I came across this little book while doing some research for my current WIP. There is such a thing as creative license when you write fiction, especially fantasy, but for me, I want to write fantasy stories with respect to the cultures of those people that I include or perhaps bring focused attention to, in this particular case Irish Folklore (which is a major part of the novel I’m writing). Keeping with that goal, I have been trying to research authentic and authoritative sources of information.
The Fairy Bible is self-described as a “definitive guide to the world of fairies.” I’m not sure that I agree but I will attempt to explain.
Firstly, this book does well in exploring many examples of creatures from the Otherworld, not specifically those found only in Ireland. This was enjoyable for me because I love learning about various mythologies and folktales from around the globe. The book is also full of beautiful artwork to delight readers who perhaps need a bit of help visualizing what they read.
For me, this book let me down in a few ways:
- Many of the entities in The Fairy Bible are described with flowery (no pun intended) language, made to seem friendly or approachable, and even benevolent in some cases. Having delved pretty deeply into many reputable sources (Morgan Daimler and Lora O’Brien to name a few), I feel that it is a bit dangerous to portray the Other people as friendly, “disney-esque” beings who are fun-loving or altruistic. That does not line up with folklore, historical accounts, or many people’s experiences with them.
- The book contains meditations and “spells” throughout meant to, I presume, assist the reader in approaching or connecting with these Otherworldly entities. I am not an authority on the subject. Not even close, but I would advise against doing so, especially so frivolously.
- I was really hoping for concrete (at least as concrete as possible), details that I could use to properly portray these entities in my writing, but much of what I read seems to contradict what I have read and heard elsewhere.
Overall, if you like stories, and pretty pictures and are looking for something to entertain you, this is a neat perspective on the Otherworldy crowd, but I wouldn’t call it an authoritative guide on the topic.
If you are looking for specifics on the topic, I suggest looking into Morgan Daimler, Lora O’Brien, et al.
In Libras Libertas,