Monthly Archives: November 2013

Fairytales … Truer Than Real Life?

specfaith

I’m privileged to be writing at a wonderful site this week called Speculative Faith. I’m talking about the deeper meaning of fairytales and fantasies, and why I think they are so effective  in our minds and hearts – more so, many times, than any other type of fiction.

Head on over to read my post, here, and then stay a while and check out some of the other great articles and discussions on Spec Faith.

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Book Review: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (by Catherynne Valente)

the girl3

Catherynne Valente is a truly shining author, as The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland proves with each turn of the page. I can’t say that I’ve ever read anything like this book before. Valente’s creativity blows my mind – the places she goes with her characters, the images she conjures, the words she uses to work her spell.

This book is no quick and easy read – but that has nothing to do with its length, which is normal for a young adult book. It’s a book whose premise is undoubtedly attractive to children, but the story itself has such depth, such meat and heart, that’s it’s impossibly alluring for adults as well.the girl2

September is a “somewhat heartless” twelve-year-old girl who, when the Green Wind comes to her kitchen window in the form of a leopard and offers to accompany her to Fairyland, does not even bother waving goodbye to her mother. Her journey begins on the coast of Fairyland, where she must choose which direction to take. The path to lose her way, to lose her life, to lose her mind, or to lose her heart.

Which do you think she chooses?the girl4

September meets with many adventures in Fairyland, some of them delightfully imaginative, some of them darkly troubling – all of them of a nature to keep your eyes pasted to the page, and all of them having the potential to make September’s heart grow just a little bit more. She becomes fast friends with a Wyvern who believes he is the son of a library. She makes the difficult and painful choice to part from her shadow in order to save someone’s life. She rides amidst a herd of wild bicycles and is sent by the child-like but formidable Marquess, ruler of Fairyland, to fetch a talisman.

‘There must be blood,’ the girl thought. ‘There must always be blood. The Green Wind said that, so it must be true. It will be all hard and bloody, but there will be wonders, too, or else why bring me here at all? And it’s the wonders I’m after, even if I have to bleed for them.’

Every page, every paragraph, every word of this book is placed with seamless intent, woven to spectacular advantage into a story that is so much bigger than it seems. It is truly a masterpiece.

Sometimes you know as you begin a book that you can sit back and relax because you are in expert hands. This was such a book; Valente is such an author.

For a free preview of this amazing book, go here.

Nathan Lumbatis

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