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

Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 / 5 stars)

It’s every girl’s dream: whisked away by the Green Wind, September leaves her bland life in Nebraska behind and journeys to Fairyland! But while Fairyland is filled with creatures and magic that she adores, there is something wicked afoot about the Marquees overseeing Fairyland that is stopping wyveraries from flying, fairies from smiling, and witches from predicting the future. With the Green Wind barred from entering fairyland, September has to figure out how to stop fairyland from succumbing to the evil Marquees before its too late. 

In a book reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and other similar “portal” fantasies, we are lifted onto the back of a Leopard and transported to Fairyland. But Fairyland bends the rules of all things magical, in a way that feels new and different. September is a precocious child, knowledgeable of all things fairy-like, but still willing to take help from a Golem named Lye, a wyverary named A-through-L, and a Maird named Saturday. While she is initially portrayed as being heartless, September slowly works her way not only into the hearts of those throughout fairyland, but also into that of the reader. She has the biggest heart imaginable, going on a quest for witches she just met, or to save her wyverary friend! September is a clear picture of not judging someone by first glance, for she is filled with so much more compassion. 

The whimsical nature of the story turns this tale into a true classic. Fairyland is not just a world of gumdrops and lollipops, but a world sorting through problems, with a satisfying conclusion that leaves the reader excited to voyage back. Already I’ve ordered the next four books in the series!

There are also some darker elements to the book that adults and children both will enjoy. This is a story about not just a child, but about the world at large, about growing up, and about experiencing new things. If you enjoy Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz, then you will enjoy this!

It did take me a bit to get into the story though, for as I mentioned above, September starts off as the overly precocious, almost heartless child. The writing style can be hard to get into at first, but once you get absorbed in the story, it is almost hard to book down!

I cannot wait until I receive the copies of the next books in the mail! I’m anxiously awaiting their arrival! Until then, I’ll just dream a bit of fairyland, and pretend I’m riding on the back of a Leopard with the Green Wind. 

What’s it about?

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday. 

With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.

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