Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Boy who Lost Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente

Summary (from Goodreads):

When a young troll named Hawthorn is stolen from Fairyland by the Golden Wind, he becomes a changeling – a human boy -- in the strange city of Chicago, a place no less bizarre and magical than Fairyland when seen through trollish eyes. Left with a human family, Hawthorn struggles with his troll nature and his changeling fate. But when he turns twelve, he stumbles upon a way back home, to a Fairyland much changed from the one he remembers. Hawthorn finds himself at the center of a changeling revolution--until he comes face to face with a beautiful young Scientiste with very big, very red assistant.

Time magazine has praised Catherynne M. Valente's Fairyland books as "one of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century." In this fourth installment of her saga, Valente 's wisdom and wit will charm readers of all ages.

There is nothing else out there that comes remotely close to these books. Yes, there are plenty of books that deal with the land of fairies. However, none are written so masterfully, nor have such a remarkable narrator.
As even the narrator points out at one point, I was a tiny bit disappointed to be reading a book that was not about a certain other favorite main character of mine. However, I was told what would happen by the narrator later in the story, and this sort of got rid of all my guessing when she’d show up. Also, the new characters were pretty interesting as well.
I enjoyed getting some of the story in the ordinary human world. It was so sad to read about how furniture didn’t talk and creativity wasn’t always seen as impressive. I loved that the kids at Hawthorn’s school were impressed though. I love that the school became a political kingdom. And I loved making all the comparisons between the two worlds. It was also a story of changelings that I never heard before. I liked getting the respective of the other changeling, of the troll left to live with humans.
But more than anything, what stood out here, as in all the other books by this author, was the writing. It’s whimsical and over the top. Sometimes I’d laugh out loud, and at other moments I’d gasp in shock. Really, the writing so brilliant, I’d routinely pause in my reading, and go back to read certain passages out loud.  Passages like, ““English loves to stay out all night dancing with other languages, all decked out in sparkling prepositions and irregular verbs. It is unruly and will not obey—just when you think you have it in hand, it lets down its hair along with a hundred nonsensical exceptions.”
I give this book a 10/10. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys exceptionally well written kids books.

1 comment:

  1. I still need to read the 3rd book in the series, which finally arrived at my door after months of mix-ups, but once that one's done, I'll be reading this one for sure. I'm sad that September isn't the main character anymore, but I heard she makes an appearance and I guess that's something :) The writing, is what will always keep me coming back for more with these^^ Lovely review!