I'm trying to recall the name of a book about a girl who figures out she has magical musical abilities attributing to fairies. When her and her band of rock-playing fairies perform, the audience seems to be under a spell. There is eventually a battle between good and evil. It must be a YA science-fiction book.

  • 2
    Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy! When was this written, approximately? What language was it in? Can you describe any additional plot points? Please try to provide some more detail, otherwise I'm afraid this question is likely to be put on hold.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 22:44
  • Not it, but if you are generally interested in Rock'n'Roll fairies Justina Robsons "Keeping it real" has an elvish rock star and a battle between good and evil. Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 10:32
  • I thought another possibility could be Gossamer Axe by Gael Baudino, but synopsis doesn't match the above description.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 1:15
  • Also feels like it ought to be part of the Elves in LA series of books by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon (and other authors), but I don't remember any books focusing on a female Bard.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Feb 20 at 12:41

2 Answers 2


Sounds a lot like an old paperback fantasy novel in my collection. War for the Oaks, by Emma Bull (first published in 1987).

enter image description here

The main viewpoint character, Eddi McCandry, is a female guitarist in Minneapolis who has been trying to make a living as part of a local rock band that wanders from one gig to another (they don't have any big record deals to make them household words, or anything like that), and as the plot develops, she leaves her old band and forms a brand new one, led by herself, in which some of the other musicians look human, but turn out to actually be supernatural entities whom she never knew existed until just recently. In fact, her new band ends up being called: "Eddi and the Fey." ("Fey" being a word that basically means the same thing as "fairy" or "faerie," although of course their audiences are meant to assume the name is merely colorful, and not literally accurate!)

At the climax of the novel, there is, as you remembered, a big musical showdown between "Eddi and the Fey" (the good guys) and another magically-empowered band representing the bad guys. I believe victory was supposed to be determined by who had a bigger positive impact on the human audience. (It's been a heck of a long time since I read my copy, though.)

To illustrate my point that we're probably remembering the same story, here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry for this book:

The book tells the story of Eddi McCandry, a rock musician who finds herself unwillingly pulled into the supernatural faerie conflict between good and evil. War for the Oaks is a pioneering work in the subgenre of urban fantasy: although it involves supernatural characters, the setting (Minneapolis) is decidedly real-world.


The description reminds me a lot of stories written by the hugely under-appreciated author Martin Millar, particularly his story Dreams of Sex and Stage Diving:

Elfish's friends live hand-to-mouth in a bleak part of London, squatting, seeing local bands, getting high and feeling bitter over lost ambitions. Not so Elfish herself, who pursues her dream with a determination that verges on the demonic. She rarely eats, never washes and is devoted to Queen Mab - both the Shakespearian fairy and her own thrash metal band, formed with her attractive but dim-witted lover, Mo. But when Mo jilts her, Elfish is determined to stop him and get revenge.

The Martin Millar novels are described in the following way:

The novels he writes as Martin Millar dwell on urban decay and British sub-cultures, and the impact this has on a range of characters, both realistic and supernatural. There are elements of magical realism, and the feeling that the boundary between real life and the supernatural is not very thick.

If this does not sound like what you're looking for, I'd say his books are still worth a look. I would however add that, due to certain content of a pornographic nature, this book is probably not appropriate for the younger audience, despite the clarity and simplicity of the writing style.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.