7 Reasons to Read Fib and the Axe of Fury by Esosa Kolawole

Feb 16, 2021


Do you love African mythology fantasy stories? Do you love magical quests? Fib and the Axe of Fury by Esosa Kolawole is the book for you, and I am here to share at least 7 reasons why you need this book on your TBR asap!


Fib and the Axe of Fury by Esosa Kolawole
Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy, Mythology
June 21, 2019 from Zuma Publishing

“Never take your glasses off outside the walls of our home.” 

When Fibikemi loses her glasses and inadvertently breaks her mother’s rule, she encounters something strange, and it is only the beginning of a weird and terrifying journey; in a matter of time, someone dangerous will come for her. 

Her friend Aaron Oni has just two more months to live, and Fib’s obsession with saving Aaron pushes her to do the unimaginable. 

Eventually, she discovers exactly why she must never take off her eyeglasses outside her home. 

Fib and the Axe of Fury is an enthralling blend of vibrant fantasy and exotic African mythology.


7 reasons to read Fib and the Axe of Fury


✩ A gripping contemporary fantasy worldbuilding filled with magic, creatures and unexpected twists that are incredibly enthralling as we join Fibikemi on a strange and terrifying journey. This story grabs readers attention from the get-go and takes us along for a hell of a ride.

✩ African (Yoruba) mythology front and center. The story takes place in Nigeria (where the author is also from), and we meet Yoruba gods and goddesses. Author Esosa Kolawole does a splendid job of blending African mythology in this contemporary fantasy world she created for Fib & co., and it was incredibly fascinating and a joy (despite the heartstrings it pulled) to get immersed in. [Note: I cannot speak on the mythology as I am not Yoruba nor African in general. Please read ownvoices reviews.]

While the magic and worldbuilding are amazing, the characters truly steal the show. We see Fib grow into her abilities throughout the story and we love that for her. Literal Black girl magic. Not to mention the friendships, but we'll cover that next.

✩ The friendships between Fibikemi and Morenikeji and Fib and Aaron are the heart of their lives and story. The lengths they would go to for each other goes deep. A chain of events puts their friendship to the test throughout the story. Can they save their friendship in time? Can Fib save Aaron before it's too late?

✩ A magical quest. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned on a mission. Fib is on a mission to save her friend Aaron who only has months to live, and to avenge her family's murder. I can't say more than that as it would go into spoiler territory but it's a main plotline and a fun one at that, and soon you'll understand the title of the book.

✩ Ready for a YA trope that we haven't seen as much lately? Fib's mom kept a YUGE secret from her that led to her fortifying their house and Fib's eyeglasses in which would have terrible consequences if she were to take them off outside.

✩ Epic battle showdown where Fib kicks some serious ass. Pardon my French, but she really does and you can't help but sheer her on as she does. Remember how I said Fib grows into her abilities? Yeah. She shines, ya'll. I can't wait for book two!


Rep


☀ Black (Yoruba) MC
☀ Black (Yoruba) cast
☀ Set in Nigeria
☀ African mythology
☀ Black author
☀ Mental health


Content / Trigger Warnings


➤ Death of parent
➤ Bullying
➤ Mild violence
➤ Sexual assault
➤ Animal death








Esosa Kolawole is the founder of The Quirky Pen Girl - a blog that creates quick and easy tips from writers. 

She received a bachelor's degree in Estate Management from the Federal University of Technology, Akure. 

Her works include The house of tiny people and other short stories. She lives with her family in Oluyole, Ibadan where she writes stories and play games.












♥ Have you read Fib and the Axe of Fury?
What'd you think of it?
Let me know in the comments below! ♥


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The Reimaging of The Great Gatsby We Didn't Know We Needed: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Feb 9, 2021

Oh, who are we kidding? We knew that old classics desperately needed an upgrade. Just look at all the Most Anticipated articles out there over recent years and you'll notice several retellings on those lists.

I don't know about you but I am so excited for Nghi Vo's upcoming reimaging of The Great Gatsby, The Chosen and the Beautiful, which releases on June 1, 2021! As soon as Nghi Vo announced her upcoming retelling last year, we couldn't add it to our Goodreads TBRs fast enough. Nghi Vo's previous works are highly revered and with good reason (see why I love Nghi Vo's novellas in my story diary feature for The Empress of Salt and Fortune and When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain!). Vo's impeccable writing and way with storytelling AND the awards she's received so far speaks for themselves. If you've been waiting for a much-needed reimaging of bland classics every western student/former students had to read, don't worry Nigh Vo is here to deliver. Read on to find out why I'm excited for this book, what editors and authors are saying about it, and more retellings of classics I recommend!

For all the transracial Asian diaspora (and non-Asian) adoptees out there, we see you. Your existence is valid and not "weird," and we'll fight anyone who says otherwise. We're here for you. Don't let ignorant, problematic people get you down for existing. We're tired of certain people punching down on us POC and marginalized authors I know, but lets own our voices and our existence. Own it with pride - they hate to see it. We will no longer take any more slander. Not today, satan Karen. Anyone who tries to bring you down or laugh at you for being adopted can go fuck themselves all the way to hell. While they're there, they should look up what trans-racial adoptee is, my fucking god Google is free. No more gatekeeping or tone-policing POC from stingy literary snobs for their dead problematic old white faves. No more of that caucasity. Let your faves go already.

Be sure to add The Chosen and the Beautiful to your TBR, pre-order a copy for yourself or your mom or a friend, request it at your local libraries, call your indie bookstores to pre-order copies, recommend to booksellers, gift it to someone, donate a copy to a little free library, suggest it to school boards for classroom reading and disrupt texts (because racist snobs hate to see us thrive in the same space as cishet white people)! Let's continue to hype up this book for readers who want to see themselves represented, loves retellings, and to support ownvoices marginalized authors. Honestly, Nghi Vo is a phenomenal storyteller and deserves the world.


The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
Young Adult Historical Fiction Retelling, LGBTQ+
June 1, 2021 from Tor


Immigrant. Socialite. Magician. 

Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society―she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her. 

But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how. 

Nghi Vo’s debut novel reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.






★ Praises for The Chosen and the Beautiful ★



"Nghi Vo, who has already proven that she can deliver epic fantasy in 22,000 words, clearly believes in going big or going home, because she’s breaking into the novel format by tackling one of the giants of American literature. In The Chosen and the Beautiful, she decolonizes Gatsby with beauty and verve and real magic. If you love Fitzgerald, let this book make him anew for you. If you love Fitzgerald, but have felt excluded by his narratives, here is a fantastical vision—of class, identity, and the bargains and sacrifices the marginalized have always made in America—that will come for your heart." --Ruoxi Chen, Editor

“This book is Gatsby the way it should have been written–dark, dazzling, and fantastical. Of course Jordan Baker should have been the main character. Of course everyone should have been messing with magic. Vo has created a perfect response to Fitzgerald in tone, voice, and theme.”R. F. Kuang, Author

"Luxurious, thrilling, and sexy, Nghi Vo's debut novel dives into the world of The Great Gatsby and wears it like a second skin. A shapeshifter of a book that had me hypnotized from the first pages, The Chosen and the Beautiful brings new intensity to a story you thought you knew."Adrienne Celt, Author

"Nghi Vo's stellar transformation of The Great Gatsby recasts the 'careless' Jordan Baker as a woman of depth and sharpness, a socialite forced to live in the margins of others’ lives. In Vo’s telling, the glitter of Gatsby’s parties conceals a sinister struggle—one where the players must survive on charms both literal and figurative, and the line between the invented and the real is endlessly blurred. Like Jordan’s own paper creations, The Chosen and the Beautiful captivates with its artistry and its power."Helene Wecker, author

"Decadent. Visual. Imaginative. Genius. Not enough words to praise this page-turning novel of sorcery, infernal compacts, and enchanted elixirs, in an altogether different 1920s New York. Nghi Vo snips apart, then magically weaves together a familiar story in a wholly original and decidedly unfamiliar way. Redo all the classics. And do them like this!"P. Djèlí Clark, Author

"The Chosen and the Beautiful is gorgeous and gripping, shining with language that shows us all the facets and dangers of yearning. Nghi Vo subverts and expands the possibilities of an American story, and magic is in the marrow of every sentence. I'm in awe of this book's expansive imagination and its exploration of what it means to discover desire, make your own myths, and define your belonging."K-Ming Chang, Author


Author Nghi Vo says it perfectly here:


"The Chosen and the Beautiful stars Jordan Baker, who was something of a literary enigma to me when I first read The Great Gatsby in high school. In Fitzgerald’s tale of ambition and wealth, Jordan’s clever, fascinating, a little mean, and completely indispensable to the way the story runs. I’ve spent a lot of time pondering what her motivations and her dreams might be, and then last year, I got to figure it out. And then I added flying spells, deals with the devil, diaspora, trans-racial adoption, and Vietnamese paper-cutting magic and gave it a good rattle in a cocktail shaker. Well, Jordan was never good at playing by the rules, either."


Can we take a second to express gratitude to the book cover artist and designer because they deserve recognition and appreciation for the beautiful book cover that will look so beautiful on everyone's shelves come summer time (or winter for those in the southern hemisphere). Artist: Greg Ruth / Designer: Christine Foltzer

Reasons to add The Chosen and the Beautiful to your TBR


1. For this very quote from author Nghi Vo: "The Chosen and the Beautiful, a magical reimagining of The Great Gatsby told through the eyes of a queer, Asian-American Jordan Baker as the American immigrant narrative that Gatsby always should have been."

Yes! Many of us (especially ownvoices readers) have been waiting for POC adoptee stories and we cannot wait to meet Jordan Baker!


2. While it's marketed as a retelling, the summary and early reviews sounds like it's a powerful and riveting new story all its own. 

3. A skillful revitalization for a new generation of readers has the potential to surpass its predecessor. It's what the classic deserves and Fitzgerald should thank Nghi Vo for revitalizing his tired book. I said what I said, racist boomers die mad about it.

4. I'm excited to see Nghi Vo's play on the literary devices The Great Gatsby is known for (allegory, foreshadowing, hyperbole, symbolism, etc.), or to see how she utilizes them in a different way. Or perhaps add other literary devices not used in TGG. Who knows what Vo has up her sleeves?

5. It's unapologetically queer and we love to see it. Fitzgerald might be rolling in his grave, but Jordan is unbothered and not here for your racism or homophobia.

6. It's said that the prose is stunning, lyrical, atmospheric, fresh and has a "glass-sharp beauty," which is not surprising coming from Nghi Vo.

7. Mysterious magic in the Roaring 20s? Fitzgerald could never.

8. Word on the street is that this gives the original Gatsby a run for his money, and we're not even mad. We can agree that it already sounds better than the original, and we cannot wait for everyone to read it.

9. Unexpected plot twists that we are so here for, despite probably not being prepared for any of them. You know Nghi Vo's power to pull at our heartstrings in various ways is unparalleled.

10. Read the praises from authors (see above) who've already read it. Unlike certain *ahem* people, they have taste. It sounds really fucking good.


Highly Recommended Retellings



    


Roman and Jewel by Dana L. Davis
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Anna K. by Jenny Lee
Foul Is Fair by Hannah Capin
Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore
Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Thorn by Intisar Khanani
A Taste For Love by Jennifer Yen
A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow
A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney
Circe by Madeline Miller
Prep & Prejudice by Miren B. Flores
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha
Blanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
In the Vanisher's Palace by Aliette de Bodard
Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold
Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim
Ruinsong by Julie Ember
Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon
Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco
The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge


Stay tuned for an upcoming The Great Gatsby queer Latinx reimagining by Anna-Marie McLemore, coming Fall 2022! Author RoAnna Sylver is also writing their own retelling as well, and we are here for all of it!

More listicles of retellings for your reading pleasure and overflowing TBRs can be found on Epic Reads, Book Riot, and Goodreads.







Nghi Vo was born in central Illinois, and she retains a healthy respect of and love for corn mazes, scarecrows, and fifty-year floods. These days, she lives on the shores of Lake Michigan, which is less a lake than an inland sea that she is sure is just biding its time. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, PodCastle, Lightspeed, and Fireside. Her short story, “Neither Witch nor Fairy” made the 2014 Otherwise (formerly Tiptree) Award Honor List. Nghi mostly writes about food, death, and family, but sometimes detours into blood, love, and rhetoric. She believes in the ritual of lipstick, the power of stories, and the right to change your mind.




Find Nghi Vo's works here.


















♥ Are you excited for The Chosen and the Beautiful? 
Or any of the upcoming TGG retellings that's coming soon?
What are your favorite retellings?
What are your favorite books with adoptee protagonists? ♥



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Philippines has been devastated by multiple typhoons within the span of a couple of months, destroying thousands of homes, displacing thousands of Filipinos, and leaving many without running water or electricity. Please consider donating to relief and recovery efforts if/when you're able to. Info and safe places to donate to PH victims + families can be found on RescuePH carrd, RescuePH int'l carrd, BangonPH carrd, Youth Rise PH Linktree, PH Red Cross, Kaya Natin! Movement, book drives, and watch these YouTube ads at no cost to you. Also worth adding: continue to help PH #JunkTerrorLaw + end police brutality with junkterrorlaw.carrd.co and parasapinas.carrd.co

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Excerpt from The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa | Blog Tour

Feb 8, 2021

the iron raven excerpt extract


Hi, friends! Today, I am honored to share an excerpt (and more, as a treat) from The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa, a spin-off from The Iron Fey series, which releases tomorrow. Get ready to know the story behind the beloved myth, the jester, the legend, Robin Goodfellow aka Puck! Thank you to Inkyard Press for providing an excerpt to share with you all, and for having me on the tour!


the iron raven julie kagawa
The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa
Young Adult Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
February 9, 2021 from Inkyard Press

Wicked faeries and fantastic danger... Welcome to book one of the new trilogy in New York Times bestselling author Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey fantasy series, as infamous prankster Puck finally has a chance to tell his story and stand with allies new and old to save Faery and the world. 

"YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF ME..." 

Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Prankster, joker, raven, fool... King Oberon's right-hand jester from A Midsummer Night's Dream. The legends are many, but the truth will now be known as never before, as Puck finally tells his own story and faces a threat to the lands of Faery and the human world unlike any before. 

With the Iron Queen Meghan Chase and her prince consort, Puck's longtime rival Ash, and allies old and new by his side, Puck begins a fantastical and dangerous adventure not to be missed or forgotten. Filled with myths and faery lore, romance and unfathomable dangers, The Iron Raven is book one of a new epic fantasy trilogy set in the world of The Iron Fey.


What's life without a little danger? And Robin Goodfellow never backs down from a challenge.

--Julie Kagawa, The Iron Raven


[Quote is from an unedited advanced review copy and is subject to change in the final publication]

The Iron Raven excerpt


Excerpted from THE IRON RAVEN by Julie Kagawa. © 2021 by Julie Kagawa, used with permission by Inkyard Press.


The human world

A long, long time ago


It was almost time

I peeked out of the bushes and grinned.  The stage was nearly set.  In the tiny, sun-dappled clearing beyond the trees, the crystal-clear pool glimmered, attracting all manner of life to its sparkling waters.  A herd of spotted deer bent graceful necks to the surface under the watchful eye of a great stag, standing tall at the edge of the pond.  A few rabbits hopped through the bracken scattered through the clearing, and a family of squirrels scolded each other in the branches of a large gnarled oak.  Birds sang, wildlife meandered, and the wind gently rustled the leaves overhead.  It was a blissful, picturesque woodland scene, a perfectly peaceful day in the human realm.

Boring, boring, boring.

I smiled, reached into my shirt, and pulled the pan flute into the light.  It was my own design; I’d spent several days gathering hollow reeds, cutting them, binding them together and making sure the tone was perfect.  Now, I was going to see what it could do.  

Drawing glamour from the forest around me, I raised the flute to my lips and blew out a single note.

The clear, high sound cut through the stillness of the woods, arcing over the grove, and all the animals clustered around the pond jerked up, eyes wide and nostrils flaring.  The rabbits sat up, ears twitching back and forth.  The deer raised their heads, dark eyes huge as they gazed around, ready to flee.  The squirrels’ tails flicked back and forth as they clung to the branches, their chittering voices silenced.    

In the sudden stillness, I took a deep breath, gathering my magic, and began playing.

The melody rose into the air, cheerful and face paced.  It swirled around the pond, into the ears of every living creature.  For a moment, none of them moved,

Then, one of the rabbits began tapping its foot.  The others followed, thumping their hind legs in tune to the rhythm, and the deer began tossing their heads to the music.  In the branches, the squirrels bobbed, tails flicking back and forth, keeping time, and the birds added their voices to the song.  I bit down a smile and played louder, faster, drawing in more glamour and releasing it into the notes trilling through the forest.  

With a bugle, the ancient stag reared up, tossing his huge antlers, and gave a graceful bound to the center of the clearing.  His sharp hooves pawed the grass, raking gouges in the earth, as he began stepping and leaping with the music.  As one, his herd joined him, bouncing and cavorting to his side, and the rabbits began flinging themselves in wild arcs around the stomping deer.  My glee soared; this was working better than I had hoped. It was all I could do to keep playing and not let the song drop because of the enormous grin wanting to stretch my face.  

Rising from the bushes, I walked toward the grove, the pan flute moving rapidly under my lips, the song rising and the magic soaring in response.  My feet itched, and I started to move them, stepping and dancing to the center of the clearing.  Filling my lungs, I played as loudly as I could, my body moving almost on its own, leaping and twirling and spinning through the air.  And all around me, the forest creatures danced as well, hooves and horns and furry bodies barely missing me as they bounced and cavorted in a frantic circle, hurling themselves around the grove with wild abandon. I lost myself in the music, in the excitement and ecstasy, as I danced with the forest.

I didn’t know how long the melody went on; half the time my eyes were closed and I was moving on pure instinct.  But at last, as the song reached a crescendo, I sensed it was time to bring it to a close.  With one final, soaring note, the melody died away, the wild emotions faded, and the whirlwind of magic swirling through the grove fluttered out, returning to the earth.   

Panting, I lowered my arms.  Around me, my fellow dancers also came to shuddering stops, breathing hard.  The great stag stood a few feet away, antlered head bowed, legs and flanks trembling.  As I watched, he quivered and collapsed, white foam bubbling from his mouth and nostrils as his head struck the ground.  One by one, the rest of the herd crumpled as well, some gasping wide-eyed for breath, some lying motionless in the dirt.  Scattered around them, furry lumps of rabbits lay in the churned mud.  I looked at the trees and saw the squirrels and birds lying at the bases of the trunks, having fallen from their perches once the music ceased.  

I blinked.  Well, that was unexpected.  How long had I been playing anyway?  I looked at the sky through the branches and saw clouds streaked with orange, the sun hovering low on the horizon.  I’d come to this grove and played the very first note early this morning.  It seemed our wild revel had lasted the entire day.

Huh.  I scratched the back of my head.  Well, that’s disappointing.  I guess I can’t push these mortal beasts too aggressively, or they just collapse.  Hmm.  Tapping the fingers of one hand against my arm, I gazed at the pan flute in the other.  I wonder if humans would do any better? 

“Boy.” 

The deep, lyrical voice came from behind me, and a ripple of magic shivered through the air. I felt a stab of annoyance that someone had been watching my revel; that was why I’d chosen to do this in the human world, after all—so I could worry less about curious eavesdroppers.   I turned and saw a procession of horses at the edge of the clearing, watching me from the trees.  The mounts were fey creatures, lighter and much more graceful than their mortal counterparts, their hooves barely touching the ground.  The riders atop them were sidhe knights, clad in armor of leaves, vines and branches woven together.  Part of the Summer Court, I realized.  I’d seen them before, as well as the knights of the Winter Court.  I’d even played with a few of them in the wyldwood, though they never realized the cause of all their small, annoying mishaps was a forest boy too insignificant to notice. 

But the rider at the front of the procession had definitely noticed me, and he was impossible to miss, too.  His mount was bright gold, brighter than any mortal steed, but the noble atop it outshone even his mount.  He was dressed in armor of green and gold, with a cloak made of blooming vines that left flowers where he passed.  Long silver hair flowed from under the huge antlered crown that rested on his brow, and the piercing green eyes beneath it were fixed solely on me. 

Why was he here?  Had he heard my music and been drawn to the sound? That was unfortunate. I tried to avoid catching the eye of the Summer Court, particularly this faery.  I hadn’t been doing anything wrong; the fey cared little to what happened in the mortal world. The deaths of a few forest creatures meant nothing to them. But attracting the attention of one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever was a dangerous game. Depending on his mood, he might demand that I “gift” him the thing I’d worked so hard on, play the pipes for him and his knights by for as long as he was amused, or entertain them all by becoming the next hunt. The fey lords were notoriously unpredictable, and I treated them as I would a sleeping dragon: it was okay to tiptoe around and steal their gold, as long as they didn’t see you.

But now, the dragon had spotted me.

The sidhe gentry nudged his mount, and the horse stepped into the clearing, striding across the grass until beast and rider loomed before me.  I stood my ground and gazed up defiantly at the noble, who was watching me with appraising eyes.

“So young,” he mused.  “And such an impressive use of glamour.  What is your name, boy?”

“Robin.”

“And where are your parents, Robin?”

I shrugged.  “I live by myself.  In the wyldwood.”  I couldn’t remember my parents, if I’d even had them.  My earliest memory was the tangle of the wyldwood, foraging for food and shelter, learning the skills I needed to survive.  But, even though I was alone, I’d never felt like I didn’t belong.  The forest, the wyldwood, was my home.  That was how it always had been. 

“Hm.”  The tall noble didn’t press the question.  He observed me in silence for another moment, his face giving nothing away.  “Do you know who I am, boy?” he asked instead. 

This time, I nodded.  “You’re King Oberon.” It was obvious; everyone knew who the Summer King was, though I’d never seen him in person.  It didn’t matter.  I had never seen Queen Mab, ruler of the Winter Court, either, but I was certain I would know her if I did.

“Yes,” the Seelie King agreed.  “I am indeed.  And I could use someone of your talents in Seelie territory.” He raised a hand, indicating me with long, elegant fingers.  “You have power; raw, unfettered Summer magic rivaling some of my strongest allies in the court. Such a gift should not go to waste in the wyldwood.  You should not be living in the forest like a beast, singing to birds and squirrels.  You should be part of the greatest court in the Nevernever. What say you, Robin?”  The king regarded me with eyes like pale green frost.  “Would you like to become part of the Seelie Court?”

Part of the Seelie Court?  

Curiosity battled defiance.  I was intrigued, of course.  Living by myself in the wyldwood meant I could come and go as I pleased, but it was getting a bit lonely.  I wanted to talk to people, others of my kind, not just forest creatures and the occasional scatterbrained piskie.  And of the two courts, Summer territory sounded much more pleasant than the frozen, hostile land of Winter.

       Still, it was never a good idea to take the first offer.  Even I, with my limited knowledge of bargains and deals, knew that much.

“I like it in the forest.”  I crossed my arms and smiled at the king.  “Why should I go live at the Summer Court?”

The Seelie King smiled, as if he’d expected that answer.  “Because, Robin, I am king.”  He spoke the phrase like it was the most important fact in the world.  “And as king of the Seelie, I can give you whatever your heart desires. I can grant you power, wealth, the love of as many hearts as you wish.” He paused, as I wrinkled my nose. “But I can see you are not interested in these things. Perhaps, then, this would be of note.  I have many enemies, Robin.  Both within the court and without. From time to time, these enemies need to realize that they cannot underestimate the sovereignty of Summer.  If you join me…well, let us say you will have plenty of opportunities to practice your magic on things other than common forest beasts.”

Now that sounded interesting. I glanced back at the pond, at the motionless bodies surrounding it.  Poor dumb animals. I hadn’t meant to harm them, but it seemed normal creatures were very fragile.  I would love to try some of my ideas on sturdier creatures, maybe even a few fey, and Oberon was dangling that big, bright carrot in front of me.  He seemed to know exactly what I wanted.  The only question was, did I care?  

“So, Robin of the Wyldwood,” King Oberon went on, peering down at me from his horse.  “What is your decision?  Will you join my court?  I will name you court jester, and you can play your tricks and practice your magic without boundaries.  All I ask is that you do me a small service from time to time.  Do we have a deal?”

Something nagged at me, a feeling that this agreement wasn’t quite what I thought it was. I’d made deals before, but they were with piskies and sprites and a couple local dryads. Never with someone as important as the ruler of the Seelie Court. Was I missing something? This did seem a little too good to be true. 

I hesitated a moment more, then shrugged.  Then again, why not join the Summer Court?  What was the worst that could happen? I was aching for something new, and if I was under the protection of King Oberon himself, think of all the pranks and tricks I could play without fear of retribution.  

This was going to be fun.

“All right,” I agreed, grinning up at Oberon, who raised a thin silver brow in return.  “You have a deal, king.  I’ll join the Summer Court, as long as I get to practice my magic and play as many tricks as I want.”  

“Excellent.”  Oberon nodded and raised both hands.  “Then I name you Robin Goodfellow, jester of the Summer Court,” he announced in sudden, booming tones, and the branches of the trees shook, as if acknowledging his declaration.  Lowering his arms, the Summer lord gazed down at me with a sudden, almost proud smile.  “Welcome to the Seelie Court, Robin Goodfellow.  Wear your name proudly.  Perhaps someday the world will come to know it, as well.”



Nevernever


The realm where the fae live. Nevernever is divided into four territories:

Seelie/Summer Court
Unseelie/Winter Court
Iron Court
The Wyldwood


Summer (Seelie) Court


♔ The summer/warm side of Nevernever
♔ The summer king: King Oberon

Winter (Unseelie) Court


♔ The winter/cold side of Nevernever (aka the side you'll never find me in lolz) known to be dark, cold, expressionless, and soulless.
♔ The winter queen: Queen Mab
♔ Local creatures: goblins, ogres, redcaps + more

Iron Court


♔ This is a newer court where the Iron fey live in Nevernever that was relatively unknown to other fey until fairly recently.
♔ The Iron queen: Queen Meghan (the MC from the Iron Fey series)
♔ Local creatures: ironhorses, gremlins, hacker elves, iron dragons + more

The Wyldwood


♔ A forest in Nevernever, a neutral territory that doesn't belong to any of the sidhe courts and the laws of the courts don't apply there.
♔ Home to wild fey, pixies, goblins, kelpies, sprites + more.

Content / Trigger Warnings


➤ Animals collapsing/foaming at the mouth







JULIE KAGAWA is the New York Times, USA TODAY and internationally bestselling author of The Iron Fey, Blood of Eden, The Talon Saga and the Shadow of the Fox series. Born in Sacramento, she has been a bookseller and an animal trainer and enjoys reading, painting, playing in her garden and training in martial arts. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and a plethora of pets. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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