Book Review: The Boy Who Lost Fairyland (Catherynne M Valente)

Details:Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 256
Release Date: March 3rd 2015
Blurb (from Goodreads):

When a young troll named Hawthorn is stolen from Fairyland by the Golden Wind, he becomes a changeling – a human boy — in the strange city of Chicago, a place no less bizarre and magical than Fairyland when seen through trollish eyes. Left with a human family, Hawthorn struggles with his troll nature and his changeling fate. But when he turns twelve, he stumbles upon a way back home, to a Fairyland much changed from the one he remembers. Hawthorn finds himself at the center of a changeling revolution–until he comes face to face with a beautiful young Scientiste with very big, very red assistant.


So I’ve been on a Fairyland binge of late, and this is the latest book in the series (for now, at least). If you’re interested in the books that came before this one, you can find them here – books One, Two and Three. You can also check out my soundtrack for the series.

If you read my last review, you’ll know I was getting a little tired with the series. I complained that it was formulaic and that if the author didn’t shake things up a bit, she’d lose me as a reader (I don’t mean that to sound like a threat, it’d just be a shame not to finish the series!)Honestly, it’s as if she heard me and took on board what I said.

The fourth installment in the Fairyland series certainly does shake things up a bit. For a start, we’re not journeying with September at all. This time, we join Hawthorn a troll turned Changeling who is spirited away by the Red Wind to our world.

I loved the way the first chapter echoed that same one so long ago when September was spirited away by the Green Wind. They asked the same kinds of questions and received similar answers from the tricky winds. But the cleverest part was the way she made the rules a peculiarities of the human world sound just as bizarre. It completely flipped the premise of the Fairyland books on its head, and it worked perfectly.

There were small parts where my interest began to waver in the human world, as Hawthorn (or Tom, as is his Changeling name) and his strange ways began to get the tiniest bit irritating, but no sooner had it started to bug me than everything changed again as he found his way back to Fairyland.

Once there, there was only the slightest hint of the formula that I’ve come to dislike (meeting a strange character, having some speech/explanation and being sent on their way). It was great to be back in Fairyland and see what had happened since the fairies came back, and to meet some familiar characters too, as well as a whole host of new, wonderful ones (Tam was a particular favourite).

While you might gripe that it was obvious who was going to be the person at the end of their quest, it was an enjoyable one nonetheless. And while it solved some of the cliffhangers from the last book, it still left you with a taste for more.

This book has redeemed the series in my eyes, and I will definitely be sticking with it until the next book comes out. 


My Verdict:



Ahaha I love this book, you should totally read it!

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