‘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.’
I was immediately drawn to this book when I saw it on amazon. I love books with that fairytale slant and a hint of mythology and this book had it! Such a cool idea, Fairyland with a twist! The first thing that struck me about this book was the writing, I love beautiful writing and my God, Catheryn M Valente writes with such flair. Although I have to say the book is very twee and quirky, which is fine for me because I love quirky, but those without such a sweet tooth may not enjoy this as much.
The main character is September, a lonely and quite bored girl at the beginning of the novel. She is precocious and headstrong and everything I like in a female character. I have to say when I began the book I felt she was very young for her age, but I remembered that this is set in the wartime era, so children seem much younger. September (LOVE the name) is an instantly likeable character that you root for throughout the novel. She is inquistive and brave and want’s to be good which is refreshing for a main character when others in the genre (I think this is classed as YA) are so edgy and rebellious.
One of the other aspects I liked about the story was the fact that September wasn’t destined or fated to do anything. She wasn’t the secret heir to the throne, or had a magic sword or in a prophecy. She was just there. I find the ‘chosen one’ syndrome so predictable now.
The characters September meets on her journey to Fairyland are also delightful. A-through-L, a half Wyvern half Library is funny kind and devoted to his human friend, as is timid Saturday, a boy Mairad. The Marquess is deliciously awful and horrible and the quest she sends September on is full of surprises. The books ending isn’t predictable, and the twist really made me gasp.
This really is the book for you if you fancy an uplifting tale full of magic and wonder. Its a short read at less then three hundred pages, so perfect a sunday afternoon with a cup of tea book. Catheryn M Valente is a real talent and I am eagerly anticipating the sequel to Fairyland which comes out in October. My only complaint is that some people may find the descriptive language a bit too much at some times but other then that it is a fantasic read. In fact I think that it may be my favourite book so far this year!
Laura 🙂 xx