Once upon a time, there was civil war in Faerie. But that was a long time ago – so long ago that even the few Fayborn who know who they are can’t be sure what really happened.
Still, many Fayborn believe in the Restoration, the hope of returning to an unbroken Faerie, a Faerie made new. Petra Goodfellow – descendent of Robin Goodfellow, legendary Advisor and Royal Jester to Oberon, the Fairy-King – is the key. If James Oberon, Faerie’s true-blooded heir, can persuade her to bow the knee, he can use her to forge a spell restoring his kingdom.
In J. Aleksandr Wootton‘s book “Her Unwelcome Inheritance” there’s just one catch: if she does, she becomes James Oberon’s sworn servant. Forever.
Petra doesn’t know any of this. She doesn’t want to know. And no matter who tries to warn her about it – her aunt, her godfather, her university professor – all she wants is to have a good start to her four years at Lightfoot College.
Sure, her family’s been harassed, and she’s been the object of increasingly uncanny abduction attempts, but she’s convinced those are not as extraordinary as they seem. James Oberon and his right-hand man Wormsworth might be crazy, but they certainly aren’t fairies. And neither is she. The very idea is ridiculous, impossible.
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Are fairy tales unsuitable for children?
In an essay called “On the Supposed Unsuitability of Fairytales For Children” J. Aleksandr Wootoon writes:
It seems to me that the fairytale-content which provokes, in some, the desire to revise or eliminate, is a matter of the details of the stories, rather than their essential structures or themes. It is, in other words, the witches and monsters, the magic and the violence, and the most whimsical or least “natural” elements that spark the controversy, and not what the stories are actually about – not, that is to say, the essential themes or messages communicated by folklore.
For these are the messages of the old fairytales:
- Sorrow is real, and so is joy
- Joy is freely available to all, just as sorrow comes freely to all, whether rich or poor, and without regard to changes in material fortune
- The world is fraught with danger, including life-threatening danger, but by being clever (always), honest (as a rule, but with common-sense exceptions), courteous (especially to the elderly, no matter their apparent social station), and kind (to anyone who has obvious need), even a child can succeed where those who seem more qualified have failed.