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

Posted 15 June, 2018 by Nikki in Reviews / 2 Comments

Cover of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. ValenteThe Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Catherynne M. Valente

This is a reread for me, for the sake of pure delight, and it definitely worked to uplift me during my exam period. I know these books show up in the young adult section, sometimes even the children’s section, but I really don’t think they’re primarily meant for kids: the knowing, clever narrator is surely aimed at someone with years of experience of books, including books where people go to fairyland. Surely the references — like September being Ravished — are there for the clever reader with a wide background. There are kids who have that background already, but I still can’t help but feel that it’s a book (well, a whole series) that’s really meant for adults.

Which is not to say that it’s not pure magic. Valente’s writing is just delicious, and I enjoy the heck out of her narrator. I love A-Through-Ell and I love the complex nature of the Marquess and her background; I love Saturday and the way Marids live; I love all the little details we catch glimpses of while the narrator hurries us along. (And I’m sure they’re meant for exactly that tantalising purpose.)

Perhaps some of it just a little too whimsical to really swallow, but I think that’s my fault for having too much of a grown up heart. I want to love the velocipedes, I do.

Rating: 5/5

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