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Tales of the fey : the use of traditional Faerie folklore in contemporary young adult fantasy novels Andersen, Caralyn

Abstract

There are many examples of novel-length renditions of traditional fairy tales to be found in young adult fantasy literature. Although there is a significant amount of research on the evolution of the fairy tale into novel length narratives, there is little focused on the use of the folklore of Faerie in fantasy novels. This thesis examines the Faerie-related folkloric themes and motifs to be found in four examples of contemporary young adult fantasy novels: An Earthly Knight, Thomas the Rhymer, Tithe, and The Hunter's Moon. Each of these narratives is rich in Faerie folklore. The authors, Janet McNaughton, Ellen Kushner, Holly Black, and O.R. Melling, have gone beyond the pop-culture image of the fairy and explored the many aspects of Faerie to be found in folklore. In their unique ways, these authors each explore Faerie as a realm full of marvels and contradictions, while remaining true to the nature of Faerie found in folklore. This strong base in traditional sources strengthens and adds depth to these narratives.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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