A fantasy novel by Emma Bull
and one of the pioneering works of Urban Fantasy
, War for the Oaks
is the story of Eddi McCandry, a Minneapolis rock singer who's just quit her band and broken up with her boyfriend. There's also the matter of The Fair Folk
moving in — quite literally — with her, and an impending war between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts into which she's just been drafted.
Contains examples of:
- The Baroness: the Queen of Unseelie Court.
- Beta Couple: Carla and Dan.
- Bodyguard Crush: Eddi and the phouka.
- Charm Person: Willy does this to Eddi; she is unsurprisingly furious when she finds out.
- Counterfeit Cash: The phouka uses disappearing fairy gold (or rather hundred-dollar bills) to buy Eddi a motorcycle. When she realizes what he's done she makes it clear that is not okay, even if the guy he did it to is a jerk.
- Dancing Is Serious Business.
- Do I Really Sound Like That?: When Eddi is under a spell that removes all glamours, a side-effect is that she can hear her voice as she sounds to other people, which is a bit disorienting.
- Duet Bonding: Eddi and Willy.
- Elemental Barrier: around the battle area.
- Elvish Presley: One of the earliest examples.
- The Fair Folk: Two courts: the Seelie and Unseelie courts, roughly corresponding to good and evil.
- Fairy Companion: The phouka and Meg to Eddi.
- Fairy Sexy: many examples.
- Gender-Blender Name: An offbeat one, too.
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: Eddi & the Fey.
- Ice Queen: two of them.
- Interspecies Romance.
- In The Style Of: Eddi and her band like to try it as a kind of exercise.
- Invisible to Normals.
- I Owe You My Life: Meg feels indebted to Eddi after Eddi saves her life—which is not a feeling that the fay are comfortable with—but Eddi absolutely refuses to take advantage of it, even when she needs Meg's help to rescue Willy from the Unseelie Court.
Eddi: I hope you'll help me—but not because you think you owe it to me. Do it because you want to do me a favor, or Willy a favor, or because you think it's right. Or don't do it. I can't blame you if you don't.
- Killed Off for Real: Willy Silver.
- Like Reality Unless Noted.
- Loveable Rogue: Most of the (non-evil) faeries, but the Phouka in particular.
- Magic Music: True to folklore, the music of the faeries is impossible to resist, as audiences soon find.
- The Mole: Hedge.
- Mundane Utility: the magic of phouka and Meg.
- Myspeld Rökband: InKline Plain, Stuart Kline's band, which Eddi is still a member of at the beginning of the novel. Apparently, nobody ever spells it 'correctly'.
- Nature Spirit: glaistig and many other fairies.
- Never Trust a Title: there are no strategically relevant oaks in the novel.
- No Name Given: The phouka is only ever addressed by the name of his species (although he uses the alias of Robin Goode among humans not in the know). Whether he doesn't have a name or just isn't revealing it is never discussed.
- Not Quite Saved Enough: Poor, poor Willy.
- The Power of Friendship: The special bond between Eddi and phouka, created by Eddi's answer to the Queen, gives her a special power over fairies' fate.
- The Power of Rock: Present throughout the novel including the final battle.
- Skunk Stripe: Willy Silver.
- Twin Cities: The setting of the book; all the places mentioned in the novel are real.
- Urban Fantasy: One of the Trope Codifiers.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: that is why phouka warns Eddi against doubt.