‘Fairies: The Myths, Legends, & Lore’ by Skye Alexander – review

Fairies: The Myths, Legends, & Lore

Fairies: The Myths, Legends, & Lore by Skye Alexander

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


They are the hidden children of Adam and Eve. They are the minions of Lucifer fallen from Heaven into this terrestrial world when the gate was being closed by the Archangels at the time of the great celestial rebellion. No wonder they are neither good nor evil, although their amorality is felt more akin to treachery and terror to our mortal sense and sensibility. The ancient Greeks called them nymphs, and we call them fairies, frolicking and romping, feasting and dancing deliriously in their own fanciful realm: the slice of seacoast between tides, the deepening foliage between field and forest, and the sloping land between plain and mountain – a parallel universe existent in in their liminal four-dimensional world. Skye Alexander’s Fairies: The Myths, Legends, and Lore tells us all of it with her wealth of knowledge and introspection of these mystical beings as though it were her literary enchantment.

The ambiguous nature of fairies endows the mystical folk with wonder and terror, glamour and danger, all in the veil of mysterious invisibility that has protected them since the time immemorial. They can be friends or foes, depending upon their moods. In fact, fairies have a status which fuses the capricious powers of demoted deities with the erotic charge of modern celebrity in the kingdom of myth and folklore. So much so that they have consistently appeared in literature and movies, such as ‘The Fairy Queen’ by Edmund Spencer, ‘A midsummer night’s dream’ by William Shakespeare, ‘Rip Van Winkle’ by Washington Irving, and ‘Peter Pan’ by Walt Disney. Unlike educated Christianity of angels and demons, these mystical celebrities have lived among humans because they embody our certain human traits, which are the good and the bad, and wishes that we cherish secretly to live better life. Take the case of glamour spells that will make a plain-looking lady beautiful to impress the onlookers in a favorable light. Fairies are the embodiment of our what-ifs in a land of imagination where our strains of existential life can be forgotten, if not eradicated. This also relates to historian Keith Thomas’s analysis of myth and magic as a mental analgesic. That the concept itself can account for such misfortune explains any conspicuous discrepancy between merit and reward and thus helps to reconcile anyone who believes it to the environment in which he lives. That is, it helps a man to take decisions when other agencies fail him, not jeopardizing his self-esteem because it does not relate existential dilemma to his ascribed social ranks and conditions.

Changelings, Sleeping Beauty, Pixies, Brownies, Elves, Dwarfs, Selkies, Leprechauns, and Tinker Bell come alive pages upon pages of this enchanted book in an expense of the author’s charmingly kind guide to Fairyland we all have once believed. Since writing is also a peculiar alchemy of literature, this book is a magical concoction of the author’s knowledge of fairies and her alluring invitation to the liminal netherworld that will make the read even more enjoyable and lovable. Believers or unbelievers, this book is a good primer for the world of folklore and myths that we feel losing or lost.




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