Jul 21, 2013
Title: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
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. . . .
However, the characters (minus September) are kind of the reason that I didn’t give this book as high a rating as the first book. It’s not the fault of the author; the plot demands the characters to be different from the first book. In THE GIRL WHO FELL BENEATH FAIRYLAND, September’s shadow, cut off from her in the first book, has taken over fairyland, and she causes everyone’s shadows to be separated from their people. Since the shadows are like the darker sides of the people, that means we see different, darker sides to the characters we grew to love in the first book, like Ell the Wyverary and Saturday.
On one hand, it was interesting the way this book explored that darker side to the characters and the issues extending from that. But on the other hand, I missed my “normal” Ell and Saturday, and didn’t think we got to see enough of them in this book.
The plot was still great. The adventure was fun. But I still thought there was something lacking because of all these darker “shadow” versions of the characters I loved. Perhaps that speaks to September’s as she turns thirteen and grows older.
In the end, this was a great addition to the series, and I can’t wait to read the third book. Definitely recommended for those who loved the first.