Tad Williams’ The War of the Flowers by Miya Kressin

Tad Williams’ The War of the Flowers

by Miya Kressin

What would you do to stay alive? Would you abandon your world, your friends? Would you leave everything behind because what was in front of you was far less deadly than where you were, even if “tamer” or even “less frightening” could never apply? Would you destroy half your race just to create a world safe for you? Would you steal a child?

“We are none of us promised anything but the last breath we take, Theo Vilmos.” ~Mud Bug Button

For power? Would you kill friends or family? If you had the ability, would you use ancient magics banned by your society to destroy them? Would you destroy your way of life and force your way into unknown waters for the sake of a chance at being the new royalty? Would you create a changeling?

What about for love? Would you let your dreams die to keep your loved one? Would you try so hard only to find you were going the wrong way? Would you give up your world for love? Your family? Would you sentence a child to die for just a chance at saving your love? Would you make a bargain with your soul — or at least your body — as the wager?

“If you swear an oath here then you had better fulfill it or you will definitely reap the consequences and they will be unpleasant in some particularly apt way.” ~Remover of Inconvenient Obstacles

Bargains are dangerous everywhere, but none more so than Faerie. Your word is your life. At times, someone else’s word is your life. Promises have far reaching consequences — some bad, others equally good. Being ignorant of the wager you make does not change the fact that you made it. Perhaps you crossed a creek without asking permission of its guardians and found yourself owing a favor to the nymphs.

Or maybe you were just clueless in general until your life was on the line. That was Theo’s story. Theo Vilmos starts off as thirty-year-old lead singer who can’t even claim to being a “has been.”  He’s a never-was who squandered his talent. Before life took its toll on Theo, he was known for his potential. But, potential and talent alone won’t get you where you need to be if you don’t have the drive to reach for your dreams and get your hands dirty with the hard work to get there.

After two devastating blows dropped him to an all-time low, Theo left his mother’s house as it had never felt like home and the city behind to rent a cabin up in the forested mountains and take time to think. In his quiet moments, he began reading the odd memoir written by his mother’s late uncle who believed he had visited the magical world of Faerie.  From the moment he began the odd hunt to find what an inherited safety deposit box key may hold for him (an odd novel that seemed as much memoir as it was fantasy,) Theo lost his tremulous hold on the mortal world.

In Tad Williams’ The War of the Flowers, multiple stories are spun onto the same intricate thread, stories I will attempt to share glimpses of without also giving spoilers. Love, power, and survival dance together to a beautiful dirge foretelling the destruction of an entire realm, and the reader is left uncertain if it will be the mortal world or Faerie. Maybe it should be Faerie. The magical realm is nothing like the childhood images of happy, winged creatures dancing through fields of flowers. Their own legends tell of a time like that before the King and Queen left, leaving another sort of flower important.

The Flowers are families comprising a sub-race of fae who are in charge of the politics, power (our idea of magic is their science,) and the social hierarchy. The closer a creature is to looking mortal, the higher one ranks in the political games, going so far as to cut off wings and dye their hair or eyebrows to appear more human.

“Oh, the color? It’s nothing—they were always white like this. I decided to stop dyeing them, that’s all. To stop pretending I wasn’t a Thornapple.” ~Poppy Thornapple.

The first fae Theo met, however, were nothing like the Flowers, nor were they as pleasant. While Applecore is a sprite—a tiny, winged being capable of casting magic charms like most other fae—she is far from the Tinkerbell character we’ve long associated with those like her. With a mouth like a sailor and an even sharper temper, ‘Core is loyal even if she’s bitchy.

“Tell you what, boyo, I’m trying to save your life and you’re not helping. Maybe I should take one of these sticks and lodge it up your back passage. That’d make you walk slow enough.” ~Applecore

A sharp-tongued sprite was far from his worse worries however. It was the irrha, a “corruption of moonlight”dark spirit sent by the Flowers to bring Theo across without consent, who freezes you to the spot, pushing you to keep reading to ensure that the protagonist isn’t caught. You’re first introduced to the irrha when it kills a mortal and steals its deformed body in its mindless attempt to catch the Theovilmos creature.

In his attempts to avoid this irrha, Theo and Applecore begin a journey through Faerie that not only takes them to the City (the only city) but also takes them on a journey into the soul of a man who is not quite what he seems. Events set into motion before he was born became the ones that would eventually lead to changing his home world into one that would never be the same. In a story where our world and Faerie have made several intimate exchanges of souls, identifying one’s true state becomes harder and harder.

“Black iron, you’re a mortal!”

“No. Well, sort of. It’s a long story. Do you want to hear it?” ~Poppy and Theo

While wandering New Erewhon, Theo is taken to the nautilus shell shaped City, where he wanders from the outlying counties named for trees (Rowan and Birch are two of the most often named) and into spiraled city districts. Entering in Sunrise, Theo and Applecore go on a journey through Morning Sky and Forenoon and all the way into Eventide and Moonlight. It is the eventual journey to the Midnight realm as he meets the voice of his nightmares where Theo must make a decision between life, love, and power. Which will he choose?  If you could only have one, or prevent another from having them at great personal cost, which would you choose? What bargain would you make?

The War of the Flowers, where you shouldn’t make a bargain unless you’re guaranteed the desired outcome and are willing to pay any price.


Miya Kressin is an author, mother, caffeine addict, wife, and fiber artist- though not necessarily in that order. When not playing with her three daughters  (a 7 y/o and twin 4 y/os,) Miya can be found writing or working her way through a stack of random crafts and art projects if she can get pulled away from her gaming fun.

Her novel The Changeling’s Champion was released by The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House in 2010 and has since been picked up for a second edition by Exciting Press. Exciting Press has also picked up her fantasy trilogy The Island.

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War for the Oaks Review by Meghan Brunner

War for the Oaks Review

by Meghan Brunner

Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks is often considered the founding work of Urban Fantasy (aka Modern Fantasy or Magical Realism), and it’s easy to see why. Aside from being a damn good read, it takes all the elements you’d expect from a fairy tale and weaves them skillfully with lovingly rendered descriptions of downtown Minneapolis. The places are real; you can visit them, they look and feel just as she says, and as a consequence you can very easily believe that everything Bull describes happened right there and just like that.

As the title suggests, the tale centers around conflict, in this case between the seelie and unseelie Courts for control of Minneapolis. (The oaks, however, are metaphorical; if any are mentioned in the book, it is only in passing. It’s not even certain that oaks are the predominant tree in Minneapolis, though it can easily be argued that “War for the Ashes” would have a far different connotation and “War for the Maples” just doesn’t sound as cool.)

The Fae’s primary problem is that, as immortals, they are notoriously hard to kill and often make war for sport. To ensure that both sides abide by the outcome of the battles, they must bind a human to the cause, thus bringing bring the power of mortality to the battlefield and elevating the dispute from the typical bloodless territorial squabble. Enter Eddi McCandry, out-of-work wannabe rockstar and reluctant hero drafted to a cause that, she hadn’t realized existed. Her life turns into a strange duality: under attack by the unseelie court, who are none too fond of this bloodshed-in-battle idea; under guard by a seelie phouka who is mischievous and eloquent by turns, all the while she’s trying to start a new band so she can do mundane things like pay the rent and buy groceries. The two aspects of her life refuse to stay separate, though. Try as she might, she can’t keep her friends free of the conflict, and not only does her musical life begin to seep into her interactions with the Fae, the Fae begin to creep into her band as well.

As one might expect with a book written about a band, there are a lot of descriptions of the music. It’s easy to start skimming the text as soon as someone picks up a guitar, but the subtle changes in description are the primary means by which the author conveys development in not only the dynamic between the band members, but in Eddi’s mood and newfound abilities. More distracting is the frequent dropping of song titles, which can be off-putting to anyone not familiar with pop hits of the 1980’s. Eddi’s original lyrics are rendered in full, but without the tune to go with them, they feel a little flat. (Thankfully there’s a cure for that: the author recorded them with the now-defunct band Cats Laughing, and through the wonders of Amazon MP3, they can be found on their album Another Way to Travel and are quite good. It’s easy to see why the Fae picked Eddi.)

There are also a lot of descriptions of clothing; nearly every character receives an account of what they’re wearing whenever they show up (or change clothes mid-scene). To those who are interested in fashion, this is a nice touch; to others it might seem excessive. In either case, most of the clothes are very dated, which anchors the tale firmly to the 1980’s. No airy “long-ago-and-far-away” for this story.

Where the author shines most is her description of magic. Her rendering of the denizens of both courts is wholly believable, and somehow she makes them seem ancient, yet not at all out-of-place in the modern setting in which they find themselves. With the host of legends at her disposal, Bull picks just enough detail from just enough different Fae creatures to lend a sense of the diversity of their ilk without becoming overwhelming. Nor are they the cute critters you’d find in Disney movies and romantic poems; at her first meeting, Eddi describes them as creatures with their roots in horror films… and those are the good guys. Bull also gives a good primer on the hows and whys of Fae culture; if you’ve ever wondered why you shouldn’t thank them or what you ought to require as surety before going alone to speak with the Queen of Air and Darkness, you’ll have your answer right from the horse’s (er, phouka’s) mouth.

Neither is her magic limited to the immortal members of her cast. The city itself is alive, and Bull’s descriptions of it are breathtakingly beautiful. You can feel the change in current of a place from day to night, imagine how one performance spot has an entirely different energy than another, smell the greenery of the Conservatory by moonlight. Even if you’ve lived there for years, reading her descriptions makes you see the city with new eyes. In her essay “Wonders of the Invisible World” in Double Feature, Bull comments:

Minnehaha Falls and Central Park are not interchangeable, in substance or spirit. Walking down Hennepin Avenue on a Friday evening calls up a different set of emotions and attitudes than walking down any given street in Manhattan. And the mix of attitudes and influences-parks and punks, the New Riverside Café and 7th Street Entry, a wildly active music scene in well-mannered, well-ordered metropolitan surroundings-only happens here. People outside the Twin Cities may say what they like. I can’t think why the high courts of Faerie would want to live anywhere else.

And after reading War for the Oaks, the reader can’t help but agree.

***Author’s note: War for the Oaks was translated into a screen play, which I believe is included in newer versions of the book. It was partially filmed with local talent and the trailers are on YouTube for the curious, although they’re very B-fantasy due to constraints of both budget and the technology of the time. It is perhaps a mercy that it was never finished, as special effects have advanced to a point where it could now be filmed in a style that’s much more true to the book’s lovely descriptions. Hopefully someone in Hollywood will pick it up and do it justice. With the recent popularity of fantasy in cinematography, there’s certainly the audience for it.


In 1994 Meghan Brunner auditioned for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival—and things haven’t been the same for her since. Over a decade later, with two books and a Unicorn Award*, she’s still picking up speed… and loving it.

*lifetime achievement award for entertainers at the MN Renaissance Festival

Find her free short story, “The Tithe”, earlier in Fae Awareness Month 2012.

Vertigo’s Books of Faerie

by KV Taylor

The Books of Magic, a now-defunct DC-Vertigo comic series, sprouted from Neil Gaiman’s mystical miniseries of the same name, which I went on about at length in a previous post this month. The book on which I concentrated, Book III: The Land of Summer Twilight, details Timothy Hunter’s[1] journey with Dr. Occult through Faerie. It’s a particularly relevant book for the ongoing series (well, okay, they all are), and directly spawned the stories peopling The Books of Faerie: Auberon’s Tale and The Books of Faerie, still available in trade paperback collections[2].

In order to discuss these pretty little TPBs, I’m going to have to spoil Gaiman’s Books of Magic a touch. Not plot wise, but a single line from Titania that could be interpreted in several ways (imagine that!). It will by no means ruin your enjoyment of the GN if you pick it up, as it has zero bearing on the plot, but you’ve been warned.

The Books of Faerie: Auberon's Tale

While both collections consist of pure Books of Magic pre-history and side-plots, I’m sticking to the history stories — all of which were written by Bronwyn Carlton and drawn by Peter Gross (with Vince Locke in Auberon’s Tale). They amount to a kind of double fanfiction: stories based on Gaiman’s cryptic Titania from BoM, and stories based on a more directly Shakespearian concept of Oberon and Titania. The stories are bent to suit and explain the world of the ongoing BoM books, but stand alone as objects of interest to fae lovers.

I’ll start with Auberon’s Tale, to move chronologically — not in order of publication. It begins with Book I: The Regicide, in which King Magnus, a bit of a drunken idiot with a pureblood fairy superiority complex, insists that he compete in the tourney — against a lovable idiot of a troll. (Note that no one tries to stop him.) Obviously, this ends badly, and seeing as fairies don’t reproduce very often, the kingdom is left without an obvious heir. There is the king’s brother, Duke Huonnor, and there is the son of the king’s older sister, little Auberon. The king’s cousin Obrey and a courtier with a deeper connection to Magnus, Amadan, conspire to set Auberon on the throne as a puppet. You can see them talking in the shadows up there, as a matter of fact, in the doorway behind goofily grinning little Aubie, as his aunt and guardian Dymphna calls him.

 Page From Auberon's Tale - Art: Gross/Locke

Even before the sweet, liberal-minded boy can be installed, the machinations begin. Amadan tries to turn Obrey against Auberon, Auberon’s aunt Dymphna becomes engaged to Obrey, Huonnor goes to war with Obrey (who supposedly fights in Auberon’s name), and the whole thing becomes a sticky political mess worthy of the fae. As if it wasn’t enough, Amadan reveals that Magnus was trying to solve the fairy reproductive issue with what some consider less-than-savory experiments.

Anyone familiar with tales of the fae will guess that yes, humans are involved.

It’s a good read, and I think it highlights the slightly more human qualities of the fae here, as opposed to the frighteningly mercurial Gaiman Titania (though Auberon isn’t in BoM), and the sort of otherworldly yet simultaneously earthy fae Shakespeare envisioned. They certainly have the Shakespearean element of jealousy, though. Oh, and as a bonus, you get a really cute short about little Aubie meeting his friend, the magnificent little pink fotch he’s got on a leash on the cover up there.

 The Books of Faerie

Titania’s story, told in the collected The Books of Faerie TPB, begins with Book I: The Foundling’s Tale. There’s a sort of prologue, in which we see BoM frontman (frontboy?) Tim Hunter confronting a fully grown King Auberon and Queen Titania, claiming to be Titania’s son. Remember that thing I said about spoiling a single line of the Gaiman story? I said in my previous post on BoM that “…Titania’s parting words, for us alone, lead us to believe Tim will always be tied to Faerie in ways he can’t yet imagine.” Because what she said was, “And will you also hatch out worlds, my son?”

Take it how you like–and oh, Gaiman’s left it open–but Bronwyn Carlton’s backstory for Titania takes it literally. This goes one step beyond A Midsummer Night’s Dream‘s adopted Indian boy changeling, but it’s cool that the entire tale works as a nod to it, even as it fills in a gap in the BoM mythos. (The double fanfiction element strikes!)

The Books of Faerie Art: Gross

The story really begins with a little girl called Maryrose being led into Faerie in spite of her gran’s warnings. The then-queen of Faerie, Dymphna, takes her under her wing and keeps her along with her little elf handmaidens, and treats her as a daughter. And then, King Obrey, whose machinations only seem to have gotten more ridiculous (oh yes, Lord Amadan is still there, if in a slightly, ah, altered form), comes home from war… and falls for little Maryrose, never knowing she was once mortal.

It’s a more character-driven story than Auberon’s, Maryrose’s journey from innocent to fae courtier, and what she’s willing to sacrifice to be a queen. Almost the moment she achieves this goal, Auberon finally defeats his cousin, Obrey the Usurper, and returns to Faerie to reclaim his crown… and offers Titania a deal, in the name of peace and prosperity for his people. She accepts, and yet, she’s never happy, caught between what she is and what she’s trying to be. Even Tamlin the Falconer can only make her happy for a short time, and that, well, as the above panel implies, spawns a mess.

Titania and Auberon from The Books of Faerie Art: Gross

Naturally it’s more complicated than all that, full of ins and outs and political madness, but that’s the gist. Titania’s tale has that same, slightly more human aspect, which . She’s at once strong and willing to sacrifice, but also swings to vulnerability and regret. Her main conflict stems from the continued emphasis on the importance of fairy blood, and her lack thereof. In that way, it’s this sort of typical fantasy story about queenship, womb control, and domestic complications. She’s not the Titania I expected, but she’s satisfying, if problematic, as a character, all the same.

The other stories in these collections, the side-plots from the ongoing series, are very cool too–and there’s another TPB collection called The Books of Faerie: Molly’s Story (which I’ve not been able to find, but are beyond the scope of this post, anyhow, as they feature the BoM ongoing character, Molly O’Reilly). I like the art; it’s expressive and easy on the eyes, though not perhaps as otherworldly as Charles Vess’s original Land of Summer Twilight work. The covers, reproduced as full-paged panels as with most TPB collections, are uniformly gorgeous.

Covers (Titania's Book 2: The Widow's Tale and Auberon's Book 3: The Usurper)


[1] Boy with the potential to become the World’s Greatest Magician, hero of both Gaiman’s BoM and the ongoing comic book series, for those not playing along at home.

[2] Side note: these TPB Books of Faerie are how I discovered The Books of Magic in the first place. They were in the bargain bin at my local comic shop and I’m going, “Auberon?! I’m in!”

 

KV Taylor has been a staff member and contributor for Monster Awareness Month, Vampire Awareness Month, and Ghost Appreciation Month, and is very pleased to be on the job again with the fae. Her freaky Appalachian fae novel, Scripped, is forthcoming from Belfire Press this summer.

Gaiman’s Books of Magic: Vertigo’s Magical Mystery Tour

by Fae Awareness staff member, KV Taylor

Part 1: The Books of Magic Review

In 1990, Neil Gaiman scripted a four-part series called The Books of Magic for DC/Vertigo, meant to feature their huge crop of magical-types. It eventually led to an ongoing series of the same name, but we’re just talking about the Gaiman miniseries, here–now available in graphic novel form, of course.

The overarching plot is simple and cool: the Phantom Stranger, Doctor Occult, Mister E, and John Constantine–jokingly referred to by the latter as The Trenchcoat Brigade–get together to help a twelve-year-old boy decide whether or not he wants to embrace magic. The boy, Timothy Hunter, has the potential to be the greatest magician in the world, and now he’s been discovered, everyone and their mystical brother are after him for their own nefarious purposes. (Perhaps) luckily, the Trenchcoats got there first–though there’s some dissention in the ranks about how wise the plan is.

The Trenchcoat Brigade

Tim’s happily skateboarding around his housing estate when he’s nabbed by these guys. Thus begins his journey–or rather, a series of four journeys, one with each of them through a different aspect of the world of magic, supposedly meant to help him make an informed, safe decision.

It’s divided into four parts, each illustrated by a different artist. In his foreword, Roger Zelazny points out that it mirrors the path walked by Campbell’s Hero With A Thousand Faces–but there’s more to it than that.

Book I: The Invisible Labyrinth, Illustrated by John Bolton

“We are adrift in time, child,” the Stranger tells little Tim as he drags him into the past, making a proper Billy Pilgrim of him. (Okay, that’s unstuck, but it works, believe me.) This book serves to both to set up the complicated DC cosmology in a coherent way, and to allow for a brief history of human magic, once they get past that whole Birth of the Universe thing and into Earth itself.

In each human culture they encounter, every magical figure of import warns Tim not to say yes to magic, that it comes with a price he won’t want to pay. Many of them–or in some cases their works and/or progeny–return in later books.

Book II: The Shadow World, Illustrated by Scott Hampton

John Constantine gives Tim a tour through the magical underworld in the good old US of A–cue well-intentioned, obnoxious Americans badly approximating Cockney accents and lots of references to “that Monty Python guy.” Here we meet the vast majority of DC’s magical types,  culminating in a long visit to Zatanna–whose father Tim saw with the Stranger.

The ante is upped here. Now that Tim’s been found out, the assassins and kidnappers are on the lookout, and apparently someone’s started a war over him in Calcutta. Constantine zips off to help sort that out for a few hours, leaving Tim in Zatanna’s care. And Tim gets his tour of present day magic.

Book III: The Land of Summer Twilight, Illustrated by Charles Vess

After a narrow escape from a mean party in San Francisco, Tim’s entrusted to Dr. Occult for a walk through, you guessed it, Faerie. I’ll talk about how this is handled in depth later, as it’s my chief interest in this post, but the basic idea is that it ties together both your typical conception of Faerie and a very Gaiman/Vess specific conception. You guessed it, Tim gets to see The Dreaming as part of the package.

It’s effectively a tour of the liminal magics, the otherworlds, the AUs, I guess, as comics would term it. But we’ll come back to that.

Book IV: The Road to Nowhere, Illustrated by Paul Johnson

Mister E, who’s been campaigning to end Tim and spare the world the possibility of him going power-mad, takes him into the future to show him what happens (could happen) if he does. In true DC cosmos-happy fashion, we go not only to Tim’s future, but the ultimate future of mankind, and then forward, forward to the Death (yes, capital D–I wouldn’t forget to capitalize her name) of the universe itself.

Meanwhile, the Trenchcoat Brigade is freaking out, since they lost track of Tim and E long before they got that far. Maybe they shouldn’t have left the kid with E after all, huh?

I won’t spoil the end, but let’s just say that Tim’s choice is made.

The book features not just recurring DC characters, but recurring important archetypes–particularly as codified in the tarot–that generally make these Hero Tales tick. That seems to speak to Zelazny’s dissection along the lines of the Hero’s Journey, and I don’t think he’s wrong there, but to me it seems more a straight up Ghost of Magic Past, Present, and Future issue, with one addition.

That of Faerie, the ghost of Magic Beyond Reason.

Part 2: The Summerlands

Since this is a fae awareness post, a little more in-depth discussion of how Tim’s journey through the lands of the fae work seems necessary. While all four books culminate in Tim’s decision–which of course led to the ongoing Books of Magic series  that ran for years after–Book III: The Land of Summer Twilight gives us events that are both the most ambiguous, and possibly the most important to Tim personally in the long run.

Gaiman and Vess (oh, how those two names together make graphic novel lovers squee) show us a Faerie both familiar to students and lovers of the fae and altogether new. The rules Dr. Occult imparts to Tim before they cross the stream are typical: no iron, don’t accept favors or gifts, don’t ask questions, mind your manners, and stay on the path. They’re not sure where they’re going, but the path will take them where they need to be.

The Goblin Market

It takes them to the first of many familiar places: The Goblin Market. The noise of the eager goblin sellers is almost audible through the wonderful illustration, and of course, Tim narrowly avoids being taken for a fool (and a slave) by a little thief. Their encounter there ends with Tim, Occult (transformed into his feminine form, the anima to Occult’s animus, Rose), and Tim’s owl (once his yo-yo) each winning a prize from the goblin’s barrow as restitution. Prizes that, of course, come in useful–as these things must.

The path takes them through a river of blood next, prompting some interesting discussion of moon power from Rose, and a good deal of disgust from Tim. After a riddle game with the Maugys –which they win thanks to Rose’s goblin prize–they’re allowed to follow the path into the Hollow Hill, to the sleeping court of King Arthur.

Thomas the Rhymer

We’ve already met Merlin in Book I, but here, Thomas of Erceldoun makes up (often bawdy, we’re led to believe, as he’s somewhat preoccupied) songs over his sleeping king, waiting for him to wake, because, “Things happen in threes. When a King sleeps, then a wizard must also sleep, and a minstrel, too.”

Baba Yaga and Her HouseAs they’re leaving the Hill, the path becomes too dark, and Tim is separated from the recently re-transformed Dr. Occult. He loses the path and staggers out the other end–only to immediately encounter Baba Yaga. He ends hanging upside down beside a very charming hare and hedgehog, and this time it’s Yo-Yo the Owl’s goblin prize that helps to free them all.

Baba Yaga herself is wonderful in this bit, riding around on her cauldron looking for herbs to make her prey taste better in a stew, fretting over her beautiful chicken-legged house.  The balance of darkness and light-heartedness that makes Gaiman and Vess such a fabulous pair is magic, just here. Their ultimate escape only comes when Occult catches up with them–again, transformed into Rose–and threatens the witch with her true name.

And then, in perhaps the most telling episode, Tim and Rose meet with Queen Titania on the road, who takes them to her palace.

Queen Titania

(To which question Tim replies, “… No.”)

Here Tim makes his second mistake, taking the key she tosses toward him as a gift before thinking. The key allows them to explore some of the other “worlds beyond reason” that are part of, alternate to, or rub up against Titania’s Faerie in the DC/Vertigo mythos and otherwise: Skartaris, Gemworld, The Dreaming, and Hell, for example.

Hell

Naturally, they escape Titania’s plot to keep Tim for her own through a technicality of Faerie Law (which, as we know, is the only way to escape, particularly if you break one rule, let alone two like our little hero) and Tim’s own prize from the goblin barrow. Even so, Titania’s parting words, for us alone, lead us to believe Tim will always be tied to Faerie in ways he can’t yet imagine.

One could argue that anyone who sets foot in the Summerlands ends that way, of course. But we’ll talk more about that next time, when I come back at you with a review of some of the spinoffs that continue in this vein: The Books of Faerie, which deal with Titania’s rise to power, and Auberon’s Tale, the same for her king.