Maggie Stiefvater

7 Magical Stories to Read on International Fairy Day

June 24th is International Fairy (or Faery) Day, created to celebrate these creatures often featured in fantasy, folklore, and mythological stories.

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6 Miracles in Maggie Stiefvater’s All the Crooked Saints

Maggie Stiefvater’s All the Crooked Saints is a book about miracles, but these miracles do not come easily. The Soria family is capable of performing miracles that draw out the darkness within a person, giving it physical shape, so that their clients can figure out how to dispel it...here are some particularly interesting forms that darkness takes within the book.

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Five Frigid Books for a Warm Winter

On a personal level, I could be more broken up about it being 45 every day in NYC, but there is definitely something not in the spirit of things. Since this winter’s been so warm, get your fix of snow and frost with these books about deep winter.

 

Winterwood – Shea Ernshaw

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We have witches! We have winter choked woods! Actually, witch might be a stretch, but there’s something wrong in the Winterwood, and Nora Walker might have to find it. When a boy comes out of the woods alive after a brutal snowstorm, its secrets become too important to ignore.

 

Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater

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We’ve got another forest, yall, but I admit I’m a sucker for them. Every winter Grace watches the wolves in the woods behind her house, feeling she understands them. They end up being more connected than she could have possibly imagined, and she’s drawn further into their world of curses and winter.

 

The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden

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Vasilisa has always seen things and other people don’t, but is especially fascinated with the ice demon Frost. When her new stepmother forbids the traditions that appease and strengthen the spirits of the land, it’s up to Vasilisa and the things only she can know to save their crops, their community, and all their lives.

 

East – Edith Pattou

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Rose war wilder than her sisters since birth, and despite her mother’s efforts, can’t be kept from adventure. When a white bear promises her family prosperity if he can take her away, she agrees easily. But the bear is more than he appears, and running away into the cold was barely the beginning.

 

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis

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A classic, but always worth a reread. In a land held in eternal winter by the terrifying White Witch, four children discover a grand destiny and an opportunity to save a world, even if it’s not their own. If you haven’t read it, you absolutely must, and if you have, you still probably should.

 


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5 Books Inspired By Celtic Mythology

Celtic mythology is, by far, one of my favorite things to discuss. Ever. I’ve spent a good chunk of the past two years studying and reading the myths and legends for my own personal research, and I’ve come away wanting to learn even more. The tales are beautiful and the mythical beings–be they deities or other magical creatures–are enthralling. Personally, I think one of the best way to share these myths and legends is through stories like the ones listed below. After all, intrigued individuals will seek out the source material, and they will be able to see what inspired the authors who borrowed from said material.

Here are five books inspired by Celtic mythology.

 

 

1. Daughter of the forest

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This is the first book in Juliet Marillier‘s Sevenwaters series. It should be noted that there is a very heavy romance component to these stories. I also want to add, for the individuals who need this note, that there is a sexual assault scene in this story. This series follows four generations of the Sevenwaters family, a family that has maintained a relationship with the people of the Otherworld–also known as the Fae. The Daughter of The Forest follows Sorcha, a member of the Sevenwaters family and the only daughter of Lord Colum. After his wife’s death, Lord Colum marries an enchantress who curses Sorcha’s brothers. She can only save her siblings by remaining silent as she carries out the will of the Fae and their Queen.  When Sorcha is kidnapped by enemies of her family, it looks like all hope is lost. Will she save her brothers? Read and find out…

2. Hounded

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This isn’t the first time that I have mentioned Kevin Hearne‘s Iron Druid Chronicles in a list. Hearne has a fun way of pulling from different mythologies and making the tales and characters dance together so well that I couldn’t resist putting Hounded on this list. The series follows Atticus O’Sullivan, the last living druid. Atticus runs an occult book shop in Arizona where he sells magic teas to his customers. A sword comes into the picture here, and it proceeds to set off a chain of events that Atticus gets involved in. This series is a blend of urban fantasy and mythology.

3. Heir of Fire

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Heir of Fire is the third book in Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass series–which is made up of eight books (if you include the novella collection). While Maas has made reference to the Fae and magic in the previous two books, readers get to read about them in more depth in this installment. Readers are introduced to Queen Maeve, a figure who has both mythical and historical roots. Maas also portrays a version of the Fae in both the first book of the series and the final book, and this version falls more into line with the tales that say that the Fae are small beings of nature. She also presents the image of the Fae as simultaneously being godlike while also being lords and ladies, which are portrayals that have also been attached to these beings as well. While there are, technically, two books before this one, this is where the story is truly set into motion.

 

 

4. The cruel prince

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Holly Black‘s The Cruel Prince, and the other books in The Folk of the Air series, has gained a great deal of attention. Our main character, Jude, was still a child when her parents were murdered and she and her siblings were captured by the Fae. Though she was captured by them, Jude still wants to be a part of the Faerie court. In this book, Jude learns that she has the capacity for trickery–a trait that the Fae often possess and can be observed using in tales and myths. Ultimately, Jude will have to put her life on the line to protect her sisters.

5. Lament: The faerie queen’s deception

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Maggie Stiefvater‘s book Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception follows Deirdre Monaghan, a young musician who can see faeries. A faerie soldier and a faerie assassin are tracking Deirdre, and their goal is to kill her before her music can attract the attentions of the Fae and weaken the Faerie Queen’s authority over her people. In Irish lore, the Fae would sometimes kidnap mortals who were musically gifted, and this could lead to a number of things happening to the human–sometimes the human would be forced to remain with the Fae forever, and that was one of the kinder fates awaiting said person.

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Desert Books for National Dessert Day

Okay, okay, before you @us, we do know the difference. But what goes better with your favorite dessert than a good book and some mediocre word play? Here are three books to embrace on #nationaldessertday.

 

All the Crooked Saints 

This story follows a family of banished saints, perched high in the Colorado desert where supplicants must travel far for a miracle. These saints can help you, but they can’t save you from yourself, as many pilgrims learn to their dismay. Still, there’s much to be gained by braving the miracles of Bicho Raro. Enthralling, luminuos, and with enough Mexican and Native southern states folklore to keep you from wandering the sand alone at night. At once grim and terribly hopeful, this is an exploration of love, family, and growth, set to pirate radio and the rushing wings of owls.

 

The Golem and the Jinni

New York, magic, the turn of the century – what more could you want? Unlikely friendships? Varied mythology? This book has it all, weaving a lush and surprising tale out of a premise that asks more questions than it answers. A golem and a jinni meet in New York. It’s more likely than you think! I love fantasy being laid over history like velum, especially more modern history. New York, and only a hundred years ago, is not where you most expect to encounter myth, but weaving it in seamlessly can make a world close enough to imagine, both in time and in possibility. goodr

 

The City of Brass 

Street smart and clever, Dara bites off more than she can chew when she summons an ancient and magical creature to her side, soon discovering that she has magic and an ancient legacy drawing her as well. She will have to travel to the city of the djinn itself, where struggles for power, purity, and prestige rage in the streets, if she hopes to find the truth of her past. Opulent, adventurous, and deeply ruted in folklore, this is a must read for anyone who wants a world that breathes with magic, prophecy, and intrigue. If you’re seeking mythology that often gets overlooked, pick this up.

 

The Wrath and the Dawn

I’m always a fan of a clever reimagining, and the tale of Scheherazade was neglected for far too long. You’ve got a lot of classic fairytale beats, like the murder of wives, along with a clever heroine, an unfathomable mystery, and gutting revelations. Scheherazade volunteers herself after her best friend’s murder, intent upon revenge against the cruel monarch who weds and murders so many young girls. But it’s not so simple as it appears, and though Scheherazade makes it to the morning and more, with each dawn she is less certain of her hatred.

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