Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…the place to be for all your spooky fun this October as we count down the days to Halloween (or in today’s case, count the steps BEFORE Halloween)! Why? Because it’s FUN, that’s why! ^_^
Today on the blog, I want to wish a very merry un-….I mean bookish birthday to author Catherynne M. Valente! *throws mountains of book shaped confetti* You know WHY? Well, okay…obvious guess is a she has a book releasing today but that would only make you PARTIALLY right. How so? Because…it’s not just ANY book. It’s the sequel in a Children’s Fiction series that will have readers of all ages hungrily reading page after page like so much fairy food…and we all know we mustn’t partake of the fairy food unless we wish to come back to Fairyland. (Hehe….*gobbles up a wee bit more*) Without further ado but with MUCH fanfare, I give you today’s book of choice…
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There
From the publisher…
September has longed to return to Fairyland after her first adventure there. And when she finally does, she learns that its inhabitants have been losing their shadows—and their magic—to the world of Fairyland Below. This underworld has a new ruler: Halloween, the Hollow Queen, who is September’s shadow. And Halloween does not want to give Fairyland’s shadows back.
… Readers will also welcome back good friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. But in Fairyland Below, even the best of friends aren’t always what they seem…
When we last left September, she had tumbled back into her world just where she left off; with a sink full of tea cups in need of a watch, just minus a shoe. This time around we find our young heroine daydreaming of her adventures past in the field outside her house when all of a sudden….a rowboat rows past her on the waving ocean of wheat.
Yes, a rowboat and wheat can SO wave….just ask the two rowing through it! Bumpy ride though, I must say. Anywho, continuing with our story….September was daydreaming and wishing and WANTing with all her might when the rowboat appeared so upon seeing it, she gave chase. Always just out of reach, she was most afraid that she’d missed the boat on this adventure (get it, missed the boat? ^_^) but I dare remind readers and downtrodden September…you DID partake of fairy food my dear; the repercussions of which usually entail returning to the land in which it was enjoyed…among other things. A quick stumble, tumble and hard landing later (you try landing in a GLASS forest and see if YOU don’t wish for a pillow!) and we’re back…only things aren’t quite as we left them. Time moves faster here it’s true but it’s not merely the passage of time that’s off, it’s the shadows…or lack thereof.
Everywhere she looks, shadows are missing and it’s not merely an inconvenience for the residents of Fairyland, it’s a major magic problem. You see, magic comes from shadows, at least primarily and without them, all spells, wishes, and wants have to be rationed in Fairyland Above, while Fairyland Below parties like its 1999. But why are they disappearing? Who is taking them? And perhaps the biggest question of all….why? I can’t answer that for want of spoiling part of the tale so I’ll just say that they have their reasons…somewhat valid reasons…but every day that goes by is another day that Fairyland Above becomes like any other street in any other town without the bountiful fairy gold laden shores and lacking witches with spoons instead of wants until one day it might just up and…*POOF* (*sad face* _deep breath_) Moving forward…
While September is our leading lady, she does not alone make the story; she gets by with a little help from her friends. New this time around and most notable because I’d love to meet her myself is the Night Dodo that she happens upon in a deal made with Glasswort, the Goblin girl. She’s a “free with purchase” type “item” added on when they are negotiating appropriate costs for tickets and transportation to the latest Revel…sad but true. She’s so sweet and soft spoken (comes with practicing Quiet Magic) and just a good friend to have even if she does up and disappear when holding too still for too long.
For those looking for some familiar faces, you’re not out of luck, just in for a surprise. Remember, our journey takes us into the underside of Fairyland and for the most part it is a
While similar to their Above counterparts, they are not the same and
that lack of sameness sneaks up on you while stealing kisses, plotting the
demise of your memory, even as they grant you a chance to reach for the stars
(okay, jewels hanging from the bottom side of Fairyland Above that LOOK like
stars) on wings of your own. It’s a hard
pill to swallow as we greet our old friends but only somewhat especially if you
fell in love with Ell the Wyverary, or the tenacious blue boy, Saturday. Do not stress for too long though because
there is a quest to be taken and a prince to be waken and all things come to
those who wait….ALL things. ^_^ land of Shadows
Now, I don’t often post book trailers as I prefer to read all about it, but the ones for this series are too full of awesome to be denied, plus you get a look behind the cover at the illustrations that accompany the opening of each chapter. Ready? Set? Go…
Pretty cool, right? If you’re still not convinced, well perhaps your imagination needs a tune up because I’m telling you this is one fantastical adventure from start to finish. I’ve read a review or two that didn’t agree stating that it wasn’t nearly as good as book one, but I beg to differ; it was at least as good, though I’m not certain better. All the whimsy, all the magic, all the incredible things to think about before after and during breakfast plus the twists in the story line you didn’t even know to expect and the happy-ish ending September finds (though there is room for further adventures….*fingers crossed*). It all adds up to a magnificent romp to Fairyland and once you begin, I dare you to stop. (Not really, because you won’t want to and that would be an evil bet to place KNOWING as I know that you will want to continue.) Suffice it to say that I had a GLORIOUS time and can’t wait to venture forth with September again soon…
Recommended read for middle grade readers and beyond; younger than that and you might be asking a fish to fly and a bird to deep sea dive. Why? Because…just as this is not your average book story wise, it’s not your average Children’s Fiction title VOCABULARY wise as well. I dare say adult readers will be hard pressed at times to immediately know every word they encounter but that’s okay! That’s what dictionaries and thesauruses are for and besides, no one ever died of having too large a vocabulary; that’s one of those forever horizons you see off in the distance but never quite reach. So I stand by my assessment, good for the tall and the small and simply brimming with creativity in both word and illustration (hats off to Ana Juan for creating such visual gems to tempt and taunt our minds from start to finish! Just look at that LOVELY cover!). I love how the image at the beginning of the chapter sets the tone for what’s to follow; it brings everything to life in a whole other way…and a most enjoyable one at that.
ARC for review courtesy of Ksenia at MacMillan Children’sPublishing Group. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their complete catalog of goodness, be sure to check them out online, sneak a peek at their blog, like them on Facebook, take a gander at Tumblr or follow along on Twitter! This book was scheduled for release today via Feiwel and Friends, making it readily available on a bookstore shelf near you….if not, how dare they! I give you full permission to stamp your foot and demand one be ordered for you at once…with a smile and a curtsy of course. In fact, if you haven't read book one of the series (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making) or the supplemental short story (The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland - For a Little While), I highly suggest seeking those out too.
Until next time…happy reading!
** Oh...and in case you were wondering, I was the READER in the post title enchanted by a most amazing story....but I will gladly share that title with all of you who partake in September's adventure.