The Faery Reel: Tales From the Twilight Realm

by Ellen Datlow (Editor)

Other authorsTerri Windling (Editor), Charles Vess (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2004



Local notes

Fic Dat




Viking Juvenile (2004), Edition: Stated First Edition, 528 pages. $19.99.


A collection of stories and poems about faeries in all parts of the world by a variety of authors.


Locus Award (Finalist — Young Adult Novel — 2005)
World Fantasy Award (Nominee — Anthology — 2005)


Original language


Original publication date

2020-03-24 (ebook)

Physical description

528 p.; 5.88 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member SESchend
A rare thing--an anthology with NO weak stories (at least I enjoyed every one)!
LibraryThing member Crowyhead
A solid collection of faery stories from some of the best writers in the field, suitable for young adults as well as adults.
LibraryThing member jedimarri
I found this book quite by accident while I was ordering things on the libraries web-site, not even really sure HoW I did that since I rarely do anything other than order what I'm planning and move on, but I'm really glad I did!

"The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm" is a fascinating
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collection of fantasy from some of the top authors in the genre. Including two of my favorites, Charles de Lint and Neil Gaimen. The stories range from the more traditional, to set in modern cities, to adaptations of stories from places like Japan where you might not be accustomed to hearing stories from!

While I didn't fall in love with every story in the book, I did fall in love with quite a few of them, and I've found some new authors to read! I made a nice long list of authors, books, and other anthologies to read. I'll be ordering them one by one and sharing them with you!

It's hard to pick favorites among so many great stories, but here's a little bit about a few of them that stood out in my mind.

"CATNYP" by Delia Sherman tells the story of the fairies that live on the fringes of New York City. There's a fascinating adventure in the library that got my mind racing with ideas and possibilities! I have a fantasy story to tell about books of my own now. We'll see if it develops into anything readable.

"The Feary Handbag" by Kelly Link fascinated me because it wove together stories of the old world and the new.

"Never Never" by Burce Glassco takes a fun new look at the old story of Peter Pan and Captain Hook, this time from Hook's point of view!

"The Faery Reel" by Neil Gaiman is a poem that will make you want to get up and dance!
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LibraryThing member sweird
I read "The Boys of Goose Hill" through "Tengu Mountain" in one sitting - speaks highly in that the prose moves fluidly from one author to the next - no transition too jarring despite the different styles. Both Charles de Lint ("The Boys of Goose Hill") and Neil Gaiman ("The Faery Reel") made me
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want to tap my feet in time to their meter - though Gaiman's was much more melancholy.

Delia Sherman's "CATNYP" is lovely in premise and form, and I really enjoyed Tanith Lee's "Elvenbrood." Her lyrical style was just perfect for this tale, very evocative and wonderful for setting up that dangerously enticing atmosphere.

I don't think I'd seen Katherine Vaz before "Your Garnet Eyes," but I fell in love very quickly. Her protagonist is very accessible and at the same time foreign - loved and very lonely, prickly, proud. She presents the setting well, vivid and evocative. I got a good sense of the environment in a few short but well-placed places.

Gregory Frost's "Tengu Mountain" was just fun. I loved his monks, his tengu, his... well, his everything. And the protagonist is fat!

And then there's the trifecta of goodness that was Kelly Link, Steve Berman, and Holly Black. For some reason these stories are very much linked in my mind though on the surface they couldn't be more different. "The Faery Handbag" (the winner of a Nebula), "The Price of Glamour," and "Night Market" are worlds and time apart, and yet they're so very familiar. And all brilliant.

Bruce Glassco's "Never Never" made me love Captain Hook. It made me love Bruce Glassco more, what with his appreciation of your local villain.

"Screaming for Faeries" was deliciously adolescent, "Emmersed in Matter" recalled "Flotsam" from Firebirds, not the least because it was by Nina Kirki Hoffman and set within the same "family" (sorta). "Undine" started out ethereal and ended hilarious. It was the most beautiful transition. "The Oakthing" and "Foxwife" were rather sad, though I'm pretty sure the latter wasn't meant to be. "The Shooter at the Heartrock Waterhole" clearly demonstrated how I have no grounding in Australian mythology, or the current environment there. I do like how modern-day concerns clashed with the timelessness of the land.

"The Dream Eaters" was nothing short of out there, and quite surreal. "The Annals of Eelin-Ok" took some getting into, but heartily enjoyable once you're appropriately grounded in the story. And "De La Tierra" was a perfect note with its message of hope amidst invasion and murder and, with Nan Fry's "How to Find a Faery," a perfect note to end on.
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LibraryThing member weeksj10
This book is wonderful, it strikes a perfect balance between the land of myth and fairies and the "real" world. Each story is different and each story is wonderful. If you have ever dreamed about slipping through the old woods gnarled branches, into the land of Faerie then you have to read this
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book. P.S. Don't dismiss it because it is labeled YA, I almost did this and am SO glad that I read it.
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LibraryThing member comixminx
As always with an anthology, some great stories and some less exciting ones. It seemed to go very quickly on this re-read, but Charles Vess' beautiful illustrations have stuck in mind even with that quick gallop through. There are obvious standouts, such as Kelly Link's "The Faery Handbag", though
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all the items are very readable (I'd make an exception with the poetry, which I never particularly want to see in an anthology of this sort - I read for story and want chunkiness and plot, not so much atmosphere). It is slightly candy-like though, because the day after finishing it I mostly have fleeting glimpses of the Vess drawings in my mind, and not that much remaining from the stories themselves.
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LibraryThing member AltheaAnn
· 1 • Preface • Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

· 5 Introduction: The Faeries • Terri Windling

· 33 • The Boys of Goose Hill • Charles de Lint - poem

· 37 • Catnyp • Delia Sherman
Entertaining but very YA story about a human changeling who lives in "New York Between" – the parallel,
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faery version of NYC. She meets a very attractive young man who wishes nothing more than to get to the "real" NYC – but, through an adventure at the midtown public library, has to make some decisions about what she herself wants.

· 68 • Elvenbrood • Tanith Lee
Another story, this one more traditional, yet contemporary, on the changeling theme. After a bad divorce, a British mother and her two children move to a rural town – but for some reason, the teenage son, Jack feels uncomfortable with the place. And he is strangely unnerved when a homeless-looking man starts giving his sister warnings. In tone, this reminded me a lot of Mary Gentle's "A Hawk in Silver."

· 97 • Your Garnet Eyes • Katherine Vaz
Although the author says she has never been to Brazil, I found the Brazilian atmosphere of this story very convincing. (Of course, I haven't been either). Either way, I really liked this story of a daughter who tries to use magic to help her father forget the fairy wife who left him, leaving him with no enthusiasm for life...

· 115 • Tengu Mountain • Gregory Frost
I liked this story, but it was so similar to the traditional Japanese stories that it was influenced by that I was like, hmm.. is this actually original at all? I kept feeling I'd read it before. A young man goes to visit his aunt in a remote mountain area. He meets a monk who warns him of tengu, or demons in the mountains – but his strangely alluring aunt convinces the young man that the monk himself is probably a demon in disguise...

· 146 • The Faery Handbag • Kelly Link
I loved this story. It's seemingly, at first, very light and contemporary, as a young woman talks about thrift shopping and reminisces about her eccentric, story-telling aunt.... But as we learn that not all the stories may have been only stories, the enormity of what has been lost hits us... Really great.

· 175 • The Price of Glamour • Steve Berman
This story definitely seems like the introduction to a novel or a series. Set in 19th century England, it sets up an intriguing situation where a human urchin and one of the Folk agree to become partners in crime.

· 198 • The Night Market • Holly Black
I just bet Holly Black at FaerieCon! She is awesome! And this story is very good too! Set in the Phillippine and drawing on local myth, this tells of a young woman who tries to protect her sister from the fae who has made her ill... folklore has it that such illness is caused by the love of such a magical being... but in this case, the truth may be more complicated...

· 219 • Never Never • Bruce Glassco
A new take on Peter Pan – and what exactly Captain Hook's place and role in this drama is.

· 249 • Screaming for Faeries • Ellen Steiber
Another very very YA story. I like the message, but it's a little bit TOO message-y, at the same time. A babysitter meets a couple of sensual faeries who basically tell her it's important to be honest, and OK to have sex with her boyfriend if she really wants to and they're really in love.

· 292 • Immersed in Matter • Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Set in your basic faux-medieval fantasy milieu. The court of the fae is rife with prejudice against mixed-blood and changelings – but yet, more Fae, at this point, have mixed blood. One such is a shapechanger who loves horses – and dares to change into human to be able to be around them. His experiences allow him to bring a bit of tolerance back with him...

· 329 • Undine • Patricia A. McKillip
Sirens usually entrap human men a drag them under the waves... but when this one encounters an environmentalist fisherman, somehow things don't go as planned... and next thing she knows, she's out of water, and somehow being dragged around to a series of rallies for clean water, unable to find the unsullied place she needs...

· 341 • The Oakthing • Gregory Maguire
In a wartorn French countryside, accidentally left behind by her fleeing family, an eldery grandmother finds herself in her cottage with a fey oakthing, whom she feels the need to help... and a wounded German soldier, whom she says she plans on killing... well done, complex and interesting...

· 367 • Foxwife • Hiromi Goto
A story of a poor fisherwoman, lost in the mists, who, unknowing, finds herself helping a kitsune, or fox spirit, against its vicious kin. Very atmospheric, very well done. I really liked this better than the book I read recently on the theme of the kitsune. (Kij Johnson's Fox Woman).

· 402 • The Dream Eaters • A. M. Dellamonica
Weird, sci-fi-esque story that's like an attempt to blend Faerie with Cyberpunk. Hallucinatory and nightmarish, I can't say I unreservedly loved this – but it was definitely interesting, with fairies that suck away people's dreams, and a mask invented by a cutting-edge fashion designer that can prevent this..

· 435 • The Faery Reel • Neil Gaiman
I think Neil Gaiman has some kind of rule that he will ONLY give poems to anthologies, never short stories.

· 439 • The Shooter at the Heartrock Waterhole • Bill Congreve
A young man in Australia has been hired by the government to shoot invasive species of birds to protect indigenous ones. But he accidentally shoots something ELSE altogether... and drives off with it- or her – in his trunk, distraught both about this and the recent death of his father...

· 471 • The Annals of Eelin-Ok • Jeffrey Ford
The diary of a tiny fairy whose life span is less than a day, who inhabits sand castles left on the beach for the tide to erode...

· 497 • De La Tierra • Emma Bull
Effective, well-done piece which gives us a hit man hired by faeries to kill other faeries... he's believed what he's been told, and think he's been doing the ‘right thing.' But even when doubts come into his mind – what choice does he have? Parallels currents arguments over illegal immigration, but not in an overly overt way.

· 521 • How to Find Faery • Nan Fyr
And one last poem, to conclude...

Really a great anthology!
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LibraryThing member NekoMonster
A very nice collection of short stories by authors I'm already following and some I intend to!

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