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War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

War for the Oaks (1987)

by Emma Bull

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,285924,021 (4.08)248
  1. 70
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (leahsimone)
  2. 61
    Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (GirlMisanthrope)
    GirlMisanthrope: The fey at home in the big city, moving unknown amongst the mortals.
  3. 40
    Tithe by Holly Black (TheBooknerd)
  4. 30
    The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars by Steven Brust (Herenya)
    Herenya: Both are set in the late 80s, about artists trying to make a living from their art. There the similarities between the two books end, perhaps... but I can imagine Greg and friends going to listen to Eddi's band.
  5. 31
    Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Mercedes Lackey (Shanshad)
  6. 31
    Faefever by Karen Marie Moning (TheBooknerd)
  7. 20
    Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan (craso)
  8. 10
    Angels on Fire by Nancy A. Collins (VictoriaPL)
  9. 10
    The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe (yahalomi65)
  10. 00
    A Madness of Angels: Or, the Resurrection of Matthew Swift by Kate Griffin (questionablepotato)

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» See also 248 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
Readable, but not my cup of tea. Romantic contemporary urban faerie tales simply don't appeal much to me. I did manage to finish but thought about putting this one aside several times along the way. At the conclusion, it was all rather predictable. ( )
  ScoLgo | Jul 3, 2018 |
I discovered this book after attending Odyssey Con where Emma Bull was one of the Guests of Honor. It's an enjoyable book, and holds the position of being one of the first books of what we now refer to urban fantasy genre. It's a fun book, dealing with a young mortal musician who gets caught up in a war between the Seelie and Unseelie courts of Faerie.

It's a quick and fun read, and the characters are enjoyable, although in some cases perhaps too broadly drawn, and in some ways I felt like it should have been more epic somehow. There's an almost absurd speed to the ability of the mortal characters to accept what is occurring, which bothered me. That's also true of some of the dialogue, which seemed rushed to me in a few places early in the book. As if the current of the story was too strong for Bull to slow down enough to capture the full conversation.

Still, I enjoyed the book and it made for a quick read, which was perfect since I was in the mood for a little bit of fun. ( )
  andrlik | Apr 24, 2018 |
Eddi McCandry is a rock musician who meets a phouka who recruits her into fighting for the Seelie Court in their battle against the Unseelie. This is one of the first examples in the urban fantasy genre and, as that is a favorite genre of mine, it was really interesting to read this "genesis" and to see how much the genre has evolved since its publication. That said, it was a decent read for me and the story-line and the supernatural characters were great. The world-building is good, but I didn't quite see the supernaturals' fascination with the main character (possibly because she has virtually no back-story and doesn't quite feel like a real person) and I didn't completely believe in her abilities; I was told she had powers, but didn't feel it. Also, since I am not a musician, there are many, many pages of band practice descriptions that make little sense to me, personally. Still, an entertaining read and it's a good kick-off for a genre that contains many of my favorite reads. ( )
  -Eva- | Feb 21, 2018 |
Rereading this book after 30 years, I was a little hesitant. How well would it hold up? After all, what was dazzling and new in 1987 is now standard for modern urban fantasy. And, well, I've gotten a bit pickier over the years about what I consider to be good writing. So there was always the chance that I'd changed, even if the book hadn't.

Answer: it holds up pretty darn well. Even though I knew how it was going to turn out, the plot still held me and I still cared about the characters. I confess I could've done with less "Rock Band 101" in the first half of the book. I'm sure all the details are accurate; I just wasn't interested. Once the battle between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts got going, the pace picked up nicely and the book was much more captivating. Also, oddly, even though I'd spent an entire book in Eddi's head, I still didn't feel like I knew her all that well by the end of the book. She has almost no backstory beyond what you can suss out from her relationship with Stuart and a few comments to Carla. But that's the kind of thing I only notice once I've finished; it didn't get in the way of reading the book. So yeah, it's still readable and still recommendable—have at it! ( )
  Silvernfire | Dec 26, 2017 |
Had I found it as a teenager, it would now be a comfort book. But I think that I have read too widely, chosen a different style of story as that which I wish to read for it to be that anymore. As fantasy, it is great - enough different to keep me interested, believable characters, good use of myth. And I do like a fantasy that is technically set in the modern day! As a romance, it is reasonably subtle - as in doesn't take over the plot - as well as the level of predictable that makes me think of more specific romances. As to plot - we have a young musician who gets fed up with her boyfriend/band leader, gets co-opted by the fey for a territorial war that they are having, starts a new band. There are lots of music rehearsals and battles, with a bit of soul searching thrown in ( )
  fred_mouse | Aug 16, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
Whenever I describe my Tufa novels, The Hum and the Shiver and the upcoming Wisp of a Thing, to potential readers, they immediately mention two literary antecedents. One is the Silver John stories and novels by Manly Wade Wellman, which I discussed here. The other is Emma Bull’s 1987 novel War for the Oaks. ... As with the Silver John stories, I now understand why people make the connection to my Tufa books. In this case, there are both musicians and faeries, and a sense that magic resides in music. But also as with Silver John, I think that similarity is mainly a surface one. Which, again as with Wellman’s tales, actually delights me, because it means I can enjoy War for the Oaks with a clear conscience.
added by legallypuzzled | editTor.com, Alex Bledsoe (pay site) (Apr 29, 2013)
In short ... I just can’t imagine anyone not liking War For the Oaks. It has everything you could possibly want in a book except pirates and space ships - and the phouka wears a sort of piratey ruffled shirt at one point so that partially covers the pirate angle. It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s thought - provoking, and did I mention that it is sexy as hell? With all those significant glances and enigmatic statements and, oh yeah, some really hot, if not extremely explicit, sex? Just go read it; if you combine it with some good coffee and some good songs in the background, I can almost guarantee you the perfect day.
added by legallypuzzled | editsmart bithces, sb sarah (pay site) (May 2, 2011)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Emma Bullprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alderman, NaomiIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dringenberg, MikeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eshkar, ShelleyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayden, Patrick NielsenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Patrick, PamelaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Regina, Jane AdeleDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Windling, TerriEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for my mother,
who knew right away that the Beatles were important,
and for my father, who never once complained about the noise.
First words
By day, the Nicollet Mall winds through Minneapolis like a paved canal.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Eddi McCandry sings rock and roll. But her boyfriend just dumped her, her band just broke up, and life could hardly be worse. Then, walking home through downtown Minneapolis on a dark night, she finds herself drafted into an invisible war between the faerie folk. Now, more than her own survival is at risk - and her own preferences, musical and personal, are very much beside the point.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0765300346, Paperback)

Emma Bull's debut novel, War for the Oaks, placed her in the top tier of urban fantasists and established a new subgenre. Unlike most of the rock & rollin' fantasies that have ripped off Ms. Bull's concept, War for the Oaks is well worth reading. Intelligent and skillfully written, with sharply drawn, sympathetic characters, War for the Oaks is about love and loyalty, life and death, and creativity and sacrifice.

Eddi McCandry has just left her boyfriend and their band when she finds herself running through the Minneapolis night, pursued by a sinister man and a huge, terrifying dog. The two creatures are one and the same: a phouka, a faerie being who has chosen Eddi to be a mortal pawn in the age-old war between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Eddi isn't interested--but she doesn't have a choice. Now she struggles to build a new life and new band when she might not even survive till the first rehearsal.

War for the Oaks won the Locus Magazine award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the Mythopoeic Society Award. Other books by Emma Bull include the novels Falcon, Bone Dance (second honors, Philip K. Dick Award), Finder (a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award), and (with Stephen Brust) Freedom and Necessity; the collection Double Feature (with Will Shetterly); and the picture book The Princess and the Lord of Night. --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:11 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Eddi McCandry, an unemployed Minneapolis rock singer, finds herself drafted into an invisible war between the faerie folk.

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