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5 Books About Fairies for Adults

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published February 17th 2018
Hang your horseshoes the right way up
Stories about mythological creatures like unicorns and fairies are often considered to be for children, but some adults like a little magic in their lives too. These 5 books are some of the best stories for adults about fairies.

1. The War of the Flowers- Tad Williams

The War of the Flowers, Tad Williams, fantasy novel, books about fairies for adults

Musician Theo Vilmos is about to become a father when his life takes a strange turn. He finds himself hunted by terrifying creature, and drawn into the world of Faery. Faery is ruled by the feuding aristocratic Flower Families, some of whom want to destroy humanity. Theo and the potty-mouthed sprite, Applecore join forces to try and liberate fairy kind and save the human world.

The War of the Flowers
is quite a long book, like most of Tad Williams' novels, but the story and characters make it worth sticking with until the end.

2. The Darkest Part of the Forest- Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the Forest, Holly Black, books about fairies

Hazel and Ben are a brother and sister who life in the town of Fairfold, just on the edge of a forest inhabited by fairies. Everyone who grows up in the town knows better than to make bargains with the fairies, and yet every so often someone is tempted to try. Hazel offers the fairies ten years of her own life in exchange for her talented brother being able to go to college to study music, but she is unprepared for the fairies' interpretation of the bargain. At the heart of the forest is a glass coffin in which a boy with horns has slept for generations. Hazel and Ben's generation see him finally awaken.

The Darkest Part of the Forest is a gripping tale of love, betrayal and sacrifice. It's also full of interesting snippets of fairy lore and descriptions of the Fair Folk's revelry and how terrible they can be when crossed.

3. Elsewhere- Will Shetterly

Elsewhere, Will Shetterly, fantasy novel, books about fairies for adults

Teenage Ron follows his runaway brother to Bordertown, the city on the border between Elfland and the World where humans, Elves and "halfies" (half elf, half human) intermingle, and both technology and magic are unpredictable. There he meets the inhabitants of the squat, Castle Pup, and finds work in a used book shop called Elsewhere. The city is not without dangers and he must keep his wits about him if he wants to stay alive long enough to find his brother.

Elsewhere is the fourth book in the Borderlands series, a shared universe created by Terri Windling, but it is a stand alone novel. The elves of the Borderlands are proud, strange, sometimes terrifying, sometimes pompous and silly. While technically a young adult book, Elsewhere will also appeal to adults It is beautifully descriptive, moving and funny in parts. Shetterly also wrote a sequel, Nevernever, which follows some of the characters from the Elsewhere.

4. The Autumn Castle- Kim Wilkins

The Autumn Castle, Kim Wilkings, books about fairies for adults, fairy books

In modern day Berlin, Christine suffers a bump which aggravates an existing back injury she has from a car accident as a child. She falls unconscious and awakes in Faery, where she meets Mayfridh, the fairy queen, and her counsellor the shapeshifting wolf. As Christine is drawn into Mayfridh's world, Mayfridh is drawn to Christine's world, and to Christine's boyfriend. Meanwhile, an eccentric millionaire artist, Mandy, has become obsessed with murdering fairies for his art.

The Autumn Castle is a dark, urban fantasy tale from Australian author, Kim Wilkins. It is the first book in Kim Wilkin's Europa trilogy about European mythology, though all three books are standalone novels.

5. Tithe- Holly Black

Tithe, Holly Black, books about fairies

Kaye travels from city to city with her musician mother, until she is sixteen, when strange events pull her into a struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms.

Like Elsewhere, this is technically a young adult book, but I wouldn't recommend it for younger readers due to the violence. It's a little dark, but worth a read.
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