Book Three of the Fairyland series
By: Catherynne M. Valente
Date Finished: 02.08.14
I finally got my hands on the third installment of the Fairyland series. I must confess, I did not devour this one in the same way that I did the others. For one thing, I was reading it while I was sick and struggling to concentrate on anything. For another, it deals with a slightly stickier theme – the business of growing up and what’s lost in the process. After spending two books with September, she has become very dear to me and I nearly wept on her behalf as she “takes a stab a stoicism.” I found myself wanting to keep her young and carefree forever. Even so, the book is as lovely and precious as the others and takes your new expectations and turns them upside down. There is a lot of love for the Fairyland books on this blog, so I will complete this post with quotes from the book.
Everyone has their invisible cloak of all things past. Some shimmer and some float. Some cut all the way down to the bone and farther still.
“All money is imaginary,” answered the Calcatrix simply. “Money is magic everyone agrees is not magic. Observe! You treat it like magic, wield it like magic, fear it like magic! Why should a body with more small circles of copper or silver or gold than anyone else have an easy life full of treats every day and sleeping in and other people bowing down? The little circles can’t get up and fight a battle or make a supper so splendid you get full just by looking at it or build a house of a thousand gables. They can do those things because everyone agrees to give them power.”
You know what a fate looks like, don’t you? It’s just a little toy version of yourself, made out of alabaster and emerald and a little bit of lapis lazuli and ambition and coincidence and regret and everyone else’s expectations and laziness and hope and where you’re born and who to and everything you’re afraid of plus everything that’s afraid of you.
You need a Pluto or you’re hardly a universe at all.
Some things are to be done in private, such as weeping, praying, embezzlement, and the writing of novels.
If one had to be in the kind of stories that had Princesses, it was much better not to be the Princess, for they were given very little to do other than weddings and distresses, neither of which offered much in the way of excitement or exercise.
Living is a paragraph, constantly rewritten.
At the end of the day: Really, really for me