A Tuesday Ten: Citizens of Fairyland

So today’s ten is critters of fairyland.  From deceptive pucks, to traumatized fairies, to irrepressible human changelings, there are all sorts of characters that call Fairyland (or some variant of it) home.


Winterling by Sarah Prineas (HarperCollins, 2012)

A young girl travels to a magical land where a terrible wrong has been done.  Fer must try to put right what’s gone wrong, and discover her own heritage and destiny in the bargain.  Full of all sorts of fey creatures and fairy traditions, this is the first book in the Winterling series.  Each book follows Fer as she faces challenges and problems in her new role and tries to muddle her way through.  A really charming series with disreputable allies that nevertheless come through for her in the end.


Seven Wild Sisters by Charles De Lint, illustrated by Charles Vess (Little, Brown Books, February 2014)

In this companion book to DeLint’s 2013 middle grade fantasy, The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, seven red-headed sisters from one family all become caught up in a fairy feud.  It will take cleverness and care to figure out how to win themselves free from the beautiful, but dangerous denizens of the wood.   Lyrical, magical and tied into nature.   Like many of DeLint’s adult fantasies and his other two middle grade novels,  this book is linked into  his Newford series, though it works just fine as a stand-alone adventure.


The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday, c2003)

If you’re not so fond of a serious take on the fair folk, you might want to dive into Terry Pratchett’s tale telling.  His small blue pictsies are not the sort of fairy folk to grant wishes or go “twing”.  The Wee Free Men prefer “drinkin, fightin and stealin” though they can be persuaded to help on occasion.  Young Tiffany Aching’s brother has gone missing, and she suspects he’s been taken by fairies.  To get him back, she’ll trek into Fairyland armed with a frying pan, a load of uncommon sense and her band of chaotic pictsies.  This is the first book in Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching quartet, a set of middle grade to teen novels set in the same universe as his adult Discworld series.


The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black (Simon and Schuster, c2003)

Three children: Mallory, Jared and Simon, have come to stay in their Aunt Lucinda’s old and mysterious house.  It doesn’t take long before it becomes obvious that magic is afoot in the old building . . . and a secret room with a secret book may hold the answers to it all.  It may also lead the children into more adventures and danger than they ever imagined!  This is book one  in the Spiderwick Chronicles.  The series also inspired a movie in 2008.


Changeling by Delia Sherman (Viking Juvenile, 2006)

Neef is a human changeling in a fairy world.  She lives in “New York Between”, a place that is similar to the human New York City, but full of magic and magical creatures.  Neef has been under the protection of her fairy godmother, but when she breaks the rules she puts herself at the mercy of the Green Lady of Central Park.  Now she must complete the challenge set out for her–or be sacrificed!  Funny and magical adventure abounds, as well as a delightfully off beat tour of this other New York City.  Neef’s adventures continue in a companion book: The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen.


The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Angel Barrett (Candlewick, 2010)

A quiet fairy story about a night fairy whose wings get mangled by a bat.  Now earthbound, Flory tries to change her very nature to become a day fairy.  A  lyrical tale that avoids being overly sweet and opts instead for a flawed character who has to find her own way to healing and growth.


Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (Miramax, c2001)

Pure crazy fun.  Artemis Fowl is a rich and powerful criminal mastermind, even if he is only twelve-years-old.   Artemis is used to getting what he wants, but when he kidnaps a fairy, even he isn’t quite prepared for what happens.  Captain Holly Short isn’t your traditional fairy.  She’s part of an elite fighting force  meant to keep Fairyland safe.  Criminal Mastermind vs. High-Tech Fairies: who will win?  This is book one in the eight-book Artemis Fowl series.


No Flying in the House by Betty Brock, illustrated by Wallace Tripp

Most girls don’t have a tiny white talking dog as their official guardian.  But Annabel is special, and Gloria is not only her guardian, but her protector.  It’s Gloria’s job to keep Annabel safe and secret even as the girl’s heritage begins to show itself.  Now, before her seventh birthday Annabel, caught between two worlds, will be forced to choose which world to belong to.


Child of Faerie/ Child of Earth by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Jane Dyer (Little, Brown Books, 2000)

Jane Yolen is no stranger to fairies and fairyland.  She’s written many stories on the subject, but I particularly liked this lovely picture book about a most unusual friendship between two very different children.   While neither child can stay in the other’s world for very long, they both visit and become friends forever after.  Coupled with stunning art, this is a book that’s pretty unforgettable.


The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente, illustrated by Ana Juan (Feiwel and Friends, 2011)

And finally, we have the book with the incredibly long and strangely worded title!  This elegantly written story shares the magic and charm of Oz with the wry  whimsy of The Phantom Tolbooth.  Twelve year old September gets swept away by the wind into a wildly different sort of fairyland.  Our protagonist encounters all sorts of odd creatures and people, gets sent on a quest and gains a number of unusual allies in her journies.  This is book one in Valente’s wild and whimsical Fairyland Series.

So there’s my quick ten!  What is some of your favorite fiction featuring fairies?


About Stephanie Whelan

I'm a children's librarian with a life-long love of all things science fiction and fantasy.

Posted on March 12, 2014, in General Posts, Lists and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Another lovely list! I’ve liked the half of these I’ve read well enough that I now want to read the ones I haven’t. (though I’ve read the Cats of Tanglewood Forest and not Seven Wild Sisters.)

  1. Pingback: A Tuesday Ten: Cryptic Cryptids and Mythological Monsters | Views From the Tesseract

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