Whimsical. Charming. Beautiful.
Those are the words I would choose to describe Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. It’s a book targeted for young adults, but a truly enchanting read for people of any age. The story starts with 12-year-old September in her home of Omaha, Neb., wishing for some excitement and adventure. Soon after she is whisked away by the Green Wind and Leopard of Little Breezes to a magical place called Fairyland. Once there she must make her own way, for the Green Wind cannot enter Fairyland with her. She befriends a Wyvern (a dragon-like creature) named A-Through-L, who’s father is a library, and not long after a marid named Saturday. Then September finds herself face-t0-face with an evil Marquess who rules the land.
September must use her smarts, courage and, most of all, heart, to make her way through a land both kind and unforgiving in order to save her friends and the magical beings who call Fairyland home.
Valente weaves well known fairy tale tropes with a darker edginess and wit, and in doing so creates an adventure not to be missed.