Twelve-year-old September is lonely and bored in Omaha where there are no adventures to be had. When the Green Wind turns up at her window on a leopard that flies, she accepts his invitation to go to Fairyland. But all is not well in this magical world; now ruled by the Marquess who shackles creatures in chains and demands her laws be followed. Being a good and kind girl, she soon offers to retrieve a spoon that was stolen, a spoon that is now in the possession of the Marquess.
There’s a little bit of Narnia and a dash of Oz in this otherwise original and creative fairytale. It’s full of charm and the most amazing, fantastical creatures. In fine fantasy adventure style, September is on a journey which leads her to strange lands and even stranger people. It feels like a fine fairytale for grown-ups (though younger readers with good reading skill will also be charmed, I’m sure).
My favourite characters included A-Through-L (Ell for short) the Wyverary; that’s a cross between a wyvern and a library. Though Ell had only read from A to L and therefore couldn’t answer questions on subjects starting M to Z. Also the soap golem, whose story is so sad but also gives September some wise advice like to not be ashamed of her naked body. I loved the fact that the story included some great morals that weren’t preachy and felt just like part of the story.
Oh that little lantern. It was so expressive in its simplicity and I felt so much for it. There are so many characters it feels like it should be too many, but somehow it all works. Each had their part and the style meant they didn’t need to be fully evolved individuals.
I liked that it looked at fairytales from different sides. Does anyone stop to think what happens to those children who stumble into other worlds only to have to go back to their monochrome lives? It cannot be an easy psychological adjustment. Especially if, like the children of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, you’ve grown into adults while you were gone, only to be thrust back into children’s bodies.
If anyone tries to tell you girls don’t have adventures, give them The Girl Who Navigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. It’s simply wonderful.
Also reviewed @ Once Upon a Time
Shelve next to: Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Book Source: Purchased
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