Okay, I’ll admit, I had an entirely different book in mind when I went sorting through my boxes of books in the garage (still unpacking and all that). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the book I was looking for. However, this book is just as beloved as the other I was going to review (though admittedly I am disgruntled I could not find one of my favorite books).
War for the Oaks by Emma Bull is an urban fantasy novel, focused on a war between the different courts of the faerie folk as it unfolds in Minneapolis. The main character, Eddi McCandry, is a girl who loves rock and roll, she can’t imagine a life where she isn’t playing music. At the beginning of the book she’s preparing to dump her boyfriend, breaking up her band in the process, when she gets unwillingly drafted by Seelie Court into their Faerie war. Although she doesn’t want to participate, she literally has no choice. (And when I say “literally,” I’m not meaning “figuratively” while saying “literally.” I mean “literally.”)
A huge part of a book for me is language, and I’ve going to add a couple paragraphs from the book’s prologue here to give you a taste of just how wonderful the words really are…
“But late at night, there’s a change in the the Nicollet Mall.
The street lamp globes hang like myriad moons, and the light glows in the empty bus shelters like nebulae. Down through the silent business district the mall twists, the silver zipper in a patchwork coat of many dark colors. The sound of traffic from Hennepin Avenue, one block over, might be the grating of the World-Worm’s scales over stone.”
Like I said, stunning. This book has a great intersection of reality and fantasy, our world and the Fey world–which is what I really tend to head towards in books, to be honest. The main themes of the book are ones that anyone can easily relate to–love, death, sacrifice, and creativity. The characters are ones you can easily fall in love with, my favorite being the Phooka. She also has written one of the very best definitions of love I have ever seen written down on paper. For years, when people asked me what I considered love to be, I would point them to a certain paragraph in this book (I would write it here, but it might spoil some of the story).
I re-read this book twice a year, at least. It is an adult novel, although I picked up this book in sixth grade. There are so many parts of this book that have stuck with me and influenced me throughout the years, I would recommend it to most anyone who reads fiction. (Even if it’s not your normal taste, no reason to not branch out once in awhile!)
You can purchase the book on Amazon (here) for only $12. As for me? I’ll be reading my copy again.