November 29, 2011 by Reader's Connection
In the current Staff Recommends, the Pike Branch´s Doriene Smither warns us that Auphe are not the beloved elves familiar to us, but "dangerous, evil beings." I´m grateful for the public service she has performed in warning us about this menace, and I need to do my part. If you have a hill where children play in your neighborhood, and they call it a “fairy barrow” (and what neighborhood is without one of these?), beware of revenants. These are humans who have come back from the dead, or have somehow died without going away.
David Liss´s novel The Twelfth Enchantment is loaded with revenants. Early in England’s nineteenth century, poor Lucy Derrick is forever discovering that someone or other is either a revenant or has been put under a spell by one. There are down-to-earth narrative concerns, here–Lucy has inheritance problems and love problems, and the Luddites are destroying textile looms, and Romantic poets William Blake and Lord Byron are going around, behaving strangely–but a strong magical current runs under everything.
Lucky for Lucy (and the well-being of all England), she turns out to have a talent for magic. Lucky for you, you can read this book while safe at home and stay away from those barrows.