Title: Bad Fairies: The Collection
Author: T.J. Land
Publisher: NineStar Press
Length: 98 Pages
Category: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
At a Glance: A fun look at fairies from the author of the Adrift series.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: Midsummer Nights
Newly arrived at Oberon’s court, Puck has already made a name for himself through his wit, his wiliness, and his very nice legs. But he’s not interested in the envy of his peers; what he’s really after is the attention of the lord of all fairies himself. Seducing the monarch will surely win him power and prestige, provided he can withstand Oberon’s famously bad temper.
Soon, though, Puck realizes that Oberon’s belligerent façade is just that, and his schemes of strategic seduction are submerged beneath budding infatuation. Now, Puck will have to muster all his tricks, from sonnets to the lash, to win the fairy king’s heart—a task which becomes substantially more difficult when Oberon discovers that Puck has been consorting with mortals…
No one knows why Oberon, king of the greatest fairy court in the world, doesn’t have wings. Not even his crafty lover, Puck, who prides himself on being privy to all Oberon’s secrets. But that’s about to change, for Oberon’s mother has revealed to her son that there may be a way to regain his lost wings—provided Oberon is willing to risk losing Puck…
While Titania is visiting her relatives, Oberon is left to govern the fairy court in her absence, with Puck, his lover and adviser, at his side. Despite Puck’s efforts to drag the king away from his duties and towards more salacious pursuits, Oberon remains loved and respected by the majority of his people. But trouble looms on the horizon; Oberon’s rumoured perversity and failure to produce an heir have earned him a handful of political enemies. When disaster strikes the court at the solstice feast, they are quick to point the finger of blame at the one they hold responsible for Oberon’s weaknesses—Puck himself.
Review: As a fan of T.J. Land’s sci-fi series, I knew I had to check out the author’s fantasy as well. Though the entire collection is relatively short, each story was well-crafted and fascinating.
The collection contains three stories that follow Puck and the king of the fairies, Oberon. Each story progresses through their relationship to show how they interact with each other and grow in their feelings. I will warn readers that this is not for the faint of heart. Historically, fairies have often been called violent creatures, and there is a lot of violence in the relationship between Puck and Oberon. Some of it is downright nasty and brutal. But, it’s not there for the sake of violence. I feel that it really does further the plot in regards to their relationship, and it develops their characters.
The first story, Midsummer Nights, introduces Puck to Oberon’s court. Puck is new, and he wants nothing more than to seduce the king. Shouldn’t be too hard, what with his looks and his feisty demeanor. But what starts at first as a seduction turns into something more than either expected.
I enjoyed this story because it introduces the world and the characters. Those familiar with Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream will recall Titania, Puck, Oberon, and their court. Shakespeare also makes a brief appearance in name only. I thought the explanations for Oberon and Titania’s relationship was well done, and I was intrigued by what exactly Puck was trying to gain by winning over the king.
Midsummer Sky continues the story and introduces more key characters such as Oberon’s parents (a delightful twist). It also reveals why Oberon, of all fairies, does not have wings. I won’t give it away, but it was well thought out. I truly enjoyed this story because we get to see Puck at his craftiest. He is intelligent, cunning, wily… whatever words you want to use to describe him, and he throws all of his charms—or lack thereof, at times—at Ariel, Bunce, and the others.
The ending was beautiful. I loved it. Despite their violent relationship and the violent world they lived in, there was something quite literally poetic about the end of the tale. Again, I don’t want to ruin it, but even though things did not turn out quite how I wanted them to, the conclusion offered was satisfying for me.
Finally, Midsummer Court closes the collection. Building directly from the previous books, this explores more of Puck and Oberon’s relationship and even more of the court Oberon has built. We see the two of them working hard to right a disaster and still maintain their relationship despite the many people trying to get in their way.
Of course, more violence abounds, and even an attack on the court, but it wouldn’t be the Bad Fairies if it wasn’t, would it?
Overall, I loved the progression of the stories and how they build from each other. I felt like Puck and Oberon developed well, and I truly hope we get to see more in the future. I had many questions while reading—especially after book one—that were not answered, and I want answers! T.J. Land continues to be an amazing author, and I have yet to find something they write that I do not love.
Fans of T.J. Land will love this new series. If you like fantasy and don’t mind some violence thrown into the mix, check it out! The entire collection is short and easily read in a day or two.
You can buy Bad Faeries: The Collection here: