My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Quite by accident, September has been crowned as Queen of Fairyland – but she inherits a Kingdom in chaos. The magic of a Dodo’s egg has brought every King, Queen, or Marquess of Fairyland back to life, each with a fair and good claim on the throne, each with their own schemes and plots and horrible, hilarious, hungry histories. In order to make sense of it all, and to save their friend from a job she doesn’t want, A-Through-L and Saturday devise a Royal Race, a Monarckical Marathon, in which every outlandish would-be ruler of Fairyland will chase the Stoat of Arms across the whole of the nation – and the first to seize the poor beast will seize the crown.
A perfect ending to this magical series! I am, as always, enchanted with Valente’s writing style, and surprised by the plot twists, and utterly in love with every character!
I don’t understand why the GoodReads description says “A-Through-L and Saturday devise a Royal Race… in which every outlandish would-be ruler of Fairyland will chase the Stoat of Arms across the whole of the nation…”
That’s completely opposite to what actually happens in the book! No one chases the Stoat of Arms, and it is NOT A-L or Saturday who think up the race. That makes no sense. Who wrote this description?
One of the best things, of course, is all the little bits of wisdom and philosophy peppered through the story. There’s a sweet pathos and melancholy through all the series.
It was heart-wrenching to feel with all these characters that I’ve learned to love through all the previous books, and know their relationships and friendships with each other. Now that they’ve been through so much, and grown together, and learned to understand one another; now a separation is threatening them, and it breaks my heart to see how afraid they are to live without each other.
Saturday keeps thinking, “If we win, she will stay.” He’s entirely focused on making a way for September to stay with him. The pain of losing someone you love and care about is a universal pain, no matter your age. Fear of that pain can drive us to do some strange things, as this story shows.
But as with all fairy tales, we get a happy ending. And I was surprised and delighted with the conclusion!
I felt like the race went on too long though. Some of the race felt like story filler, and then I wished that some other areas of the story had more time.
Tam and Hawthorne and Blunderbuss are back, and as zany and wild as ever. Tam and Hawthorne have such good hearts, they just want to help other changelings to have a better life.
A-L and Blunderbuss actually become close friends, and it was really funny seeing their interactions!
I’m so sad that this series is over, but I know I’ll be rereading them again sometime, and enjoying them even more.