The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland #2)

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland #2)

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
623   0
Write Review
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland #2)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
October 02, 2012
ISBN
0312649622
Buy This Book
      
“One of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century.”—Time magazine, on the Fairyland series 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. Fans of Valente’s bestselling, first Fairyland book will revel in the lush setting, characters, and language of September’s journey, all brought to life by fine artist Ana Juan. 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. . . .

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Enchanting

What I Liked:
Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland trilogy recalls classic tales very clearly, but, rather than coming across as redundant, Valente weaves them together into something wholly new. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (TGWFBF for short) dives back into the vibrant world of Fairyland, adding further depth and wonder to an already glorious world.

At the novel’s opening, September remains in Nebraska, impatiently waiting some summons to return to Fairyland. As the days pass, September becomes increasingly glum, missing her father, off fighting in WWII, and her Fairyland friends. What immediately becomes apparent is that our little September has done some maturing in her time since the last book. Though still grumpier than average, now thirteen, September’s a bit softer than she once was. Much as I loved the grouchy, irascible September, I love seeing characters mature, and the way that having such wonderful friends has helped her grow.

Now, I’m going to take a bit of an aside, as I seem to have a tendency to do in Valente reviews; I blame her, and the way her words inspire me. In the first book, Valente describes children as heartless. In TGWFBF, she describes teens this way:

"For though, as we have said, all children are heartless, this is not precisely true of teenagers. Teenage hearts are raw and new, fast and fierce, and they do not know their own strength. Neither do they know reason or restraint, and if you want to know the truth, a goodly number of grown-up hearts never learn it."

To some, these designations may seem rather heartless in and of themselves. Keep in mind, however, that TGWFBF is largely metaphorical. Young children do not have fully developed minds, senses of right and wrong, or, in Freudian terms, ego, which leads to that cruelty that can be witnessed in children. Teens have grown so much, but they’re not settled. They’re learning, but everything is new, confusing, awkward, and they don’t necessarily have all the information and experience necessary to parse experiences both emotional and otherwise.

To digress further, the reason I love this quote so very much is that I think it encapsulates why I, as an adult, find young adult, and sometimes even middle grade fiction, so compelling. Yes, there are other factors as well, like the creativity and subject matter, but that right there is a big reason. Though I’m a decade out from 16 now, I often identify more with these teen heroines than the ones I find in adult fiction. Partly, this is market-driven, but it also correlates to the phase of life I’m in. What it comes down to is that teen hearts and adult hearts are not that far removed, necessarily.

Getting back onto track, September does finally manage to make her way down to Fairyland and, in fact beneath it, as the title suggests. When September arrives in Fairyland, she does not find the happy place she left. You may remember that September’s shadow was taken from her during the first book. Turns out that September’s shadow has led a shadow revolution, bringing all of them down below Fairyland, and taking Fairyland’s magic with them.

Almost the entirety of TGWFBF occurs in this shadow world beneath Fairyland, and September spends her time with shadows of her friends, former enemies, and herself. Valente uses the shadows to make a deep comment about what lies within each person. The shadows represent the selves that we keep hidden below the surface. Hesitant people would have impulsive shadows, for instance. TGWFBF beautifully highlights the fact that, whatever we may show on the surface, everyone’s made up of all the same things. We’re all capable of good or of evil.

In TGWFBF, the fact that Fairyland is a mental escape for September from the harsh realities of her real life in wartime becomes much more apparent. Where September and her mother scrape by on rations in Nebraska, she can feast on delicious things in Fairyland. As her worries at hearing nothing from her father increase, she descends into the magical landscape as a way of distracting herself. It’s a rather similar narrative device to the one used in Chronicles of Narnia, but much more subtly and fancifully done.

What Left Me Wanting More:
The cast of characters delights and entrances. The one drawback I had, though, was that I didn’t quite get the emotional engagement this time, as September spent her time with the shadow versions of her dear friends, and I missed them. However, the shadows really opened up Maud, the villain of the first book. Villains so often get passed over characterization-wise, but Valente continues to build out her motivations even from the start made in the first book.

The Final Verdict:
Though the Fairyland series is marketed as a middle grade series, do not let that stop readers of any age. Adults, read this without shame, as you should anything, and teens as well. Valente’s Fairyland series is intricate, clever, and jaw-droppingly magical, and all portrayed with some of the most gorgeous writing I’ve ever had the pleasure to read.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Light Years
As a mysterious virus infects the world’s population, a girl...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid
It is an ordinary Tuesday morning in April when bored,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ryan Quinn and the Lion's Claw (Ryan Quinn #2)
Ryan Quinn and the Lion’s Claw is the much-awaited sequel...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Among the Red Stars
World War Two has shattered Valka's homeland of Russia, and...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Going Wild #2: Predator vs. Prey
The Going Wild series highlights the unbelievable (and completely true)...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1953, and the United States has just executed an...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade
In sixth grade, bad things can happen to good kids....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Before I Fall meets “bah, humbug” in this contemporary YA...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Autoboyography
Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Infographic Guide to College: A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know
For fans of the popular Show Me How series, this...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
The Hanging Girl
Skye Thorn has given tarot card readings for years, and...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
BanThisBook.jpg
You’re Never Too Young to Fight Censorship! ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Eight Days on Planet Earth
How long does it take to travel twenty light years...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation
Even monster-battling princesses get tired sometimes! But a peaceful time...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Refugee.jpg
JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Ember Burning: Trinity Forest Book 1
 
4.5
"The story: Haunted by the tragic death of her parents, seventeen-year-old Ember Trouve has withdrawn from her life. She..."
Tin Men
 
4.3
"Tin Men is the fitting, highly satisfying sequel to The Clay Lion. The story follows Charlie Johnson who we meet..."
Blood Dragons (Rebel Vampires Volume 1)
 
5.0
"Blood Dragons (Rebel Vampires, Book 1) by Rosemary A. Johns The Story: As the love of his many lives..."
The Shadow of a King
 
3.8
" Read this review and more on my blog.The Book Return Blog 'The Shadow of a King', tells the story..."
 
3.5
"Bella is terrified of her step-father. When her mother dies and her sister disappears, Bella knows she must plot her..."
The Curtain-Twitcher's Handbook
 
4.5
"Whipped through this one as it's a really chatty, easy read. After a while it's like listening to your best..."
Rebel's Blade
 
4.8
"A fantasy of the highest quality that checks every box and still pushes the bounds of originality. The..."
I Dream of Fire
 
4.3
"The story: Charlie Abbot lives in a dystopian world where “dreamers” are a precious national commodity. Dreamers, you see,..."
Undiscovered Country
 
3.8
"When I picked up Undiscovered Country I was hoping for the same sort of introspective journey as Wild or Eat,..."
Beneath The Skin
 
4.3
" Sidney Shaw has a terrible home life. Her former best friend now torments her. She covers up the pain..."
Orphan - Book 2 of the ORB trilogy
 
5.0
"Orphan may be ordered @: https://www.amazon.com/Orphan-Book-trilogy-Brad-Lockwood/dp/1548278157"
Kronnus 13
 
3.8
"The story: Zak Connors is a twelve-year-old boy who is not long for this world. A terrible virus has..."
Raise the Curtain
 
4.0
"Alexa loves theater, but her dad thinks it's a waste of time and wants her to focus on more important..."
Flicker
 
4.5
"'Flicker' by Melanie Hooyenga is a very gripping novel. The concept behind it - that the main character, Biz, has..."
Sarah
 
3.5
" I haven't read any horror novels but have a few on my TBR, so I thought this one would..."
Em & Em
 
4.0
" What I Loved 'Em & Em' was a sweet contemporary romance with a twist. There are back and forth..."
We Thought We Were Invincible
 
5.0
"I thoroughly enjoyed this contemporary offering from Lynn, as it is my favorite genre to read. In many ways, I..."
Curse of the Sphinx
 
4.0
"Curse of the Sphinx is a somewhat fast-paced story with one of my favorite types of mythology, starring the wonderful..."
Angels of Moirai, Book One (Angels of Moirai #1)
 
2.8
"Welcome to the new Twilight. *Sigh* Angels of Moirai had me at its summary since I'm one to fall..."
If We Were a Movie
 
4.5
"‘If We Were a Movie’ tells the story of ‘Nat’. ‘Nat’ is a triplet and struggles to have individuality from..."