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War for the Oaks: A Novel Paperback – July 6, 2001
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Eddi McCandry has just left her boyfriend and their band when she finds herself running through the Minneapolis night, pursued by a sinister man and a huge, terrifying dog. The two creatures are one and the same: a phouka, a faerie being who has chosen Eddi to be a mortal pawn in the age-old war between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Eddi isn't interested--but she doesn't have a choice. Now she struggles to build a new life and new band when she might not even survive till the first rehearsal.
War for the Oaks won the Locus Magazine award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the Mythopoeic Society Award. Other books by Emma Bull include the novels Falcon, Bone Dance (second honors, Philip K. Dick Award), Finder (a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award), and (with Stephen Brust) Freedom and Necessity; the collection Double Feature (with Will Shetterly); and the picture book The Princess and the Lord of Night. --Cynthia Ward
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
More About the Author
I was born in Torrance, California. After that, my family moved to Houston, Texas; Beloit, Wisconsin; South Plainfield, New Jersey; and Rockton, Illinois. Since I was still short a few states at that point, I moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota after graduating from Beloit College. From there, I moved to Los Angeles, California; Bisbee, Arizona; and Tucson, Arizona.
Hmm. Still short a few states.
I'm married to author Will Shetterly. I have two cats: Toby, the best cat in the world; and Barnabas, the worst cat in the world.
I'd list my published work, but hey, this is Amazon.com! If there isn't already a link to everything somewhere around here, just search for me!
In addition to my solo writing, I'm the Executive Producer of Shadow Unit, the best science fiction thriller TV show in prose form ever. So far, at least. My Co-Producer is Elizabeth Bear. Writing staff includes Will Shetterly, Sarah Monette, Amanda Downum, Leah Bobet, Chelsea Polk, and Holly Black. We're in our third season as I write this. Check it out at www.shadowunit.org.
As my Amazon Wish List shows, I'm a Man from Uncle and Wild, Wild West fan. I crochet. I sew. I like cowboy reenacting and Victorian dress-up and dancing. I also play guitar and sing, and was proud to be a member of Minneapolis band Cats Laughing and goth-folk duo the Flash Girls.
I'm just a little bit obsessed with coffee.
Top Customer Reviews
Emma Bull's elves are not the sweet folk that inhabit child's fairy tales. Instead they are the harsh, often cruel yet beautiful folk that frightened our ancestors years ago. Their manners have no human equivalent and they are cold, passionate, harsh, tender, noble and terrible almost at random. Into this world Eddi finds her way, guided by the whimsical Phouka who can be dog or man at will, and who dresses himself from an invisible closet of finery.
In between the battles and conflicts Eddi assembles a new band composed of her close friend Carla on drums, Dan Rochelle on keyboards, mumbling Hedge on bass and Willy Silver on lead guitar. Together they become part of the magic and form the base for Eddi's own powers, which she has acquired from her new place in Faerie. But it will take all the band's power, all that the Seelie court has to offer, and a bit of pure luck besides to win the battle for Minneapolis. Especially when nothing is quite what it seems. For if the Fay never lie, they still can twist the truth to the quick.
"War for the Oaks" is considerably more than a fantasy tale. It is also a fine romance. The elves understand the form of love, but they have little grasp of the content. Human feelings are a world apart from them.Read more ›
The world of faerie is seen at a distance (even though the major characters are directly involved in some of the faerie battles), never fully explained or examined in detail, and this very indistinctness adds flavor, a bit of mystery, and charm to what is really a story of and about some of our deepest emotions. The final battle between Eddi and the Queen of Air and Darkness is extraordinarily different, drawing on the 'magical' emotional state that sometimes occurs between the makers and hearers of music, rather than swords, spells, talismans, or some hidden bit of arcane knowledge so common to the climax of most fantasy.
Different, powerful, skillfully told, this book is a charmer.
Eddi McCandry is the guitar player for a lousy band. They're not really going anywhere, and neither, particularly, is her life. One night, everything changes: the band splits up, she breaks up with the lead singer, and she gets chosen to be the mortal talisman for a war between the Seelie and Unseelie fey.
This is all okay, though, because she gets to put another band together, and they're good. Really good. Especially the other guitarist . . . and let's not forget her bodyguard, the phouka . . . Oh, yeah, she needs a bodyguard because the Unseelie fey are trying to kill her, in between band rehearsals and battles . . .
One thing that really made me laugh about this book was the setting. It's the eighties. Eddi's clothing, which is REALLY COOL by the standards of the book, sounds like something off of Saved by the Bell.
This is definitely a book for fantasy-punk geeks: the music mentioned includes bands such as Boiled in Lead (Celtic Rock) and David Bowie (self-explanatory); the fashions, albeit eighties, are the same; and the general demeanor of the book is rather Borderlands-y. (Which makes sense, considering Emma Bull was one of the co-creators of the original Borderlands series.)
However, even if you aren't a fantasy-punk geek, you can still read it. It's engaging and has very likable characters; the plot takes a couple of not-precisely-as-expected turns; the description of the fey is interesting and fits fairly well with the expected fantasy fey-canon (she didn't try to rewrite the Sidhe as bloodsucking ugly vampires, for example).
So, to end, elements of fantasy, realism, eighties-punk, romance, and humanity make it accessible and readable by anyone. Even those who don't remember the eighties.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn't actually end up finishing this. I found it really boring and slow. There were a couple things in the writing that struck me as really odd and out of place.Published 1 day ago by L. Bieda
Good read, even after reading a later and more nuanced work, her novella Silver and Gold. I really like her character development and attention to sociocultural detail. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I read this year's ago, reread it again a decade ago, and again last week. It is a keeper.Published 3 months ago by K. Bowden
Still one of my absolute favorite books, after all these years. This novel truly has heart, and enchantment, and it is a joy to read and re-read. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ashbet
I loved this book. This book was on a list of Best Science Fiction, so I gave it a try. Wow! It was fun! I really enjoyed the characters. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jenn2500
There are some situations that you might've given a upgraded rating just because there is no, oh, say 4+. Well, here, there is no 5+. Read morePublished 6 months ago by John Howard
I bought this book for the first time 20 years ago at a used book store. I update copies when the old ones get too worn for comfort and now I have it on the Kindle. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Georgia L Bond
This is one of the first books I recommend to people who love urban fantasy. Co-authored by two amazing authors who I discovered in the Borderlands series, it's one that stands up... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Tamara Mataya
It's a little amusing to me to discover that despite how much I've attempted to expand the scope of what I read over the years, despite all the massive works of foreign literature,... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Michael Battaglia