Faerie Tale by Raymond Feist

This book was recommended me to quite a while ago and the cover looked neat, so I broke ranks with my pre-designated Jane Yolen  and went for it.

Seriously, not judging a book by its cover is hard to do when there's not only a creepy hole in the barn wall view but also... a big spidery thing drooling over
a bloody shoe! Egads.

The story is set in a woodsy bit of New York state and centers around a family who buy a piece of land that
includes the hill of the Elf King and a whole forest full of shiny little creatures and dark freaky ones and a few mythological figures - the White Ladies, the Fool and the Great Hunt, Puck - who start popping up and draw the attention of a local researcher. 
I should have obeyed the signs that the title was the only light-handed thing the author produced when I noticed a lot of random uses of words like "decidedly" in everyday conversations and the habit of couples spontaneously calling each other "lover." 

I forged ahead but I just kept running into more bits that make me go "really? did nobody even try to edit this?"  The faerie queen is carefully described as being a good head taller than the human she is talking to, but suddenly, she looks up at him mournfully.  A kindly doctor tells the father of a brain-damaged patient that his son's life signs are missing and "if he's a corpse, he's really loud."

The good thing about this clunker was that it encouraged me to re-read - and recommend - some authors who do faerie/fairy/faery (but not ferry) tales right: Jane Yolen and Robin McKinley. Both have kids and adult fiction, so spread the love.

Jane Yolen has some stand-alone novels and has also done some co-writing with Terri Windling.  I honestly have not read as much of her as I have of McKinley, but so far, so good. Far beyond bloody shoes and pitchforks. I haven't checked out her kids' fiction, so let me know if you do.   .

Robin McKinley seemed to hit sudden popularity while I was in college.  I picked up Spindle's End (Cinderella remix, up in here) and was very impressed.  A word of caution:  her books vary from YA to adult and sometimes the twain don't get near each other.  Deerskin got a little really dark and twisted (and not the fun twisted), so take time to look over or read up on any of her adult fiction your kids want to read.  The blurb on that one made all the hair-curling action later a big surprise.

If you have some other authors you recommend, hit me up in the Comments below!

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