War for the Oaks

War for the Oaks

Book - 2001
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Acclaimed by critics and readers on its first publication in 1987, winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel, Emma Bull's War for the Oaks is one of the novels that has defined modern urban fantasy.

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.

By turns tough and lyrical, fabulous and down-to-earth, War for the Oaks is a fantasy novel that's as much about this world as about the other one. It's about real love and loyalty, about real music and musicians, about false glamour and true art. It will change the way you hear and see your own daily life.

Publisher: New York : Orb, 2001
Edition: First Orb edition
ISBN: 9780765300348
Branch Call Number: FICTION Bul
Description: 332 pages ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

Eddi McCandry, punk rock singer, is inadvertently drafted into a war between the Seelie and Unseelie faerie courts. Her bodyguard, sometimes a man and sometimes a terrifying dog, must keep her alive until the final battle. The task is complicated by their growing feelings for each other.

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RomanceAddict Aug 20, 2019

Review excerpt: "Once Upon a Time, there was no urban fantasy. Then, there was Emma Bull and her novel 'War For The Oaks'. Take note, y'all, this is how to popularize (and, in fact, she’s widely credited as having invented) a genre. If you like urban fantasy, urban paranormal romance, and pretty much anything else that involves supernatural creatures in a city, you owe a big thank you to Emma Bull. Lord knows, I personally owe a big thanks to Emma, without whom I would not have spent the last 24 years saying things like, “A big rock”, “hanging arse up in gorseberry bushes, whist’ling pop’lar songs”, and, “You know, she got a little fey, and we just drifted apart” to the utmost confusion of those around me."


Jun 03, 2019

I loved this book a while back, and thought it would make a good movie. It has a real flavor of St Paul and Minneapolis in it.

Jun 03, 2019

Very interesting read and the whole setting in the Twin Cities makes it more interesting for locals but I didn't find the main character relatable at all and the book felt slightly outdated. Besides that it is a very good read and I recommend it for people that like fantasy and are looking for something set in the Twin Cities.

Dec 20, 2017

Quite a great read! Picked it up off the table of themed books grouped under "that's so 80's" and it was very aptly placed there. A fun, light, jaunt through Minneapolis and the faerie elements are interesting and magical in a unique way. As a fan of vintage clothing the descriptions of a sartorial nature were appreciated too. A great find!

Aug 19, 2017

This is a very special and unique book. It deserves to be better known.

Dec 19, 2011

Worth a read for the amusing romance between the main character and her faerie bodyguard, but I had trouble buying the tie between the world of the fairies, their wars, their rules and the band's music. Not my sort of story, I guess.

Sep 27, 2010

Eddi McCandry is having a bad night. She broke up with her boyfriend, quit her band, and is being chased through downtown Minneapolis by a man in black and a very big dog. Cornered at last, Eddi is stunned to discover that the man and the dog are one and the same. The fellow is a phouka, a shape-shifting magical being, and he has just drafted Eddi into an age-old war between two dueling branches of faerie folk. The Seelie Court needs Eddi, a mortal, to bring balance to their battle with the dark Unseelie Court. Feisty and fiercely independent, Eddi has zero interest in being some pixie?s pawn, but she doesn?t have a choice?now that she?s been singled out by one faerie court, the sinister fey of the other will be after her in full force. The phouka?an infuriating, dashing trickster?is appointed Eddi?s guardian and guide through the magical realm now open to her. Overwhelmed, Eddi grounds herself in her passion for music. She starts another band and to her surprise, her recently acquired affinity for magic produces the best sound she?s ever played?with a bit of help from her new bandmates. The fey have been infiltrating the human world for ages, and boy, can they play some mean rock and roll. The band (with the grinning phouka as roadie) begins to garner some serious hype, but there?s still a battle between the forces of good and evil to win, and Eddi is about to become the center of some very dangerous attention. Grounded in the neighborhoods of the Twin Cities and brimming with as much rock and roll as magic, War for the Oaks is an urban fantasy cult classic that still packs a punch more than twenty years after its original publication.

SqueeGirl Sep 12, 2009

Excellent. Keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end. Strong female character.

Aug 08, 2006

This urban fantasy started out great, with Minneapolis rock musician Eddi finding herself chosen as a pawn in the eternal war in the world of faerie, a reality she hadn't even known existed. The otherworldly battle scenes were the weakest part of the story -- it was much more interesting to see Eddi's relationship with her protector develop, as well as that of her band. While it was fun to read a story set in the Twin Cities, after a while the many, many familiar locations being introduced and described got a little much. Regretfully, I wanted to like this book more than I actually did.


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Dec 19, 2011

"It's the way I'm made, I suppose. For centuries, my kind have delighted in luring travelers off the path and into the marsh for the sheer pleasure of seeing them wet their feet."

SqueeGirl Sep 12, 2009

"That's nice". Eddi felt a queasy forboding. "What do you want me to do? Referee?"

The phouka flung his head back and barked laughter. "Ah, sweetling, you are fresh as the wind, if not as quick. The Unseelie court are as immortal as we are. We could strike off all their warty heads tonight, and have it all to do again tomorrow. How would you slay an immortal?"...

"Were you upon the battlefield, you would bring to it the taint of mortality. All wounds would be true ones, and some would be fatal."


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SqueeGirl Sep 12, 2009

Eddi McCandry just wants to sing in a rock 'n' roll band. Instead she gets mixed up in a faerie war that needs a mortal to make it real.


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