Monday, July 13, 2009

Got Fairy?

Happy Manic Monday. Last week’s interview with RF Long got me thinking about fairies. I’ve never written a story about these mystical beings but do like to read them. My recent favorite is LK Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series. I’m reaching the end of her last novel Swallowing Darkness. All these thoughts have led me to one question. When did my fascination start?

The first fantasy book I read was The Lion,the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis. Fairies made a small appearance but enough for me to say it was the start. Tinkerbell from Disney? Even though I loved her, my fascination had not bloomed yet.

It began with a history book which described the belief systems of medieval civilization. Once I read of the Sidhe, of their kindness and their evil, I was hooked. I wonder now if it was the darkness of these stories that attracted me more than the magic. If I wanted light and joy shouldn’t Tink have been enough?

Like anyone, my interest expanded and I went away from fantasy for awhile to divulge in sci-fi until I joined a critique group and read someone’s urban fantasy that contained fairy myth. *cough Rae cough* I was hooked again. There are a lot of different worlds built about this subject. We’ve got Rae’s which I let her describe. Angela Knight wrote Master of the Moon which she entwined King Author history to the Sidhe. I’ve already mentioned LKH where she has the Sidhe living openly among modern Americans.

Do you like fairies? Dark or light? What books would you recommend?


Heather Long said...

I love Fairies -- you've mentioned several favorites. My current WIP (Hel's Belle) features the Fae. I also loved the Fae in Mercedes Lackey's SERRAted Edge series and in Emma Bull's War of the Oaks (both subjects of my Daily Dose tomorrow on Urban Fantasy) -- loving this!

R F Long said...

The thing I love about the Sidhe (LOVE!) is that they can be good or evil. And not just on a good or a bad side. In many stories they are entirely without a moral compass of any kind. They do things because they find them fun. The victim of their antics might not share the opinion but that hardly matters to them.

And what's more chilling than never knowing what way a powerful supernatural being will jump?

(Thanks again for having me visit last week)

J Hali said...

I can't make this print small enough to hide or large enough to hide behind! Aside from Tinkerbell, I can't think of a single fairy story I know of (or read about!)

I'm going to go and take a look at my library shelf...I swear if I find one - I'll come back.

Dayna Hart said...

*raises hand* I write fairies. All the time. even when I don't mean to. Insidious little bastids! :)Go Between and Between Good and Aeval (my releases with Samhain) were supposed to have fairies, but they've infiltrated four WIPS since ;)

Tithe by Holly Black is one of my favorite Fairy stories, although it's YA it's still phenomenal.

Charles deLint features fairies and folklore from across mythologies, which is awesome.

Annie Nicholas said...

I read a child's book to my son. I thought it was about a cat. It turned out that the Sidhe stole the cat's owner, a human child, and switched her with a changling. They took her under the hill where they lived to raise as their own. In the end the cat saved the child and brought her home.

My son was horrified. Opps, bad mom. But it made me wonder if maybe fairy tales were originally written for adults and not children. For example the Brothers Grimm stories.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

Note that the fairies of medieval belief were what we would now call "elves," and were human-sized (humans and fairies could have sex, and did in some medieval mss). The tiny fairies of modern twee children's stories appear to have originated with Shakespeare. Note that the medievals, aside from the knight who had sex with the noble fairy lady, were scared silly of fairies and elves--one unfortunate lady was burned at the stake in 1576, I think in Scotland, for "repairing with fairies and the queen of Elfame."

This is one group of supernatural folk I've never written about, though I have written about vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and lately, the Japanese yuki-onna. I did start a novel at college age where an extraterrestrial colony had reverted to a medieval-style social system and the pointed-eared "elves" were mutated descendents of the original ship's nuclear engineering crew--"eleves du pouvoir nucleaire," nuclear engineering students, with the word "eleves" having been corrupted to "elves." But that was a close as I got.

Debbie Mumford said...

I've been in love with the fae since I was a child, but the Tinkerbelle variety never really appealed to me. I like my faeries to have a bit of bite to them. Like Red, the mischievous faery from my "Glass Magic" tales...he causes trouble for the mortals he encounters. And then there's the book I'm shopping, "Faery Unexpected"...the story of a teenage girl who is the victim of an ages old family curse *shiver* Great fun!

Sandra Sookoo said...

I wrote fairies into my vampire book. Other than that, I haven't really dealt too much with them :-)

Crista said...

The only time I've dared to write faeries was in one of my fantasy novels, The Tears of Elios. I purposely wrote than from an anti-Tinkerbell slant. They are dark tricksters who delight in mortal suffering...

Rebecca Royce said...

I love the Fairies. Try the Highlander Karen Marie Moning books, they're loaded with the Fae as well as her Fever series. Love them.

Kathye Quick said...

I've written on story about the fae with writing partner Patt Mihailoff, We write as Pk K. Eden. FIREBRAND was well received. We had a wonderful time world building, but so far have not sat down to write the next one.

I love the Sidhe and the way then can morph into good or eveil depending on your plot, but we prefered to invent our own fairy race.

David Bridger said...

I don't read fairies as much as I read other creatures, and tend to forget how good some fairy stories are. Charles de Lint's Widdershins is excellent, as is Maggie Stiefvater's beautifully lyrical YA Lament.

Aithne Jarretta said...

Thank you for posting this about faerie stories. I found you at Romance Divas. I also have a life long love of the Fae.

For years I hid this wonderful secret. Then when I started writing my novel CONCENTRIC CIRCLES so much came out.

Shayla Brinnawell, my herione in CC is a long lost Fae Princess who must come to terms with her hidden magickal heritage. In the midst of that she falls in love and battles an evil war lord.

Oh the fun of being Fae. ;o)

Thanks again.

Aithne Jarretta
Paranormal Romance Author
Feed Your Romantic Spirit ~ Indulge in the Magic!

Rae Lori said...

Thanks, Annie! :-) I'm so jazzed to hear my MS made an impact! I love fairies ever since I was younger myself. I remember drawing random faerie characters while in class to keep my hands busy lol. There's just something awesome about them and their worlds from Tinkerbell to even the dark fairies and I like seeing what other authors have done with them.

Like Annie mentioned, I wrote an urban fantasy romance called A Kiss of Ashen Twilight featuring a vampire and a fairy. There wasn't much on the Aziza fairies from Dahomey African lore and I really liked the background with them being good and assisting hunters. So I incorporated their myth and the Dahomey culture into the story and also had some reign to create a little bit of my own since the background was somewhat scarce. I enjoyed it so much I still have some inklings to write more stories featuring Aziza fairies and their mythology.

I have some fae stories in my TBR pile but the ones I've tackled are Jim Butcher's Summer Knight in his Dresden Files series (awesome book!), Books 1 & 2 in Merry Gentry series (not sure these are my cuppa since they have a LOT of chatting!), The Sweet Scent of Blood by Suzanne McLeod (just started it but it reads very much like a Merry Gentry book), Unseelie by Meredith Holmes (loved this book!), Thirty Nights With a Highland Husband by Melissa Mayhue (first in her series and I thought it was pretty cute!) and I have some of the others in my TBR list like Moning's books, War For the Oaks, Melissa Marr's books and a few others. I'll have to keep an eye out for some of the titles mentioned in these comments, too!

Rae Lori said...

PS I LOVE that last pic of the male fae character!

Annie Nicholas said...

Thanks for reminding me about Jim Butcher's stories!

Erica Hayes said...

I love Holly Black's faerie books: Tithe, Valiant and Ironside. They're YA but enjoyable for adults as well, filled with a weird sense of wonder.

I love to write fairies, because they're unpredictable, and as a writer I can make up my own rules. I threw out all the Celtic faery lore (because I could!) and made some gritty, elemental Australian fairies :)

Erica Hayes