Fofo’s #CBR4 Review #20: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
Profile: Children’s Literature, Fantasy
The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland is, quite simply, delightful. It is a charming fantasy romp that successfully blends the darkness of traditional Faerie stories with the bright and airy fantasy of a child’s adventure. Valente successfully recaptures the illusive wonderment of Narnia, strips it of its preachy messages and returns it to the reader, bursting with clever thoughts and language. The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland is a perfect modern successor to the fantasies of Lewis Carol, C.S. Lewis and L. Frank Baum.
The story’s protagonist is September, a young girl from Nebraska who is spirited away to Fairyland. Unfortunately, Fairyland is currently under the rule of the Marquess, who vanquished the old queen and imposed a series of bureaucratic laws on the normally fun-loving citizens. Fairyland does continue to operate, but everything is just a little bit off. September is stopped by a customs gnome at the border, and every creature capable of flight has had their wings bound in iron chains.