Read my reviews for book 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the Fairyland series!
*This review contains spoilers for the previous books in the series*
This is it. The end.
What I thought:
My goodness. There was such a bittersweet delight in returning to my dear fairyland and seeing all those characters I love for the last time. I was practically tearing up at the dedication, and every moment after I was brimming with such emotion. This is a series and world I loved the instant I met it, and that love hasn't ever faded. I met new characters, went on wild, romping adventures, and across five books I loved every single moment. This is a series that is more than simply special to me.
I've always reviewed them in lists, so: one last time...
Always it is darling September, who is wonderful and fiesty, more than ever here, who again and again is proved to be human. Not invincible or unbreakable or any of it. She is scared, and she doubts herself- she is Queen of Fairyland all of a sudden and she doesn't know if she wants it, let alone if anyone will allow her to have it as the past kings and queens and rulers come out of death and retirement to fight her case. She is a character I have grown to love and cherish and adore, and every fear of hers that I've learnt, every time she hasn't thought she's able to cope with a situation and has showed how she isn't perfect, I have grown to adore her more.
2. The Derby.
Essentially? No one is happy with September as ruler. So? They have a race, to find the heart of Fairyland. Anyone can participate and many do on the wild trek across the land. We get to meet libraries and old friends and cuttlefish and an octopi army that live in jars, and it is splendid and fearful and exciting and just what I could have hoped for. We have been to Fairyland many times, but only once before, in the very first book, to Fairyland Above. We went below it, to the moon, and the time with Hawthorn doesn't count to September's name. It was so good to be back, and be back with her.
3. Ell and Blunderbuss.
Both I love in their own right, but here they are together and they become friends and it is almost as lovely- and more so, in some ways- as Ell's friendship with September. Blunderbuss shows love by insulting, as all scrap yarn wombats ought, and sweet Ell is so cute about it, and tentative, and tries to insult right back but never quite manages it. They are a team I never saw coming, and I absolutely adore them. Also they read the best sort of mysterie novels together and it's splendid.
He has always been so soft and kind and loving, and it was so sad and beautiful to see his fears over September leaving play out, and see September fear those very same things. The utter care these two have for each other is completely unique to this series, and the growth of their relationship, playing out sumptuously and delicately with each book, has been slow burning and full of longing and I have celebrated every triumph, every moment of sharing and love.
5. The plot.
Of course, we have the overarcing plot to consider, that of September being in Fairyland now for long enough that her family has missed her, and getting to know her parents and Aunt Margaret a little was just so unexpected, after seeing but glimpses of them for years, and nice (because we've seen but glimpses of them for years). I could see September in them so clearly, which was lovely, and it felt like I was being given the chance to know these people so important to my favourite adventurer.
We also get to see more old friends and meet new friends and see more of everything, which was splendid. Discovering new places in Fairyland even halfway through the last book was so magical.
6. The writing.
Valente has been able, from book one, to conjur up a world that feels like home to me, and slipping back into this one I was all the emotion for a number of reasons. She, as the narrator, talks to us, the reader, and it was so fond and sweetly done and I didn't want to leave. I wanted to stay in the deadly, lovely, temptuous world and never look back. She writes with such a gorgeous, divine tone and the drifting sentences and the haughty characters and the direction of everything is just so glorious. I never wanted to stop reading.
7. The ending.
It was bittersweet and unexpected and just yes.
0. If there were any, they didn't bother me. I was too in love to mind. And only the best books can make you feel like that.