The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente
Series: Fairyland #3
on October 11, 2013
Length: 8 hours and 22 minutes
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Fantasy
Also by this author: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There
“One of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century.”—Time magazine, on the Fairyland series
September misses Fairyland and her friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. She longs to leave the routines of home and embark on a new adventure. Little does she know that this time, she will be spirited away to the moon, reunited with her friends, and find herself faced with saving Fairyland from a moon-Yeti with great and mysterious powers.
The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two is another rich, beautifully told, wisely humorous, and passionately layered book from New York Times–bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente.
“Just because it’s imaginary doesn’t mean it isn’t real.”
In The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, September fears that now that she is 14 years old that she is much too old to be able to travel to Fairyland. Her fears become unwarranted as one afternoon she suddenly finds herself leaving her ordinary world once again. She’s joined again with her dear friends Saturday and A through L but instead of journeying to Fairyland, she finds herself on an adventure to the very moon itself.
‘Shall I tell her? Shall I be a kind and merciful narrator and take our girl aside? Shall I touch her new, red heart and make her understand that she is no longer one of the tribe of heartless children, nor even the owner of the wild and infant heart of thirteen-year-old girls and boys? Oh, September!’
From the very beginning of the Fairyland series it has been said that are heartless and they have not yet grown a heart which is why they are able to do all the wonderful and amazing things one does when they are a child. The types of things that grown-ups with hearts frown upon and look on in fear. When children remain heartless they still retain their innocence. In this story, September finds herself in possession of a new, red heart and she’s not quite sure how to handle this. She fears that once she acknowledges its existence that the fun will all be over, that she will be forced home and will never be able to return to the wonderful world of Fairyland.
Having read the two previous Fairyland installments, I’ve grown used to (and grown to love) Valente’s florid use of words. Something seemed off with this one though. It was almost, dare I say, excessive? Her typical style of writing felt a tad overdone this time around and too ornate at times. While this installment may overuse the flowery writing, this entire series is a truly brilliant read. They are anything but simplistic and are actually extremely smart and sophisticated. The target audience may be middle graders and one might argue that they are much to complex for children of that age and they may be right. But technically there’s nothing wrong with a book that challenges a young reader. But personally, I think these stories serve as a tribute to those much loved children’s classics that Valente clearly draws deeply from such as Peter Pan, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Alice in Wonderland. And more so, I feel that they’re intended as a catalyst for those readers that still remain heartless to ease their concerns that the adventure isn’t over just because you’re grown up.
While Valente’s stories draw deeply from those classic children’s novels, she incorporates an eclectic blend of mythology, folk tales and fairy tales that make them wholly unique. Her novels will forever be a wonderful adventure to find yourself on.