Nenia Campbell's Reviews > Faerie Tale

Faerie Tale by Raymond E. Feist
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Mar 06, 14

Read from June 06 to 08, 2012

ooooooohhhhhhhh...i see green faeries... @___@

but seriously. lay off the absinthe for a moment: how much do you really know about faeries that aren't inspired by disney or alcohol (i know, i know--same diff)? if the first image that comes to mind is some blonde bimbo wearing a dress that looks like a pastry, you are gravely mistaken. celtic faerie lore is very dark. children being stolen and spirited away, men and women seduced from the mortal realms and made to forget all vestiges of their mortal lives, savage, monster-like people that feast on souls and flesh, and sadistic hunts where faeries run down animals--including humans--in the woods.

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feist captures this darker side to faerie lore perfectly in faerie tale. in fact, his faeries are a lot like those in karen marie moning's fae series. there are two faerie courts, you see--the bright and the dark courts (also known as the seelie and unseelie courts). the bright court is a bit less dangerous. they're the ones who will seduce you and break your mind. they like sex and having fun. in fact, you can think of the seelie court as a perpetual frat party.

the unseelie court, however, is more interested in evil. their tricks are far more malicious, and more likely to involve grievous bodily injury and death (such as the hunt through the woods, or poisonous fae arrows that burrow deep within the skin by magic and cause fatal infections). it is this brand of fae that the hastings family has the misfortune of attracting into their lives when they move into a quaint little new england town bordered by woods and wilderness and traces of immigrant lore.

feel their wrath!

the first fourth of the book is pretty boring. unlike stephen king, feist isn't particularly good at making his characters both easy to relate to and timeless. part of this, i think, is due to the fact that this book was first written in the 1980s. there is some truly horrendous 80s slang used in this book that made me want to punch things. like 'bitchin.' and 'ya' instead of 'yeah.' ew.

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another thing that renders this book painfully obsolete is the outmoded psychological data. due to an incident i'm not going to go into (well, okay, since you asked so nicely (view spoiler)), eeg scans and psychopathology are mentioned. and one of the doctors says something like, "we can't actually look at pictures of the brain," and, "we can't look at the brain and say that this person is developing alzheimer's or this person has dyslexia."

this was true in the 80s, but it isn't true now. we have far more advanced technologies that not only allow you to LOOK at the brain non-invasively, but also monitor metabolic changes while the brain is performing tasks to see what parts of the brain light up on the screens with which activity. it's pretty--to borrow a phrase--'bitchin.' especially since this has helped us pinpoint locations of the brain that we can match with alzheimer's and dyslexia, and many others, too. so that's my little public service announcement for the day.

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all in all, i really enjoyed reading this book. it was very cheesy but i could tell he did his research into faerie lore, and the last three fourths of the book were very well-done indeed. i got the feeling that this was kind of out of feist's normal territory, like he hadn't written much or any urban fantasy before this one. i think he shows promise, so i hope he didn't get too discouraged and give it up, because i really think he does the dark and gritty stuff well. he really shows how attractive and dangerous the faeries can be--they're good-looking. i mean, puck nearly makes a girl wet herself just by pounding on an anvil (she was imagining him pounding into something else... awkward, much?).

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one thing that did piss me off a lot, though, was the mother. gloria hastings. she didn't have much of a character. mostly, she just whined and cried a lot and acted scared. what really made me mad, though, was the way she acted (view spoiler)

three fey stars, dead even. i enjoyed the ride, but, like the survivors of chance faerie encounters, i don't think i'd care to try my luck with it a second time. definitely passing it along to my younger sister, though. we love fantasy-horror crossovers, and this is a good one!

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