Weaving Dreams by Mary Robinette Kowal
Eva tossed her backpack on the picnic bench and hollered to Giancarlo. “I’m heading to the creek to cut some willow branches for the summoning spell.”
–Mary Robinette Kowal - Weaving Dreams - c.2012
Short story published in Apex Magazine Issue 41
Eva is a witch, and a researcher into the Fae. As Weaving dreams begins she is helping Giancarlo with his research. He is an historian, interested in meeting a Fae as a primary source. They are long lived, afterall, some are still living from colonial days.This isn’t their first summoning in this area. But on this occasion things do no got to plan.
I’ve seen plenty of mentions of Kowal before, I have her Shades of Milk and Honey but haven’t read it yet. It sounds great though, and if it is anything like this story I’d guess it’ll make for a fascinating read.
Weaving Dreams could be called an urban fantasy even though it isn’t set in an urban area, but it mixes the modern real world with a fantasy one. A modern fairy tale I guess is a more accurate description. In this ‘verse the Fae are real. Magic and spells are real. But the fae are not human and their motivations are not always easy to understand or explain. The fae of the Americas didn’t have as much of a conflict with the European fae that came over during colonial times as their human counterparts did. In many cases they intermarried, and a blending of cultures is occurring, but there are still differences between them.
This is, in essence, the classic fairy tale. A human gets taken into Faerie and must be rescued. The fae are powerful and magic, but they are bound by bargains and competitions. Freedom can be won, if you can figure out how to do it.
If you like fairy tales give this one a try, it is a nice variation on the classic story.