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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Guest Review: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making by Catherynne M Valente

Image from Goodreads
Publisher: Corsair
Publication Date: 7 June 2012
Source : Review Copy
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Gather up your courage and your wishes; grab a little pinch of luck - and prepare to be swept away, in a ship of your own making, to a land unlike any other. September is a twelve-year-old girl, Somewhat Grown and Somewhat Heartless, and she longs for adventure. So when a Green Wind and a Leopard of Little Breezes invite her to Fairyland - well, of course, she accepts (mightn't you?).

When she gets there, she finds a land in crisis and confusion - crushed by the iron rule of a villainous Marquess - she soon discovers that she alone holds the key to restoring order. Having read enough books to know what a girl with a quest must do, September sets out to Fix Things.

As September forges her way through Fairyland, with a book-loving dragon and a partly human boy named Saturday by her side, she makes many friends and mistakes; loses her shadow, her shoes and her way. But she finds adventure, courage, a rather special Spoon, and a lot more besides .

When this book came through my letterbox I think I fell in love just a little bit as the cover is just so beautiful and it really makes you want to dive straight in.


The book is about September who is a 12 year old girl living in Omaha with her Mum. Her Dad is off fighting a war in Europe and her Mum is working all hours in a factory leaving September feeling very lonely. This is where the fairytale starts. She is whisked away by The Green Wind and The Leopard of Little Breezes to Fairyland where she is set to have many adventures.

Once there she finds herself on a quest for the mean Marquis, a good deed for some Witches and making friendships along the way. One of my favourite being A-Through-L, a Wyvern whose dad is a library so Ell, as September calls him, only knows about things beginning with A to L. He looks like a dragon but can't fly as the mean Marquis has made it law that no fairies or Wyvern's are allowed to fly so his wings have been chained up with a lock and key. Their friendship is at the heart of the book and the author really makes you care about them both to the point where later in the book it gets a little bit emotional! The characters you meet are as varied and colourful as you would expect from a fairytale but the author really makes you believe in them and this is coming from 40 year old Mum!!

This book is truly a great fairytale. The author describes Fairyland in such vividness that you feel as though you are there with September. In fact throughout the book I kept feeling how great this would be as a Tim Burton film with bright colours and slightly odd characters. I would highly recommend this to any age of reader. I say dive on in you won't regret it and you will certainly enjoy the ride.


  1. Ooh, great review! I am a sucker for good fairytales, so I'll have to check this out soon. Such a pretty cover :)

  2. This sounds like a beautiful read! great review!


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