Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks is one of the most 80s things I’ve ever read. What screams big hair and power ballads more than a story where the good guys beat the bad guys using the power of Rock? That is the basis of this fun foray into Faerie.
Eddi McCandry’s life is unraveling. She quits her band, and in the process also breaks up with her boyfriend, Stuart. Walking home, her outlook is bleak. She’s lonely and now jobless. But her world is shattered even more when she’s picked by the Fae to play the token mortal in a war of power between the two Fae factions.
The story is full of music and magic, humor and hubris, motorcycles and mayhem. It makes for an entertaining read, and for me, interesting mental imagery. Bull does sometimes bog the story down with a bit too much music description and jargon, and some of the minor plot points get lost in the overall story. I would not recommend this book to anyone who doesn’t already have a basic knowledge of Faerie mythos, as Bull tends to just throw out a bunch of names and references which might confuse readers who’ve never heard of things like Phouka or Glaistig.
Overall, though, War for the Oaks is definitely worth the read, especially since it is one of the foundational works of the urban fantasy genre.