The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente

Jul 21, 2013

This sequel to the dreamy and delightful The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is at least just as good as the first book, possibly better. It's a little darker, a little stranger, and a bit more complicated, but just as whimsical and wondrous.

Our heroine, September, is back home in Omaha with her mother, still missing her father, who is off at war. She feels out of place in school, out of touch with the mundane life of her classmates. She longs to return to the fantastic Fairyland...which she does, of course. Only to find that things are not good in Fairyland. All of the shadows are disappearing, going down into Fairyland-Below, and with them goes the magic of Fairyland. Feeling responsible for the situation, September begins a Quest into Fairyland-Below to bring the shadows back.


Her Quest takes her into the dark side of her own self as she learns a little about growing up, what it means to love, and what it means to lose people you love. She is reunited with old friends and enemies, makes new friends and enemies, and comes close to losing everything she holds dear. As with the first book, author Catherynne M. Valente offers hard truths about the world wrapped up in mystery and magic, coated in caramel, rose petals, oil, grease, and glitter. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There is enchanting and inspiring, a clear and beautiful descendent of Alice in Wonderland and The Phantom Tollbooth.

Reviewed by Josh N.
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