“She sounds like someone who spends a lot of time in libraries, which are the best sorts of people.”

What is this book about?

Little twelve-year-old September lived a normal life in Omaha. Her mother is a mechanic and her father away at work, and often times she is left at home to make her own fun. That is until the day the Green Wind appears at her window and requests her company on a trip to Fairyland where she is needed. Fairyland is ruled by an unpredictable and cunning Marquess, and without September’s resourcefulness and ingenuity, the whole of Fairyland might be in danger soon.

Why is it boring?

Anyone familiar with Valente’s work will know her marvelous grasp of the language makes anything she writes a pleasure to read, and perhaps how much I enjoyed this novel can be largely attributed to her delightful style. If I am honest, the story itself initially took a while to drag me in. There was a lot of Alice in Wonderland stumbling into side-quest after side-quest and they didn’t all tie in together in a way I thought was entirely worthwhile, and while the ending of the book wrapped everything up beautifully and deliciously hooked me in to read whatever came next, I admit that initially, the plot felt a little too juvenile. But Valente’s style is a pleasure to read; gorgeous and embellished without being pretentious, and of course, I could never put anything of hers down.

Who would you recommend it to?

This book is such a fun and light feel good novel. It’s the kind of whimsical tale that can be enjoyed by a range of age groups because it’s an absolute delight all around. It’s like The Little Prince or A Series of Unfortunate Events; quirky and fun and gorgeously written that anyone who has a craving for a light fantasy with a sensible and capable little heroine and great narration will be sure to enjoy this.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

I read this book between some heavy, dense novels. I was a little exhausted after a lumbering high fantasy and I knew I couldn’t handle anything as intensive, so when I read the reviews for this novel and saw who the author was, I knew it was exactly what I needed. This novel is like a warm hot chocolate under the covers on a stormy night. This novel took me by the hand and lead me on a whimsical little adventure through fairyland. If you’re looking for something light and fun that seems to not take itself too seriously (but in hindsight is an absolute masterpiece craftily created), this book will tick all your boxes.

Rating: 3.5/5

Buy The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making at Bookdepository or at Bol.com.

And if you want to know what other boring books we recommend, you can find out here.


Tharuka lives in Western Australia, gradually working her way through law school and life in general. When she isn’t procrastinating study or working, you can find her living off tea, biscuits, and the neighbourhood gossip as she makes her way through her ever-expanding personal library of sci-fi and fantasy.

1 Comment

  1. There’s a school of thought suggesting that beautiful production values and fine acting won’t suffice to carry a weak plot. I don’t think that’s necessarily true of writing, though. Sometimes a less than gripping story can be worth reading simply for the beauty of the writing. “Tea, biscuits and neighbourhood gossip”… you sound like Miss Marple :)