Folk of the Air

Folk of the Air

3.69 (796 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 129.54 x 200.66 x 25.4mm | 385.55g
  • United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0747200521
  • 9780747200529

Review Text

Supple, pleasing, fantasy, Beagle's first hovel since The Last Unicorn (1969). After a long absence, drifter-musician Joe Farrell returns to the California town of Avicenna, where his friend, English professor Ben, is living with a dumpy yet curiously compelling older woman, Sia. A counselor, Sia receives her clients in her house, whose rooms appear and disappear at whim; Sia, Farrell quickly realizes, has supernatural powers. Meanwhile, Ben and Julie, Farrell's old girlfriend, belong to the League for Archaic Pleasures, wherein Avicenna's residents dress up and playact at medievalism; Ben, however, appears as a ninth-century Viking - or is he actually possessed by a Viking alter ego? And 15-year-old schoolgirl Aiffe masquerades as a witch - or so Farrell thinks, until he witnesses Aiffe conjure up a beautiful youth, Nicholas Bonnet, whose personality is a distillation of evil. During one of the League's mock wars, Farrell discovers that Aiffe, influenced by the smiling, terrifying Bonnet, intends to destroy Sia by witchcraft. But who, really, is Sia and what is her connection with Bonnet? The answer, though it takes too long to arrive, ultimately satisfies, and matters conclude with a devastating magical duel. So, while somewhat overextended - Beagle hesitates before committing himself to an ending - the narrative is delivered in a wry, offhand manner enlivened with flashes of wit, with vivid, life-sized characters and a sturdy plot. Literate, warmly engaging work from a master stylist. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

796 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 22% (178)
4 38% (299)
3 30% (238)
2 8% (62)
1 2% (19)
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