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War for the Oaks

Average Rating 4.5
( 28 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Captivating Urban Fantasy Adventure/Romance

    This book is simply captivating. It's the story of Eddi, a singer/songwriter/musician, who leaves a lackluster band led by her egotistical boyfriend and encounters the fey on her walk home. The seelie court of faerie has decided to bind her to them in their upcoming war against the unseelie. Despite Eddi's reluctance to involve herself in a fey war, the phouka, (a shapeshifter responsible for recommending Eddi to the seelie court), insists she's endangered and forcibly moves into her apartment. He becomes her roommate cum bodyguard and, eventually, her roadie. With encouragement from the phouka and her drummer, Eddi auditions new band members including an arresting lead guitarist named Willie Silver. The book seamlessly segues from Eddi's entertaining/humorous/touching interactions with the phouka to band practice/gigs to encounters with and attacks by the fey, including some romancing by a faerie lord. Further, there's fey battles in Minneapolis parks/greens, and fey partying accompanied by love. It all culminates in the ultimate gig. If you like rock combined with fantasy, fantasy combined with romance and/or fantasy about faeries/magic, then read this fantasy. This book is one of the few fantasies which offers an intensely satisfying read on multiple levels.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2013

    Amazing, the book is beautifully written. 

    Amazing, the book is beautifully written. 

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  • Posted February 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    down to earth without being stale

    I've come to the conclusion that any story with a phouka (alternately spelled pooka) is better for it. Harvey (with James Stewart) made brilliant use of this creature. Emma Bull does the same in War for the Oaks. Originally published in 1987, this book is set in Minneapolis where Eddi McCandry is trying to make a living as a rock and roll musician. When the novel starts, Eddi's prospects in the music department are not so good. To make matters worse, she is soon recruited by the Seelie Court to help them make war. That's right, Eddi is drafted into a faerie war. In order to keep her safe (until she has to risk her life in battle), the phouka is dispatched as her bodyguard.

    There is something kind of awesome about a book that can combine rock music with something as fantastical as faeries. Bull does it wonderfully. Each chapter title is a song. Music excerpts abound throughout, sure to entertain even those of us unfamiliar with music of that period. Bull also spends a lot of time describing the process of making music--what the band sounds like on stage, how rehearsals go, etc. Instead of being boring or draggy, they're really interesting and show how very much effort goes into this process.

    At times the plot seemed a little predictable, but I'm still not sure if that's just because I've been reading quite a few fantasy books lately instead of from anything in the writing. It doesn't really matter though because it's not a bad predictability. Rather, it's the kind that leaves a sense of satisfaction because it feels like the plot is going along as it should be.

    Bull's writing style was down to earth without being stale and her characters will not easily be forgotten. The phouka, in particular, is a favorite for too many reasons to enumerate here. So, if you haven't guessed, I strongly recommend this book. If you like music, if you like phoukas, if you like fantasy, if you need something to read, if you believe in magic--this book is for you.

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  • Posted February 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    An Urban Fantasy Essential

    This may be my all-time favorite example of urban fantasy. It is certainly one of my all time favorite novels in any genre. Had Emma Bull written this a few hundred years ago, it would no doubt be a classic fairy tale. That it was written much more recently should not be held against it. Bull weaves a fantastic story, a war between the Seelie and Unseelie courts using weapons both ancient and modern, and across battlegrounds of deep forests and human hearts. The characters are very realistic, human when they're supposed to be and something else when they're not. The language and action flow naturally, carrying the reader along with them. This novel belongs in the library of anyone who loves urban fantasy or fairy mythology.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2008

    Worth the read

    This was good. It took some patience- slow at times, but a nice kind of slow- I liked this book. I did love one of the characters 'the Phouka', though I still would not say this is one of my favorite books. I did not find myself drawn to Eddie, the main character, and I think that diminished my engagement with the story. I do not regret the time I spent reading it, though I would not say, 'You MUST read this book.' It is not a page turner. It did not keep me reading into the night as the book I have included below did. But still...I am glad I read it. If you enjoy fantasy, I think you would like it too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2008

    A reviewer

    Simply Amazing. This book has all the elements of a perfect fairy tail with a modern twist. I've read it a million time & wonder why more people don't know about it. Extremely under-rated book. Go buy it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    Edgy, original, entertaining. The combination of music and magic made for an interesting combination, especially against the background of urban landscape contrasted against a very faerie war.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2005

    What Urban Fantasy Should Be

    In 'A War for the Oaks' Emma Bull captures the true spirit of Urban fantasy exactly the way it should be portrayed. Beyond authors like Charles de Lint, this author comes foward with a voice, and a story that make you glad to participate from begining till end. If only there were more authors like her Urban Fantasy would be in a much better place, instead of being merely as a passing phase.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2002

    this is a snazzy book

    its a modern fantasy that is absolutely spiffy cuz it includes stuff about the hardships of making a rock band. its great about the way emma bull (the author) includes faeries and all that into the story line. once i started reading it i just couldn't put the book down!! its definetily worth the money... i might even buy a second copy cuz i'm so obsessed with it!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic urban fantasy

    Rhythm guitarist Eddi McCandry knows finally knows with this gig at Minneapolis¿ University Bar the band stinks and her former lover Stuart Kline has no talent. She realizes it is time to move on by leaving Stuart and InKline Plain for another rock and roll band, but one that plays music that came after the end of the Eisenhower administration. <P>While Eddi suffers, the Seelie Court of Faerie select her as their human champion in the war with the Unseelie. To protect her, the Seelie send her a bodyguard. He is a large black male who turns into a nasty looking canine when danger arises. However, as Eddi adapts to having a guitar in two realms, her side is filled with dissension and treachery while the enemy wants to eliminate the mortal threat to their immortality. <P> WAR FOR THE OAKS is a reprint of a Reagan era cult classic and no bull, the story line holds up as a superb example of urban fantasy. The tale is fast-paced and Eddi¿s humor lightens the tension just enough so that it lightens but does not overwhelm the plot. The story hooks the audience from the start because Eddi is a fabulous lead character and the range of Faerie persona seem real yet bizarre and exotic so that author Emma Bull avoids the pitfall of ¿Earthenizing¿ the race. Do You Believe In Magic? The answer is yes if you have read this wild ride through the Twin Cities. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2001

    Terrific Urban Fantasy

    It's so good to see this wonderful book back in print! This is a great introduction to what is frequently called Urban Fantasy. The characters are very engaging and the plot well-paced and fun. Once begun, it's a very difficult book to put down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2001

    Reading this one once will not be enough

    Our reluctant heroine had me saying ' yeah that would be my reaction too.' This one is realistic enough to have you saying this could happen, yet it is far enough out there to tickle your fanstsy bone. This author should write MORE.

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    Posted February 16, 2010

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
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