I've decided to read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (that is one long-ass title) because I've been hearing only good things about it. However, upon further research, I've realized Valente has written a prequel to the novel. I like to read things in chronological order so before reading the actual book, I decided to read The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland - For a Little While. I will go into more details about how I stumbled upon the actual book when I review it. For now, I shall talk a little bit about this prequel.
It's about a girl named Mallow who considers herself a practical girl. She likes books, learning magic, and being alone. She lives her life the way she wants to. That is, until she meets a Jack-In-The-Green, a kind of magical being, who travels with her to the central part of Fairyland. Long story short, she need to stop Fairyland's current king, Goldmouth, who wants to bring back the Tithe, a ritual that involves the sacrifice of other worlds in order for the inhabitants of Fairyland to drink their blood to become, essentially, immortal. There's history of the world and lore and a bit of dark mystery in this short story that will leave the reader wanting more.
I won't talk too much more about the prequel because it is really short and I don't want to give anything away. I will say that the writing is incredible! Valente is a fantastic author! She has a control over words that I can only dream about having! Her vocabulary is superb and only enhances her ability to create such an unique world with many different creatures and magical elements. Her writing makes it so that you, as the reader, can vividly picture her whimsical creations! And, boy, are they whimsical! It was such a bizarre place to be in yet you can't help but love being there. I will talk more about the world once I review [insert long-ass title here]. I was just left in awe of her writing, and the interactions with her characters were quite charming.
Speaking of characters, I really liked Mallow. Her introversion and love of books is something I can relate to. When reading this, I really loved the way I was able to understand her on a personal level because I felt that she and I were so similar. I also love how, even though she likes keeping to herself, when the time came for her to stand up for her beliefs, she did so without any hesitation. She doesn't like that the burden has fallen to her but that doesn't mean she is not going to fight for what she believes to be right (LAWL I rhymed). I enjoyed her character a lot. I also loved the Jack-In-The Green, Mabry Muscat. Mabry was a bit on the eccentric side (actually, a lot of the characters were) but he was so charming. I loved the way he talked about the going-ons in this world with such care and heart. I don't know what it was exactly that made me like him but I think it has something to do with the way he flirted his way through anything. I do like a man that can be shamelessly flirtatious yet still remain loyal to the one he loves. It's kind of like he said, "Oh, yes~ I know I am pretty~ But I have this girl who I am madly in love with so don't expect much from me." So... I may have fallen for him a bit. X3 Goldmouth was... crazy... but he made for an interesting antagonist! In fact, all the characters that appeared in this prequel were pretty fantastic!
All things considered, I really do think you guys are going to like this read. It's short and not a lot of action happens but I can tell that it is a vital piece of literature that ties-in with the book very well. If you read [insert long-ass title here] and loved it, then I KNOW you're going to enjoy this. It's quirky, magical, engaging, with great characters and fantastic writing! I really do think this is worth the read.