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Emma Bull
book cover

Buy from Amazon.com (trade paperback)

Who recommends: Preeti, Edith, Lori, Robin, JW, Julie, Barbara, Linda, Shelley, Lynn, Danielle, Suzanne, Tanya, Shelly, Rebekah
Who discommends:

I love this book and reread it often.--Shelley

Another 'very favourite', and the romance is heartbreaking.--Tanya (30 Jul 99)

I just re-read WAR FOR THE OAKS. I'd forgotten how good it was. It has a wonderful romance, it's not predictable, and I love that it takes place in Minneapolis in areas I'm familiar with, so I could set the scenes. Emma Bull can sometimes make the hair on the back of my neck stand up, she's so good.--Suzanne (03 Sep 99)

Put me down for a recommend for WAR FOR THE OAKS. I've always loved Charles de Lint's urban fantasies, and I was thrilled to read one by another author that matches his quality. Only I kept picturing the hero to look like Prince, and while I worshipped him back in my college days, he just makes me giggle anymore. But this is truly a classic.--Shelly (10 Sep 99)

Loved this one! Great musical description, wonderful rich characters, satisfying romance. Occasionally it would distract me with its popular music references (esp ones to SF fandom music like Boiled in Lead), but the references and the song titles of each chapter were their own fun. The story/plot isn't at all new but it was done in a fresh, personal way.

And I didn't picture Prince for the phouka -- I thought more of Avery Brook's Hawk or the male dancer in a Janet Jackson black-n-white video a few years ago - all sinewy muscle and slick dark skin.--Rebekah (7 Oct 99)

I needed a comfort read and picked up WAR FOR THE OAKS a couple of weeks ago. It's still one of my all time favorites, and the romance in it just gets to me every time.--Suzanne (04 Jun 02)

I reread WAR FOR OAKS after more than a decade and rediscovered why I thought this urban fantasy wonderful. Brief summary: Eddi McCandry is a talented but struggling musician who gets drafted by a phouka into a war between the Seelie and Unseelie courts over control of the city of Minneapolis.

It's not the overall story of good versus evil, with music playing a crucial role, that's of interest so much as Bull's descriptiveness and light yet soulful touch. There's usually something to savor on each page: the poetic beauty of Bull's Minneapolis, the energy of the music scenes, the glamour and threat of the Faerie, the valor of Eddi's band, the cuteness of the phouka. The phouka outright steals the book. He's just so damn adorable.

I haven't read anything by Emma Bull xcept this and the picture book. Is her other stuff any good?--Preeti (8 Jun 02)

Definitely! BONE DANCE is post-apocalypse SF/F, but with the inimitable EB touch. FINDER has a teen protagonist, it's set in either the Borderlands world or something very close to it. FALCON is classic space opera with political intrigue and (IIRC) a doomed romance - damn, I wish my memory wasn't so fuzzy! - come to think of it, all the Liaden fans would probably eat it up with a spoon. It's OOP and may be hard to find, though.

Plus, her short story ('Silver and Gold') in the "Tolkien-inspired" collection AFTER THE KING made me wish she wrote more straight fantasy, it was that good. Especially in relation to the rest of that anthology, which was mostly dreck <shudder>.--Danielle (11 Jun 02)

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