Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente.
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends.
Pages: 247.
Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

Reading The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making took me back to when I was seven-years-old with my big book of fairytales that I used to read over and over again. That sophistication, peculiarness and fantastical charm that I fell in love with at such a young age is something they all had and is something you can't really find in a book nowadays, but it's present and prominent in Catherynne M. Valente's gorgeous novel.

There's a strange magic about a brilliantly written fantasy such as this one, where you can throw the most oddest, random plot twists and characters at me and it won't deter me from the adventure for one second. I fell in love with a wyvern who is related to a library, I rooted and cheered for the main character to find a spoon, I was horrified when somebody lost their shadow. I've never had so much fun being so awed!

And the characters? Perfect. Like all great fairytale heroins, September is curious and courageous, but also childish and frightened at times, rightly given traits for an authentic twelve-year-old. She is fiercely determined and loyal and I didn't find myself irritated with her at any point during the book. The same can be said for her new Fairyland friends, who I don't want to talk too much about because I don't want to take away the wonder that I, personally, felt when we were first introduced to them.

Overall, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making has the potential to be a classic, one that I hope my great-great-grandchildren will have the privilege of reading. Enchanting, lively and marvelously written - it's one that I highly advise you pick up immediately!

Other reviews for The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland:
Good Books And Good Wine.
Tempting Persephone.
365 Days Of Reading.
Bookshelf Bombshells.


  1. I love the book trailer for this book. I haven't read my copy yet, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it. It's been a while since I read a fairy-tale type book.

  2. I one hundred thousand percent agree with you.

    And yes to falling in love with Ell. And hoping for the spoon. All of this.

    Like you, I want to read this classic to my future descendants.

    Fantastic review.

  3. I have this one sitting on my TBR list! Will definitely pull it out now. Great review! :)

  4. Bought this yesterday because of your glowing review. Hope to love it as much as you ! =)

    Sara B.