Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
In the kingdom of Fairyland-Below, preparations are underway for the annual Revels . . . but aboveground, the creatures of Fairyland are in no mood for a party.
It has been a long time since young September bid farewell to Fairyland, and she is excited to see it again; but upon her return she is shocked to find that her friends have been losing their shadows, and therefore their magic, to the kingdom of Fairyland-Below... It spells certain disaster and September won't stand for it. Determined to make amends, she travels down into the underworld where, among creatures of ice and moonlight, she encounters a face she recognizes all too well: Halloween, the Hollow Queen. Only then does September realize what she must do to save Fairyland from slipping into the mundane world forever.
Come and join in the Revels with September and her friends. But be warned: in Fairyland-Below, even the best of friends aren't always what they seem . . .
Praise for Cat Valente's FAIRYLAND series :
'A glorious balancing act between modernism and the Victorian fairy tale, done with heart and wisdom.' Neil Gaiman.
'An Alice in Wonderland for the 21st century... So effortless, so vivid, so funny. Every page has a phrase or observation to savour and her characters are wondrous creations.' Sunday Telegraph.
'A charming modern fairytale...with a knowing twinkle in its eye.' Telegraph.
'A whole esoteric world of whimsy - Alice meets the Wizard of Oz meets the Persephone story with a whiff of Narnia.' Independent on Sunday.
'Bundles of imagination and wry wit... This is a sophisticated world of forfeits, paradoxes and tricks.' Financial Times.
'Catherynne Valente has, with a minimum of fuss, written one of the great young-adult fantasy diptychs since Lewis Carroll.' Lev Grossman, Time Magazine
After returning to Fairyland, September discovers that her stolen shadow has become the Hollow Queen, the new ruler of Fairyland Below, who is stealing the magic and shadows from Fairyland folk and refusing to give them back.
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Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
In Valente's second Fairyland book, with her father away at war in France, a girl named September lives in Nebraska with her mother. But what she really wants is to return to Fairyland and visit the friends she made there on her first adventure. When she finally does get back to Fairyland, all is not well: the land's inhabitants are losing their shadows to the world of Fairyland-Below and Halloween the Hollow Queen. Narrator S.J. Tucker captures the book's bedtime-story quality and delivers an enchanting performance. In addition to softly spoken narration-that is soothing and almost musical-the narrator produces an entertaining range of voices for the book's strange and wonderful characters. Tucker's narration will easily keep young listeners enthralled. Ages 10-14. A Feiwel & Friends hardcover. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 5-8-Valente returns listeners to Fairyland in this sequel (2012) to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (2011, both Feiwel and Friends). An awkward and lonely girl, September consoles herself with the delicious secret that she has been to Fairyland and saved it from an evil queen. On an ordinary day, after a long, impatient wait, September trips over a wall and falls into Fairyland where she discovers that things are not as she left them. The shadows of the inhabitants are being sucked into Fairyland-Below. September begins a quest, along with her dear companions A Through L, a Wyvern (a sweet, loyal, and dragonish beast), and Saturday, a Marid (a bluish boy). Divinely verbose, Valente's brilliantly crafted words evoke exquisitely lush and detailed images in the listener's imagination. She seamlessly and brilliantly blends elements of fantasy, mythology, and historical fiction to create a magical world so cunningly described that it's utterly believable. Startling truths reminiscent of J. M. Barrie, L. Frank Baum, and others ground the story and give it depth. Singer/songwriter S.J. Tucker's satiny voice blankets and captivates listeners. She is a storyteller in the classic sense, and voices lively, distinct characters, some with hints of exotic accents. It is not imperative that listeners are familiar with the first book, but it will lend clarity to some details of the story.-Lisa Hubler, Charles F Brush High School, Lyndhurst, OH (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* In this stellar sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (2011), September is 13 years old and in possession of a teenage heart that is raw and new, fast and fierce. It is this heart that guides her sophomore trip to Fairyland. When she literally stumbles into the magical realm, September finds that the inhabitants of Fairyland Above have been losing their shadows sucked Below by the Alleyman, a floating red-feathered hat and, along with them, their magic. As Fairyland Above becomes depleted, the underworld becomes a stronger, darker, increasingly renegade place under the rule of Halloween, September's shadow. Can September return the shadows and reset the equilibrium in Fairyland? On her quest, she's reunited with friends Saturday and Wyverary well, their shadows at least but mostly meets exciting new characters, from Belinda Cabbage, mad scientist, to a soft-spoken Physickist dodo bird named Aubergine. As with the previous title, Valente's inviting, lush, and densely detailed world is evocative of well-traveled lands, such as Neverland and Oz, but, at the same time, is uniquely its own. This is sure to draw new fans, but those familiar with the first book will find the reading a richer experience. Juan's shaded chapter-opening art puts bizarrely wonderful faces to names and sets just the right tone. Let's just hope the Green (or Silver) Wind calls us back to Fairyland soon.--Kelley, Ann Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
In a brief (but ominous) incident in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (rev. 5/11), determined protagonist September sacrificed her shadow to save a young shape-shifter girl. Now Septembers sentient shadow -- known as Halloween, the Hallow Queen, Princess of Doing What You Please -- is monarch of a society of liberated shadows in Fairylands dark underside. Because its no kind of life being [a] shadow, Halloween plots to siphon away Fairylands magic for Fairyland-Below, end the oppression of shadows, and unite the two lands under her rule. September, along with uncanny shadow-versions of a few old friends and some new companions, searches for the rightful heir to the throne in order to depose Halloween and restore balance. But the distinction between ones self and ones shadow is no straightforward matter of light and dark; September faces the uncomfortable fact that she and Halloween are more similar than September would like to believe. As before, Valente draws motifs from mythology, fairy tales, and Victorian fantasy to build an astonishing, appealing world all her own. Juans whimsical black-and-white spot illustrations ably capture outlandish Fairyland and its inhabitants. katie bircher (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
In this sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (2011), heroine September embarks on another quest, this time to Fairyland-Below, where her shadow rules as queen. It's been a year since September saved Fairyland after sacrificing her shadow and returned home to Nebraska, where she carries the secret of her adventure "with her like a pair of rich gloves which...she could take out and slip" on. On her 13th birthday, September chases a peculiar boat across the wheat fields and falls into Fairyland-Below, a dark region without rules. There, everything's "upside down and slantwise," shadows are siphoned from Fairyland and September's shadow, Halloween, orchestrates wild nightly revels. September resolutely pledges to recover all missing shadows, including her own, by traveling to the very bottom of Fairyland to awaken the Sleeping Prince. Her deliberate descent into dark, surreal places where she encounters bizarre, fantastical creatures is chronicled by the perceptive narrator whose familiarity with fairy-tale tradition matches September's self-conscious determination to behave "as a heroine." Sophisticated, prodigious blending of familiar and original storytelling elements adds multilayered texture, while the rich prose oozes exotic, imaginative imagery. Juan's black-and-white spot art highlights September's questing. Heartless September sprouts a heart during this remarkable, awesome journey. (Fantasy. 10-14)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.