FAERIES ARE EVIL.
That’s just the plain and simple truth. I’m starting to see a trend here in that we could really just quit while we’re ahead because that’s it, that’s the blog post. Faeries are murderous, conniving little backstabbers.
I really don’t know what to tell you guys. We grew up with Tinkerbell, and yet, as a collective whole, I think it’s safe to say that most people thought faeries were cute as children. I was super into the idea of stumbling across a little group of faeries just hanging out. I read all these stories about tiny faery delicacies that I wanted to eat. I played pretend tea parties with all my faery friends.
And I really believe I wasn’t the only one. If it wasn’t faeries, it was mermaids, or it was dragons, and like? What a sweet, innocent youth I had that I wanted to play with three of the deadliest creatures in the magical world. Mermaids literally murder people. Dragons eat people. And yet, faeries are somehow the worst of it all.
And I’m not talking about everyone’s favorite toxic faery, Cardan, though I do really respect Holly Black for shaking off the pixie dust from all our fanciful dreams.
No, the first time I ever realized faeries were not chill was through Maggie Stiefvater’s Books of Faerie series. I went into Lament thinking: “oh, this’ll be nice, a sweet story about a human and a faery falling in love.” SURPRISE YA DUMMY.
It was a bit startling to see murder and mayhem dropped about so casually throughout those two books, and so I took a step back and started doing some research. Turns out, we’ve been misled.
Here are some helpful tips and tricks to remember when dealing with the Fae.
Do not eat or drink anything.
It looks fun, right. The way we think about faery food is delicate and delightful. Pastries as far as the eye can see, all done with careful and intricate designs. Heaps of berries and colorful fruits. Wood shaved into utensils and huge leaves as plates. It sounds like every little kid’s dream come true.
But eat or drink a single thing one of the Fae have given you, and that’s it. You’re under their control forever.
Avoid faery rings!
Never, ever step into a faery ring!
There are plenty of times that I’ve been out walking in the woods and seen one, and they look lovely, right? A natural phenomenon like that is going to draw you in no matter who you are, but that’s part of the charm. It looks inviting, it looks like it’d be fun to hop into, and then, suddenly, you’ve crossed over into the faery realm, and all you know and love is gone.
Time is nonexistent.
One day in the faery realm could easily be one year in the human one. Maybe two. Maybe a decade. Maybe, when you return, it’s been a century, and your whole life has disappeared. You must always be prepared for everything to be different back home if ever you leave.
Okay, say you’ve accidentally stepped into a ring, and now you’re in the faery realm. You’ve got your wits about you enough to remember not to eat and drink, but what about dancing? Faeries love a party, and they can usually be found twirling in incredibly fast circles. It looks so tempting, but don’t do it. Faeries are capricious and love to watch humans self-destruct, so they’d love nothing more than to watch you dance until your feet fall off. Literally.
Names are power.
This can be said for most fairytales, and I think we grow up understanding this fairly well. Rumpelstiltskin is the first one that really comes to mind. (Coincidentally: probably a faery.) But whether it’s demons or faeries, they’ve got the same agenda. If they have your full name, they can use it to command you.
The same also works in reverse. Knowing a faery’s full name is powerful, and can be used to your advantage.
Keep an eye on your children.
Perhaps one of the craziest things that faeries do concerns children. Faeries live forever, and so they don’t marry and have kids like we do. They’re very picky about whom they’d like to spend eternity with, and they have children infrequently. And when they do have children, they’re not always quite right. The Fay hate imperfection, which, for them, is not what we, as humans, consider imperfection, but instead–having a tail or hoofed feet or scales. Thus, if they have a child they’re not happy with, they’ll sneak into the mortal realm, deposit their infant child into your crib, and snatch up your human baby. So, if you’ve got kids, keep a weather eye on entrances into your home. Ward with iron and salt, and bless your child with good wishes.
Above all, treat them with respect.
I think this comes into a lot of fairytales, too. Even just in general life. Treat your elders with respect. Treat the old crone that comes to your door in the middle of the night with respect. Treat your neighbors with respect.
Faeries love being honored. Respected. Held high above all the rest. They love flattery and courtesy, so if ever you find yourself trapped with one, scale up your charm to 11 and go to town.
This post probably would have been better after we talked about the fact that I’m a witch next month, but whatever. Here we are. Crash course on my belief that faeries are real.
They are, you can’t convince me otherwise.
Because this is a bookish blog, though, I’d like to take a quick second to list some of my favorite faeries are devilish books! Yes, we’re finally talking about Cardan. (There’s so much sarcasm loaded into that sentence, send help.)
Oh gosh, The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski gets me every time I look at it. I should reread it just so I can feel that creeping chill all over again. My review for it is fantastic: “Sounds pretty standard, right? Wrong. There’s faeries.” The summary does not at all prepare you for the fact that there’s going to be an ancient order of faeries that definitely does not care about its human partners even a little bit, but it’s in there, and it’s sketchy af.
Do I have issues with Cardan? Yes, he’s an asshole. Do I have issues with The Cruel Prince as a whole? Yes, it’s the worst. Did the rest of the Folk in the Air series by Holly Black totally destroy me? Yes, I don’t want to talk about it. Setting aside all of that, the faeries in this trilogy are deadly, and it’s wonderful. They’re more on the “will trick you into gnawing off your own limbs for giggles” side of things than blatantly murderous (until you get farther in), and I love being able to see that side of them.
Lost Boy by Christina Henry doesn’t actually have a murderous Tink, I think, but it’s the faery story we all grew up on, and it’s murderous in plenty of other ways. It didn’t exactly ruin my favorite children’s story ever because that’s a really strong word, but every time I think about it, I get this uncomfortable feeling that sinks right down into my bones.
The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín is one of my favorites for a lot of reasons. Not only does it have the most murderous faeries on this entire list, it’s also hella scary and has a disabled MC. Oh, and it takes place in Ireland! Like, literally, what more could you want out of a book?
They say you can read the Ravenspire series by C.J. Redwine in whatever order you want, and while I definitely disagree with that because the little surprises in each one that tie the different kingdoms together don’t hit as hard if you read them out of order, you also definitely can read them in whatever order, so here I am, rec’ing the second in the series, The Wish Granter. Wow. Jfc. I want you to say that sentence out loud without pausing for breath, it’s ridiculous. Rumpelstiltskin is the villain in this, and oh boy, he isn’t even kind of nice. Plus, he’s a faery, and the moment Redwine introduced that idea, I was like AND SOLD.
I just read An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson last month, and I can’t say wow enough. I don’t even have words for how much I enjoyed it. Just like with Sorcery of Thorns, I immediately wanted to pick it back up and reread it. It’s also a way better human & faery love story than Black’s in that it’s not toxic and actually really beautiful, and wow, okay, I’m getting emotional just thinking about Isobel and Rook, I cannot with those two. SHE’S POWERFUL AND DETERMINED. HE’S WILLING TO DIE FOR HER. I’M NOT OKAY.
And the book that started it all! Lament is Maggie Stiefvater’s first book ever published, and I’d like to think it’s one of the most niche Maggie books out there. It’s got murderous faeries. So much bagpipes. Weird plots. Weirder characters. Lovely writing. It’s all the good things wrapped into one, plus it’s dark and dangerous.
And that’s it! Faeries are evil, but also, we’re clearly all still in love with them, so what can you do? Remember to keep your head, don’t let them lead you astray, and you’ll be right as rain!
You’re welcome. I’m crying now, too.