Alright you guys, if you haven’t heard of this series I am about to change your life. My best friend Mhairi (the cowriter of this blog) gave me the first book in this series for Christmas and I swear it was life changing. They don’t immediately jump out as a “life changing” book- midgrade fantasy about a girl who goes to Fairyland. It sounds like the type of book that you might get for your little cousin or kid. But this series is honestly one of the best-written books I have ever read. Gorgeous prose flows through every page, and the story is populated by sweet, funny, loveable characters that just make you want to jump into the story. Although it is written for children the themes are applicable for any age (I almost cried in the second book) and the plotting is very well done.
I’ll be honest, I was slightly worried about picking up this book. The fourth book in the series has a different cast of characters than the first three, and sometimes that doesn’t work out very well. But as much as I missed September and A through L, I LOVED getting to know Thomas/ Hawthorn. Hawthorn is a troll who is taken by the mischievous red wind and taken to the human world. He’s given to a perfectly normal family in Chicago, and their infant son is taken to Fairyland to be raised as a changeling. Now, as any self-respecting troll will tell you, being squashed into a human body is quite undignified and definitely not as fun as being a troll. But Hawthorn (now named Thomas) manages to make the best of it, becoming the favorite at school. But he still always feels like he’s missing something. Until he meets another changeling.
This was an incredible book. I mean it’s written by Catherynne M. Valente, so I wasn’t really expecting any less. But this book still blew my mind. Every time I open up a book by Valente I’m like “there’s no way this can be as good as the last one”. And then it is. I still don’t know how it works. Either way, this one completely lived up to the other three. Hawthorn was a sweet, funny, relatable character, and although there was magic involved his struggles at school still rang true for any elementary/ middle school.
The magic in this story was, as always, incredible. I know I keep saying that, but there’s no other way of putting it. My measly words can in no way live up to the incredibleness of Valente’s. She thinks about words and uses them in ways that I would never have expected, but that still ring true and fit the scene absolutely perfectly. I still think that she has a bit of magic in her somewhere.
If you haven’t read this series, I highly suggest that you go out and get the first book in the series. It may still be my favorite (I can’t decide between that and the second one). It’s a sweet, funny, touching story that is both reminiscent of old-fashioned fairy tales and something that is completely new. I have never seen a balance struck between those as well as in these books, and I can’t suggest them highly enough. You can get the book here (for only $4)! The Boy Who Lost Fairyland
My final rating- 5/5
Thanks for reading my review, and until next time, happy reading 🙂