The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland – For a Little While by Catherynne M. Valente

April 21, 2014 Reviews 0 ★★★★½

The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland – For a Little While by Catherynne M. ValenteThe Girl Who Ruled Fairyland — For a Little While (Fairyland #0.5) by Catherynne M. Valente
Published: July 27th 2011 by Tor Books
Format: Ebook, 31 pages
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Purchased
GoodreadsBuy the ebook
4.5 Stars

In which a young girl named Mallow leaves the country for the city, meets a number of Winds, Cats, and handsome folk, sees something dreadful, and engages, much against her will, in Politicks of the most muddled kind.

This short-story is available for free at the above link.

This is a beautiful short-story that gives us an insight into who Mallow was before we met her in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

I love the concept of history that Valente explores with this novel – that it goes on and certain things repeat themselves.

Fairyland has always needed saving.

This is a story about another girl, and another time, and another terrible thing that wanted very much to happen in Fairyland. You may have heard of her, for that striped old monster called history sat very happily in her lap and let her feed it milk.

Her name was Mallow.

I think Mallow has a very interesting story and makes a great protagonist, and am glad for the opportunity to get to know her better.

Although it’s a prequel to the first book in the series, I think this short-story should only be read after The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, because otherwise the significance of certain things – like the side-story about the Green Wind, and this throw-away comment: “a sweet young Wyvern who confessed with a blush to her spring-green scales that she had, of late, become betrothed to an eligible young Library” – will be lost to the reader. Which is not to say they won’t enjoy it, but their reading of this short-story will definitely be richer if they tackle it knowing what happens in the first full-length novel in the series.

Like its full-length counterparts, this short-story is a perfect blend of whimsy, melancholy and magic, and I would loved for it to be a lot longer that it really is (only because I always hate saying good-bye to this world).

Fans of the Fairyland books should not miss this most excellent short-story, and those who haven’t yet read the books may want to peruse it to see if they might be interested in the rest of the series (the answer is yes. Always yes.)

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