The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland – for a Little While by Catherynne Valente

The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland is a lovely short story, a prequel, to CV’s other Fairyland stories.  I’m not going to go into great depth about it in this review because it’s only a very short story that you could devour in one quick sitting.  I don’t advise you to do so however, take your time a little and linger over the words.  In typical Valente style we have a beautiful little story filled with magic, lovely characters and whimsical writing.  Valente is a master of words and it’s a joy to read her stories.  The only problem with this being that it’s so quickly over!  On the other hand of course there’s always the option to reread.

The story features Mallow, who simply wants to stay at home and read her books.  She practices magic, a little.  She likes to be left alone, apart from trading for goods with the other inhabitants of Fairy.  I don’t suppose she’s a recluse, any more than I would be if I had the opportunity to stay at home and do exactly what I want!!  However, times seem  to be changing.  The residents of fairyland are being called to a gathering and a tithe will be called for.  None of them can really recall what a tithe is to be fair as it’s been so long since one was last taken but a general sense of foreboding takes hold.

Rather than say much more I wanted to give a couple of quotes from the book that I loved and highlighted as I read:

“a life is only so long.  It should be spent in as much peace and good eating and good reading as possible and no undue excitement.  That is all I am after”

“Curiosity woke with sharp teeth within her”

I highlighted more but thought better of regurgitating the full book here.  Instead go and buy it and read it for yourself.

A lovely tale, beautifully written.


13 Responses to “The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland – for a Little While by Catherynne Valente”

  1. Lisa (@EffingRainbow)

    I might have to seek this out – I’m signed up for a book club readthrough of the first Fairyland novel in August, so this might make a nice lead-in! Lovely review. 😀

    • lynnsbooks

      Yes, it will – and it’s only 38p on Amazon!! I love Valente – she just has a beautiful storytelling voice.
      Lynn 😀

      • Lisa (@EffingRainbow)

        Got it! And I am debating getting the first book in paperback. I do like me some nice fairytale illustrations…

      • lynnsbooks

        Aren’t they just gorgeous!
        Lynn 😀

  2. TBM

    Sounds like a good one. I would have a hard time not devouring it in one sitting, though.

    • lynnsbooks

      You should go get a copy – it’s 38p on kindle at the moment. I’d sooner have the book mind you for the illustrations but I’ll probably buy it when I see it out and about – but for 38p you can’t really go wrong!
      Lynn 😀

  3. Auntie

    Without even reading on, in your post, this sounds delightful. Thank you!

    Hope all our new posts, show up “somewhere”, today, for our Dear Readers!
    Auntie sezzzzzz… blog on Blogger

    • lynnsbooks

      Oh, well, be quick and get a copy for Kindle – it’s really cheap on Amazon at the moment 38p in the UK and about 56 cents in the US (that could be slightly wrong so don’t quote me but it is very reasonable at the moment.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Auntie

    Ooops, my click-able link to my blog, didn’t work. Try, try again.

    Auntie sezzzzzz… blog

  5. cherylmahoney

    I loved this! But I madly love all of Fairyland, so of course I was thrilled to pieces by a short story prequel. The ducks! It was ducks, wasn’t it? Metal ducks that tried to follow Mallow when she left home? Hmm, I need to reread. Well, whatever the details, I do remember it was an absolutely delightful story. 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      I loved the metal horse that they travelled in that was actually a carriage! Great imagination and beautifully told.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Carol

    I just can’t care about this series. I love bits and phrases, but overall the first book at least didn’t work for me. I couldn’t bring myself to read the sequel even though I haev it on the shelf and will skip this one.

    • lynnsbooks

      I can see how this wouldn’t be for everyone. I love the whimsy of it however. You can’t like all the same books after all! Have you read your new Gaiman yet?
      Lynn 😀

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