The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland - For a Little While: 02/21/13
The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland - For a Little While by Catherynne M Valente is a short story prequel to the Fairyland books. It was originally published online at Tor.com and later as part of This Year's Best Science Fiction (2012 edition), edited by Rich Horton.
In The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, September quests in the shadow of good Queen Mallow. She is expected by those she meets to usurp the Marquess and return Fairyland to its former glory. At every stop she makes she hears more and more of Queen Mallow. Whether or not September's decisions are influenced by Mallow's reputation is never fully stated but she is ever present.
In the sequel, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, Mallow's fate is known by September. She continues to remain ever present, but now as a tragic character and a warning to September. Throughout her (almost) return to Fairyland, September begins to worry that she may have unintentionally followed the same path that Mallow does.
This short story takes a small part of Mallow's life in Fairyland. Valente shows how a small girl who wants some peace and quiet can be swept up by Fairyland and be recruited into leadership. Questions asked (mostly in the second book) are answered.
Read it on Tor.com