Book Club: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

We have decided we quite like books with bizarre titles, and so had high hopes for this unusual sounding story. Luckily, we weren’t disappointed.

This book jumps right into the action, as a little girl called September meets the mysterious Green Wind and is whisked away to Fairyland on the back of a leopard. What follows is an altogether random series of events in which September meets witches, faries, alchemists, feral bicycles, an evil queen and a large dragon like creature whose father was a library. It is a children’s story, and very obviously so, but there are little touches here and there that make it just as enjoyable for adults. We particularly liked the chapter titles, each giving a neat little summary of what was to come, keeping us all intrigued as to what was going to happen next.

Much of this book was difficult to quantify. It was hard to pick a favourite character because they were all so likeable in their own way, though we finally settled on A-Through-L, the wyvern who helps September and who was brought up in a very specific section of a library. This fact also meant it was difficult to pick a least favourite. There were plenty of twists in the tale, mainly because we had no idea what could possibly happen next, and lots of standout moments, because everything that happened was unique. It was easy to read, though most of us did find it quite difficult to get into – the first 4 or 5 chapters in particular seemed a little too random; lots of imaginative ideas but not really any context or substance. This was probably the only criticism we had, however, and once September started to find her way and was given a real task to accomplish, everything started to run a bit more smoothly.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good, entertaining read which is full of weird, wonderful and imaginative characters. And don’t focus too much on it making a lot of sense. Four stars.

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