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Book Themes > Books About the Land of Faerie

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message 1: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 4 comments I am interested in finding more books about the land of faerie. By this, I mean books that take place on the border between the human world and the faerie world, or about people who end up in the faerie world. I can't really think of a good example of what I am looking for, but any recommendations would be appreciated. Sorry I am so vague. My fantasy is limited and I have focused a lot on fairy tale retellings. Thanks in advance.




message 2: by Bill (last edited Aug 20, 2009 08:12AM) (new)

Bill (kernos) | 73 comments Considering Faerie as primarily Celtic/British, my 1st thoughts are the novelizations of the Irish and Welsh tales. Evangeline Walton for the Welsh and Morgan Llywelyn for the Irish and some continental tales. I would also check out works of Juliet Marillier whose Seven Waters series is a reimagination of the Irish tale "The Children of Lyr" and Stephen Grundy who novelized the Nibelungenlied.


message 3: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 4 comments Kernos wrote: "Considering Faerie as primarily Celtic/British, my 1st thoughts are the novelizations of the Irish and Welsh tales. Evangeline Walton for the Welsh and Morgan Llywelyn..."

Thanks so much. :)


message 4: by Thomas (last edited Aug 20, 2009 06:19PM) (new)

Thomas | 6 comments The Paradise War and its sequels are an extended trip into the Otherworld. The first one is not as good as the others, but I liked the other two very much.

Also, Welsh Legendary Tales includes several fairy stories, mermaid stories, and the like. I think it's meant for kids, and you will probably find some of the stories familiar.

If you accept the fairies=jinn theory of Azur and Asmar, there are some pretty good fairy stories in Thousand and One Nights


message 5: by Snail in Danger (Sid) (last edited Aug 21, 2009 10:41AM) (new)

Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides (upsight) | 8 comments Wall of text, incoming ... the ones marked with * are the ones I think are not to be missed. Some of these I only included for completion. Some have more adult content than others.

Re-told fairy tales or ballads

*Tam Lin - a retelling of the ballad Tam Lin, by Pamela Dean (part of a series of retold fairy tales)

Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner, a retelling of the ballad of the same name

Wildwood Dancing - Juliet Marillier; incorporates aspects of several fairy tales

Someone goes to Faerie

Porcelain Dove - Delia Sherman (actually sort of a mix with the next category)

*Goblin Market, poem, Christina Rossetti (Try to avoid adaptions, and to read a copy with the Rackham illustrations, if you can.)

The Faerie Queene, poetry, political allegory

*Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees (also sort of a mix with the next category)

Blood and Iron, Elizabeth Bear (start of a series)

A Kiss of Shadows (Meredith Gentry 1) (also fits with the next category, start of a series)

Knight of Ghosts & Shadows and Born to Run - the start of two series in the same setting, but concerning different sets of characters

Witch World 1 - not exactly going to Faerie, but leaving Earth and ending up in a different world where magic exists

Elfland - new, and I haven't read it myself yet, so I can't say much about it.

Faerie coexists (openly or not) with the non-magical world

*Borderlands - This is a series of anthologies set in Bordertown, which is on the border between Faerie and the human world. But there are also several novels set there, namely
Elsewhere, Nevernever, and Finder. I recommend the novels over the anthologies, for the most part; the quality of the short stories is a bit hit or miss. The official series page is here. A new anthology is in the works.

Mark del Franco's Connor Grey series, starts with Unquiet Dreams

Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan/The Hollows series, starts with Dead Witch Walking

*Dreams Underfoot (Newford Book 1) by Charles de Lint

*War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

Judith Tarr wrote Alamut and The Dagger and the Cross, which are set in the time of the Crusades. The Isle of Glass is the start of a trilogy in the same setting, but I prefer Alamut and its sequel.

The Magicians - new, and I haven't read the whole thing, but the excerpt I read was intriguing. I can't say that it's going to Faerie exactly, but it is going to a secret part of the world where magic works.


message 6: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 6 comments How could I forget about Alamut? Kick, kick.
That's an impressive catalogue of fairy books, Nikki.


Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides (upsight) | 8 comments Thanks. :) I thought of two more this morning - The King of Elfland's Daughter and Stealing the Elf-King's Roses. The first incorporates several fairy-tale elements, and the second is a science-fictional take on the idea of going to Faerie.


message 8: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (destobie) I think Nikki got most the titles I could think of. I would add Stardust by Neil Gaiman as well. Most of that story takes place in Faerie or right on the outskirts in the town of Wall.

I would also recommend (if you like children's books) Mopsa the Fairy and of course Peter Pan (the new "sequel" Peter Pan in Scarlet is charming as well.) Other YA titles: The Owl Service, The Hounds of the Morrigan, Tithe by Holly Black, The Dark is Rising series.

I'm sure there are more I will remember later.


message 9: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (destobie) I just remembered a few more:

the Faerielands series --

Something Rich and Strange by Patricia McKillip
The Wood Wife by Terri Windling
The Wild Woods by Charles de Lint
Hannah's Garden by Midori Snyder

To be honest I don't like the Wild Woods by de Lint as much as his Newford short story collections like The Gates of Ivory and Horn, for example, or his Jack books (both collected together in Jack of Kinrowan.)

Hope these help.


Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides (upsight) | 8 comments I keep thinking of more of these. Probably not surprising since going to Faerie (or having it come to you) is not exactly uncommon in the fantasy genre.

The Magic and the Healing - veterinary students go to a different world to treat magical and legendary creatures. Has several sequels.

The Secret Country - beginning of a trilogy. Five cousins find out that the imaginary land where they've been (essentially) playing a role-playing game might not be as imaginary as they thought.

Magic Kingdom for Sale--Sold - I was reminded of this one when I saw its latest sequel in a bookstore. I can't speak for the sequels, but I remember enjoying the first one.


message 11: by Nation (new)

Nation Hirstein (pelicanese) Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in which the Fey live in a beautiful land, though not one altogether fit for humans.

Little, Big in which Fairie is a place which gets bigger the further you go in.

And, though non-fiction, The Secret Commonwealth Of Elves, Fauns, and Fairies is a beautiful compendium.


message 12: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 4 comments Thank you everyone! I can't wait to get started on these!


message 13: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 4 comments Kernos wrote: "Considering Faerie as primarily Celtic/British, my 1st thoughts are the novelizations of the Irish and Welsh tales. Evangeline Walton for the Welsh and Morgan Llywelyn..."

I read the first of the Seven Waters Series yesterday and loved it. Thank you so much


message 14: by Rowen (new)

Rowen | 1 comments Gael Baudino wrote one called Gossamer Axe that's similar to War for the Oaks, but I actually like this one better. A harper who was taken by the Sidhe centuries ago and escaped, lives in modern Colorado, trying to find a way to rescue her still-captive lover. To do that she must defeat the Sidhe Harper in musical (magical) combat, but how can a mere human musician defeat the preternatural skills of an immortal Sidhe? With the raw power of...heavy metal.


message 15: by Merinde (last edited Jan 18, 2010 10:43AM) (new)

Merinde | 3 comments I love this type of story, so I'm glad someone actually asked for a list - I'm certainly going to try some of the recommendations.

By the way, I don't think Tolkien's The smith of Wootton-Major was mentioned yet was it? I know it's a very short story, but I've always thought it quite lovely. It's the sort of story children enjoy without really understanding what it's about & some adults love because of the underlying themes. Nothing like books like Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell ( though I loved that one), but nice for a change. And certainly about the land of faerie. :)


message 16: by Sidhe (last edited Feb 20, 2010 09:46AM) (new)

Sidhe Prankster (sidheprankster) | 11 comments There are several books based in the lore of the good people. The Tithe series (Tithe, Valiant and Ironside,) are good young adult novels, and their author- Holly Black- is clearly well studied in British fairy lore. Midnight Never Come is another fairly good fae-themed book, and, for a more comical take on the subject, pick up The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar and Neil Gaiman.

For those who, like me, like delving past fairytales and deeper into mythology, I recommend the works of Stephen R. Lawhead, (I think someone already mentioned his Song of Albion series,) and Patricia A. McKillip. I also recommend The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea, The Tales of Tanglewood: The Lon Dubh Whistle by Scott Michael Kessman, and The Quickening by Ly De Angeles. (I feel I must warn you, however, that some people view the last book as slightly anti-Christian. I don't really agree with that assessment. The issue is mostly just that the "bad guys" are a cult of Christian extremists based on Richard Girnt Butler's organization, while the "good guys" either subscribe to alternative religions, or are faeries. It really doesn't paint all Christianity black, only extreme cults, but nonetheless it may offend some. Consider yourself warned.)

Beyond that I cannot recommend the novels and short stories of Charles de Lint enough. They are wonderful Magical Realism tales based in both Celtic and Native American mythology, and involve fey ranging from Sidhe queens to Pukwudgies, from tree sprites to Kickaha skin-changers.


message 17: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Flanagan | 6 comments I began reading War of the Flowers by Tad Williams, The War Of The Flowers by Tad Williams This is a great book with a totally unique view of the lands of Faerie. Unfortunately my bag was stolen that nioghy


message 18: by Sidhe (new)

Sidhe Prankster (sidheprankster) | 11 comments Kelly wrote: "I began reading War of the Flowers by Tad Williams,The War Of The Flowers by Tad WilliamsThis is a great book with a totally unique view of the lands of Faerie. Unfortunately my bag was stolen t..."

Awww! How sad! It's so irritating when you're in the middle of an excellent book, and then are unable to finish if for one reason or other. It's even more terrible that your book got booknapped.


message 19: by Kevis (new)

Kevis Hendrickson (kevishendrickson) | 6 comments I recently read a wonderful book called Destiny's Warriors which focuses on the dealings of humans and the inhabitants of the 'Otherworld'. It's a Celtic-based fantasy story that delves into Irish folklore and mythology as the underpinning of its story. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a compelling fantasy story centered around the world of Fae.

Destiny's Warriors by R.M. Putnam

I would also like to offer up my own creation The Legend of Witch Bane, a fantasy tale of three young children who must venture into the Otherworld to confront a powerful faerie queen who has placed thier kingdom under an evil spell. I invite you to visit the links to these books and find out about the magical adventure that awaits you.

The Legend of Witch Bane by Kevis Hendrickson


message 20: by Sherry (new)

Sherry (zoetreeblue) | 1 comments I just joined this group, and you may no longer be wanting this kind of book; but if so, I recommend Phantastes, a faerie romance by George MacDonald near turn of the century 1800s. Beautiful and dangerous fairyland story in the flowery language of the time. A fairy world where the hero confronts his shadow self and learns the true meaning of love. One of my favorite quotes: "I may love him. I may love him, for he is a man, and I am only a beech tree."


message 21: by Kevis (new)

Kevis Hendrickson (kevishendrickson) | 6 comments Sherry wrote: "I just joined this group, and you may no longer be wanting this kind of book; but if so, I recommend Phantastes, a faerie romance by George MacDonald near turn of the ce..."

Thanks for the rec, Sherry. I love George McDonald. Adding Phantases to my TBR list now. Cheers!


message 22: by Elley (new)

Elley Murray (elleyotter) Nikki wrote: "Wall of text, incoming ... the ones marked with * are the ones I think are not to be missed. Some of these I only included for completion. Some have more adult content than others.

Re-told fai..."


The Magicians is HORRIBLE.


Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides (upsight) | 8 comments Well, at the time I made the post you replied to I hadn't read it yet. But I would say that it started out in an interesting way. I hated the last part, though, to the extent that I would say it was a bad book.


message 24: by Elley (new)

Elley Murray (elleyotter) EXACTLY SO! I liked the first 50 pages or so, and then I had to force myself to read the remaining 350. I was so disappointed, and it looked so good! Darn false books!


message 25: by Michele (new)

Michele Elley wrote: "EXACTLY SO! I liked the first 50 pages or so, and then I had to force myself to read the remaining 350. I was so disappointed, and it looked so good! Darn false books!"

LOL! I was the same but on the other end of the book -- I liked it quite a bit up until the last 50 pages. I was furious at the ending, which I thought was a complete cop-out. And dropping what's-her-name (Julia?) back in at the end was just...it was like the author was gloating, "Ha! I am the author and can do whatever I like, so ppppppppft to you, Constant Reader!"


message 26: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Falconer (librarycrystal) | 2 comments The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly! Also, Neil Gaiman wrote Stardust, and he wrote Neverwhere, both of which deal with this concept :) And I LOVE THEM ALL! I wrote an article about Neil Gaiman that talks about this a little.

http://www.examiner.com/books-in-boul...


message 27: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Staniforth (flowforth) | 5 comments Read "The Faerie Gates of Avalon" and "Melusine of Lusignan & The Cult of the Faery Woman" by Gareth Knight, who is an expert on the Fey realms.


message 28: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (rispah) | 1 comments Another few GREAT faerie books that I adore are The Summer King and Hunter's Moon by O. R. Melling, but the third and fourth book in the series were really a big let down for me. The fourth one was flat out not good at all, but the first 2 were!


message 29: by Ancestral (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) " Meeting the Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland " by Eddie Lenihan, a storyteller from Ireland.


message 30: by The UHQ Nasanta (new)

The UHQ Nasanta (uhqs) I'm not sure whether this is the type of book requested in the original post but Karen Marie Moning has written the Highlander series with at least one character, Adam Black, being of Fae origin.

A few YA novels that deal may fall under this category:

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (and sequels)
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston (and sequels)
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (and sequels)

Wondrous Strange was a little disappointing. I liked The Iron King better. I have not read Wicked Lovely yet.


The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1) by Julie Kagawa Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, #1) by Lesley Livingston Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1) by Melissa Marr


message 31: by Katerina (new)

Katerina (klymene) You must read Hunter's Moon and The Summer King they are both romances with kings of faerie


message 32: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1 comments You have quite the list here! I enjoyed Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner. The sequel, Faerie Winter, will be available in April.


message 33: by Eden (new)

Eden Tyler (EdenTyler) | 3 comments I was wondering when someone would mention Wicked Lovely :)
The *second* book (it's a series and should be read in order, but the books deal with different characters and stories and then go back and forth), Ink Exchange is my favorite, and there are also two more which I've yet to read. (They came out while I was writing my novel and didn't want to be influenced.

I would second Bones of Faerie, as well as O.R. Melling's books.
Anything by Neil Gaiman or Charles DeLint.

All of these recommendations have been great.

Holly Black's series is what really got me hooked ... it was a bit difficult at first, not sure of the terminology and certain things about faeries, but it was definitely a crash course and I fell in love!

The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning is Amazing, but a bit different than what you might expect -- I do highly recommend it, though.. It even takes place in Dublin.

idk why I can't think of anything else ... there are a ton out there!]


message 34: by Lithic (new)

Lithic | 1 comments I know this thread is old, but it has given me some titles to check out, so thanks for that.

A title that springs to mind and as far as I can see, hasn't been mentioned, is Faerie Tale by Raymond E. Feist

I seem to remember enjoying it, but be aware that it appears to polarise reviewers ;)


message 35: by Robina (last edited Apr 11, 2011 10:44PM) (new)

Robina Fox | 3 comments I'd like to add Kate Thompson's series: The New Policeman, The Last of the High Kings and The White Horse Trick set in modern Irish faerie borderland and Tir na n'Og. I haven't read the last one yet, but I've heard it gets a bit apocalyptic. Kate's a great writer - the first of the trilogy was deluged with awards.

Katharine Mary Briggs's Kate Crackernuts has a faery community under a hill, and I'll always remember the human heroine experiencing the (spiritually) crushing weight of it. Pretty malevolent faery folk, with a grudge against humans for stealing their daylight.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Megan wrote: "I am interested in finding more books about the land of faerie. By this, I mean books that take place on the border between the human world and the faerie world, or about people who end up in the ..."

Just a few recommendations for you. Kevin Hearn's "Hounded" isn't bad. Basically, it's a boyish 2,000+ year old Irish Druid living in modern day New Mexico clashing with unfriendly witches, hostile Celtic gods, malicious faeries, and the local cops, while getting by with a little help from an equally eclectic group of friends, including his vampire lawyer and said vampire lawyer's werewolf partner (law partner, NOT life partner) , both of whom started their existance as Vikings. Other earstwhile allies of our protagonist Druid include his Irish (of course) wolf-hound, with whom he communicates telepathically, an Indian (dots, not feathers) witch, and the druid's magical sword, as well as whatever magic the author chooses to endow the rather youngish hero. I look forward to reading the next installment in the series. Facile, but fun.

But most of all, I recommend Gene Wolfe... The Sorcerer's House is good, but his best books in terms of Faerie are his two book Wizard Knight series; an amalgamation of Celtic/Aurthurian and Norse myths.


message 37: by Ashleigh (new)

Ashleigh Oldfield (ash_oldfield) | 2 comments Celia Dart-Thornton's 'Bitterbynde Trilogy' is about Faerie. It's quite good and related many of the tales of Thomas the Rhymer and other Faerie tales whilst following the journey of a human that's been messed up by the Fey.


message 38: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Barger-magill (tlbma) | 2 comments WoW all thanks for listing some books I need to read . Some of my all time favorite books over the years have been Charles deLints Favorites all seem to be those dealing with Urban fantasy. His Newfoundland stories are my favs Indian spirits exist side by side with Faries, troll,s goblins and other myths and legends from all over the world Each story is complete but collectively they twine together and characters reappear. Holly Black and Karen Moning are both good authors that have twists to the old stories of faries (Aasops fariy tales). Kim Harrison the entire Hollows series 'Dime Store Magic', Dead Witch Walking' etc... are all crossovers farie and vampires, demons, etc live out in the open with humans in a modern world Patricia Briggs books also have a lot of Native american and Old high court, low court farie mixed into a modern human world.


message 39: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Barger-magill (tlbma) | 2 comments Eden wrote: "I was wondering when someone would mention Wicked Lovely :)
The *second* book (it's a series and should be read in order, but the books deal with different characters and stories and ..."


Thank you! You like some of my favorite authors too Charles DeLint Holly Black and Moning!


message 40: by Nicholas (new)

Nicholas Kotar (ravenson) Craig wrote: "Megan wrote: "I am interested in finding more books about the land of faerie. By this, I mean books that take place on the border between the human world and the faerie world, or about people who ..."

A little story about Gene Wolfe's Wizard Knight series. I was in Heathrow on a 7 hour layover, so I stopped by a bookstore to see if anything caught my attention. I picked up the Knight by Gene Wolfe. When I came to, I realized I was 35 pages into the book, standing near the bookshelf, with my backpack still on my back. It's that good.
Also, has anyone here mentioned Howard Pyle's stories of King Arthur? There are some great forays into Faerie! And the archaic language is really beautiful, I think.


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm with you Nicholas. I stopped reading fantasy novels back in the late 80s but Wolfe's Wizard Knight series brought me back into it. I'll have to seek out Pyle's Arthurian stories.


message 42: by Kassi (new)

Kassi (brightflashes) I just want to chime in and say that Juliet Marillier is a definite must-read for what you're describing. Daughter of the Forest is a good start with her stuff. Also, thanks for starting this topic - I've got a lot of reading to do, too it looks like!


message 43: by Jalilah (last edited Jul 28, 2011 08:40AM) (new)

Jalilah My absolute favourite is Charles De Lint, in particular his Newford series. I like his short stories less,but they do provide information about the characters in the novels.

Another series involving Fae that I recently discovered is Freda Warrington's Etherial Series: ElfLand and Midsummer Night are the first two and a new book comes out this summer!

Patricia Briggs Mercedes Thompson series is mostly about shape shifters and werewolves but also has faeries in it.

I love the The YA series A Modern Faerie Tale Series by Holly Black: Tithe, Valmont and Ironside.

Karen Marie Monings Darkfever series is a very addicting,borderline trashy, but thoroughly enjoyable read.


message 44: by Beth (new)

Beth  | 5 comments For more detailed research try Encyclopedia of Fairies Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, & Other Supernatural Creatures by Katharine Mary Briggs , and Faeries of the Celtic Lands (Facts Figures & Fun) by Nigel Suckling .
For more modern tales of the fair folk, I love The Faery Reel Tales from the Twilight Realm by Ellen Datlow .


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Beth wrote: "For more detailed research try Encyclopedia of Fairies Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, & Other Supernatural Creatures by Katharine Mary Briggs, and Faeries of the Celtic Lands (Facts Figures & Fun) by Nigel Suckling.
For ..."


Thank you Beth, those look really good.


message 46: by Adria (new)

Adria | 11 comments I agree with whoever said Juliet Marillier's Sevenwaters series, there are fairies, and in some of them, the characters do actually cross into the faerie world. Also The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, it has many supernatural creatures which all live in the Nevernever, but the faeries do have their own land within. Both great series.


message 47: by Russell (new)

Russell | 7 comments Songs of Earth and Power by Greg Bear is an interesting foray into Faerie.
The Complete Lyonesse by Jack Vance is pretty good too.

If you're after something visual try the work of Brian Froud, Edmund Dulac, Arthur Rackham or Richard Dadd.

120 Great Fairy Paintings CD-ROM and Book is a great collection of fairy paintings, mainly from the Victorian era.
120 Great Fairy Paintings CD-ROM and Book (Full-Color Electronic Design Series) by Jeff A. Menges


message 48: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (_shannon) | 10 comments Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan is a mix of faery and historical fiction. It's the first book in her Onyx Court series. It was excellent and I particulary enjoyed the faery aspects.


message 49: by Clifton (last edited Oct 16, 2011 04:15PM) (new)

Clifton Toliver | 2 comments you might find many of the books in this series to your liking. I have read almost all of them and they are very good. Lin Carter did a terrific job when he selected and edited the books for this series.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballanti...


message 50: by Jalilah (last edited Oct 20, 2011 01:00PM) (new)

Jalilah I gave the Good Neighbors grafic novel trilogy by Holly Black Kin,Kithand Kind 5 stars because of Ted Naifeh's art work! It is so beautiful! His drawings are just how I imagine Faeries in an Urban Fantasy should look like.


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