Jun 2014
‘The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making’ by Catherynne M. Valente.

All is not well in Fairyland. Fairies are thin on the ground, flying creatures have their wings chained, Goodbye the witch has had her spoon stolen, and Marid are kept in tiny cages. Fear ingrains all those whom September meets when she is borne away by the Green Wind on the adventure of a lifetime. What a smorgasbord of magical creatures and bizarre yet amazing events await her. Along with a gentle, affection, and bookish Wyvern (not a dragon, you know) and a rescued Marid called Saturday, (whose blue skin is the blue of the darkest ocean) she seeks out tasks and adventure, leading her into the clutches of Fairyland’s ruler – the (not as nice as she seems (in fact positively villainous)) Marquess.

This is a delightful tale – let your imagination wander through the Autumn Provinces, the Worsted Wood, across the Perverse and Perilous Sea , and find the place where the human world touches Fairyland. Along the way meet Lye the Soap Golem, Manythanks the Wairwulf, the Nasnas half people and Calpurnia Farthing, Queen of the Velocipedes (and her adopted daughter Penny) amongst many others.

This is a beautifully crafted story, with all the essential ingredients of any good fairy tale, including a good dose of morality, fun and wickedness. Equally suitable for children and adults alike, any fan of fantasy fiction will love ‘The Girl Who…’. Fixing just a couple of continuity errors and a little more polishing of the first few chapters, would make this a classic to sit alongside ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ or ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

INSTRUCTIONS: Read in front of the fire (flames gently flickering), curled up on the sofa (under a snuggly hand crocheted blanket), with a mug of hot chocolate (at just the right temperature – you know how you like it), a good wind blowing outside (always makes you feel warmer), and a sleepy puppy by your feet (gentle snores and twitching paws) – you’ll be in heaven!
Read more reviews and buy the book at: Love Reading

More @ http://bazgriffiths.wordpress.com/
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 5 Jun 2014
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Never read a book like this before I was hooked. Really enjoyed it, need to purchase some more from CM Valente
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3.0 out of 5 stars THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND ....., 16 April 2014
Having seen it featured and positively raved about on so many blogs this has been on my Wish List for a long time but I kept putting off for fear it may not live up to all the hype. Something as it turns out it both did and didn't do.

For the sites requiring a star rating, as an exceptionally whimsical and magical read with some truly memorable characters aimed at ten to fourteen year olds I'd have to rate The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland a solid four, perhaps even five, out of five. But older than the intended audience and given there is so much more to a book than merely an original plot and fanciful characters I'm having difficulty in rating it.

Overall I felt this was a unique read, a one of a kind, and yet at the same time there were elements of it that were so reminiscent of other works - of authors such as Terry Pratchett and Lewis Carrol, of books such as Alice In Wonderland and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - that I found myself feeling a bit let down.

Full to bursting point of wonderfully imaginative characters and creatures too numerous to mention though I will make exception for my favourite A-Through-L the wyverary (a wyverary being the result of a wyvern and a library who happen to love each other very much). My problem being there were simply too many and whilst some were woefully underused (the three witches, Hello, Goodbye and Manythanks come to mind) others, seemingly only there to tantalise, disappointingly never got anything more than the briefest of mentions.

Though undeniably creative and full of delightful imagery, imagery so vivid as to make it perfect for a movie adaptation (arguably something the author had in mind whilst writing the book) whilst I'm sure the story would have appealed to my childhood self it just didn't live up to my adult expectations hence the final mark of a lesser if still respectable rating of three out of five.

Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper.
Disclaimer: Read and reviewed on behalf of publishers, Constable & Robinson, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, well written, original elements, 6 Feb 2014
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I very much look forward to reading the next few in the series. A children's book but definitely readable by adults. Some elements might be considered too dark for youngsters but I think it's great to start them young and discuss the themes and issues raised in the book. Some things will go over their heads but a book for them to reread into adulthood, discovering new things each time. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!, 20 Dec 2013
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Amazingly imaginative and vocabulary stretching too! I would definitely recommend this book to adults, teenagers and higher key stage 2 readers. Will definitely be purchasing the follow up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The girl who circumnavigated fairyland in a ship of her own making, 8 Nov 2013
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Amazing, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone aged 9 to 13 this book is fantastic.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me - but you might like it?, 6 Nov 2013
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Glen Mehn (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I did not enjoy this book. It is not bad, this by-the-numbers fairytale built on lush prose, with little in the way of surprise: every metaphorical gun on the mantel goes off when it's meant to, even those planted with heavy-handed deliberateness. The difficulties for me were its self-awareness, its peculiar pastiche of a particular vision of England (one filled with red thread in windows and milk-spoiling piskies) together with its admiration of Lewis Carrol and Gilbert & Sullivan. There's a lot to love for many in this book, but some will read overdone treacle where others see pleasant sweetness.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too full on straight away.....oddly written, 2 Nov 2013
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It's quite non-sensical really, no background and few details other than she sounds a bit of a spoilt brat, which didn't endear me to her nor encourage me to read on. I shall stick with it a bit longer tho and see how it continues
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, 31 Oct 2013
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An unusual story that will be a great read for my more advanced Year 6 pupils who are in to fantasy. Quite a different feel to this story.
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