War For the Oaks by Emma Bull
Publication: Tor Teen (originally published 1987), Paperback, 336pp
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Amazon • Add to shelf
Guitarist Eddi McCandry has just dumped her boyfriend and their band when she finds herself running through the Minneapolis night, pursued by a sinister man and a huge, terrifying dog. As she soon discovers, the two creatures are one and the same: a phouka, a faerie being who has chosen Eddi to be the mortal pawn in the age-old war between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Eddi isn't interested--but she doesn't have a choice. For more than her own survival is at stake. To save the city--and the man--that she loves, Eddi must face off against the Dark Queen of the Unseelie Court in the ultimate duel of music and magic. (from Amazon)
I bought this book back in 2005 at the Mall of America, before I knew how to pack enough reading materials into my bags so I didn’t run out halfway through a road trip.1 I don’t think I knew what urban fantasy was back then, but I liked the cover and I had enough of my allowance left so hey! Why not, right? I think the blurb from Neil Gaiman helped me decide, too, though it’s probably the least useful blurb I’ve ever seen.2
So this was my intro to Emma Bull! And I think it’s a pretty darned good one. It’s no longer my favorite urban fantasy book, but I still definitely enjoy reading it. Sure, there’s some dated stuff (the clothing, mostly) and a really depressing event near the end that makes me scream “WHYYYYYYYY” every time I read it, but it’s still an excellent urban fantasy book.3 It’s got rock n’ roll and scary violence and an interesting cast of characters. I like especially that it’s set in Minneapolis– the “flyover” states still don’t get much love in fantasy nowadays, and I have a fondness for Minnesota-set stories anyway (I lived there when I was little).
My favorite Emma Bull book (so far) is still Freedom and Necessity, but if you’re more into modern fantasy than historical fantasy, War for the Oaks is a worth a read for sure.
reRead: Jan. 24-25, 2013
Check out this trailer the author and her friends made back in the 1990s. It’s AMAZING.
- also before I even knew what an ebook/ebook reader WAS. ↩
- “Emma Bull is really good.” Okay. ↩
- didn’t notice that it was published under the Tor Teen imprint until now! How interesting. Was it originally published as a YA book? Because it totally reads as an adult one to me, albeit without the rampant sex scenes that show up in most urban fantasy books today. ↩