Sunday, December 21, 2008

War For The Oaks

Tor.com occasionally gives away ebooks. You have to be a registered member, but it is free to join. And there are times that these giveaways are treasures. Let's talk about one of them.

Have you ever read the real Grimm's Fairy Tales? Not the sanitized versions that so many Disney movies are based on, but the ones that are dark and violent. Where the magic is based on Fae, not the more familiar Fairy. Where the supernatural Folk never lie but are always deceitful, are unfathomably powerful, are deadly and inhuman and coldly seductive. And they're beautiful, rather beyond human ken.

There has been a trend in books, steadily growing in popularity, since the late 1980s to mix Faerie, or some like variant, and our everyday world. This collision of magic and mundane is usually marketed as "Urban Fantasy".

This is the milieu of War for the Oaks, by Emma Bull. It was published in 1987, and it is one of the earliest Urban Fantasies, almost a prototype of the genre.

It is set in the rock and roll scene of Minneapolis. Eddi McCandry has just broken up with her boyfriend and left his band. She's thinking of getting a 9-to-5 job, of growing up and making ends meet. Instead, she is chosen by a phouka, a Fae who can shift from human to dog at will, as the Mortal whose presence on the field of battle between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts of the Fae will allow immortal life to spill out with immortal blood. She can shift the balance of power and enable victory, rather than stalemate.

Simultaneously, Eddi starts her own rock band. The group that forms around her is uncannily good, there is power in their music, and Eddi herself is unknowingly a Power in her own right.

This is a story of deceit, of magic, of blood, of loss, and of love. It is a first novel that does not read like one, and it is a rich and rewarding tale that is to be savored, many times over.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Fifecat said...

That sounds really interesting and completely out of my reading experience ... something for me to note.

December 22, 2008 at 4:30 AM  

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