"Songs of Earth & Power" by Greg Bear
Songs of Earth and Power is the omnibus of "The Infinity Concerto" and "The Serpent Mage" by Greg Bear. Has sidhe, humans, and maybe mages.
This story makes Alice In Wonderland look tame. It makes me wonder if accounts of fay spotted by pious monks of the Old World weren't just mental apparitions caused by eating the wrong wild mushrooms. If anyone you know is tempted to do mind-altering drugs tell them not to risk themselves, just read this story instead. It will have the same effect.
It's not boring. Since I've suffered many boring stories lately that's a miracle in my mind. There is nothing sexy about this story. The fay are seen as monstrous more times than beautiful. It borders on horror instead of fantasy.
I'm reading, not listening via audio. The story reads maturely. Except for the portal from Earthside to Fay. It was lame. Passing between houses and garden gates is not a way to get into Faery. Sounds very Japanese anime (as in believing the ridiculous). But outside that, everything's mature.
I'm disturbed by thinking about Faery in a cold, dangerous light. I've always seen it as warm and friendly, with the dangerous staying to the shadows or hiding underground. Picturing Faery as being horrible from the second you enter is shocking.
I will not be reading the second half, "The Serpent Mage." The story has become to depressing. I think it started with Biri not being salvagable. I liked Biri! Male fay with no souls. Bah! Then it was the interaction between Michael and his parents at the end that made me loose my zeal. It was sad and made no sense that Michael’s mom would not want to know where he had been. I would have assumed my kid had been butt raped. I would be eager to listen to anything that might lead to healing. The lack of deep relationship with his parents was the straw that broke the camel's back. To many times Michael seems ice cold in his emotions; not loving or caring about anyone but himself. It might be realistic but I don't like shallow characters. I want to believe Michael is going to rescue the fay (screw the stupid humans) but Michael has a hard time giving a shite about anyone but his penis; let alone be able to love the unlovable faery folk. I think Miky might try to save himself and if he happens to save the humans also, great. I'm guessing that is where the story is going. I left off with some big bad black thing looking at Miky on the other side of Earth and I'm thinking, "who cares if it eats Miky or the humans?" I don't love anyone but the fay. I want a defender for them! And what was that bullshit about the fay god (mage dude) being the only god? Pleeeeze. And if Greg had done his research a little better would he not know that the ruler of the fay is always a female? Or is that just my impressions. Nvm, now I'm getting really bitchy. But Michael doesn't have enough emotions for me to feel any emotion for him. He was more real at the start of the story and since he discovered he had a dick he's gotten less real. Maybe I just need a break from the nonsense. I did like a lot of things about this story. I enjoyed going through a surreal world. The giant snail lady and the zombie guardian were a bit much. We always see the after effects of people or landscape having been hurt by magic but no one slings any magic around except Michael who supposedly is not magic but he's the only one using magic. Bloody makes no sense.