Like its forebear, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There is a complete delight, chock full of some of the most delicious language I have ever read. For example:
"Iago yawned so wide his eyes bulged and his white teeth shoed sharp. He licked his dark muzzle. “Cats don’t have dark sides. That’s all a shadow is—and though you might be prejudiced against the dark, you ought to remember that that’s where stars live, and the moon and raccoons and owls and fireflies and mushrooms and cats and enchantments and a rather lot of good, necessary things. Thieving, too, and conspiracies, sneaking, secrets, and desire so strong you might faint dead away with the punch of it. But your light side isn’t a perfectly pretty picture, either, I promise you. You couldn’t dream without the dark. You couldn’t rest. You couldn’t even meet a lover on a balcony by moonlight. And what would the world be worth without that?"
-Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (2012. Feiwell and Friends: New York. p. 202)
Mmmmm. Scrumptious. And there are gems like that on every page. Practically every sentence. It’s a book so dripping with beauty and imagination that it should be read only in small chunks, nibbled on and savored like the fanciest dark chocolate. This is literature designed to stimulate and grown the spirit, to nourish as well as to entertain.