“During 1002AF, the Raven King of Albion quarrelled with Winter (the topic of their argument has not been recorded, though some suggest the King had been slandering the season to the East Wind), and consequentially Winter refused to visit England for a period of four years between 1002AF and 1006AF.

Whilst this may all sound quite auspicious to us now in 1559, this was in fact the only one of the King’s generally irresponsible acts to which he accepted blame – his subjects were very used to the four seasons and (oddly enough) felt like a possession of theirs had been stolen. They wanted snow with their Christmas, they wanted cold and frosty mornings, they wanted to be hit with slates of hail two hours after breakfast – this was Albion, after all, and all this long-Autumn business was nonsense, utter nonsense. Their petition was handed to the government and the King reluctantly pleaded with Winter to come back again; the pleasantly surprised season had never encountered a country that welcomed it before, and since then has never neglected to pass by.” – The Days of Fey

The highly anticipated The Days of Fey was published just last month – a highly intellectual and thorough discussion of what is known to be the height of the nation’s magic, during the periods of 7th to early 11th century. However, it really must be asked: is it feasible to be publishing this particular lexicon now, considering the recent events that have shaken Albion to its very last stone? One answer is of course, right about now everybody wants to read about magic.

The unfashionable answer, however, is no. The first problem with this volume is that it looks too far back. Only a few years ago, our nation had been awakened from four hundred years of completely ordinary affairs by the Revival of Magic, the only magic the nation has seen since the Decline, when the Raven King was driven out. The two gentlemen who comprised the Revival have still not been found, and this reviewer imagines the matter shall fall out of the London gossip shortly. For one, there has been many magicians since then, who presumably may be counted on to make knowledge of their deaths more accessible.

The second major issue with Days is that, for the first time in quite a while now, Albion’s current affairs are being more scintillating than its history. Just last week the Whitechapel Murderer has left another mangled lady in front of the palace! Presently the city has dubbed him Jack Ripper – much, I presume, to the distress of ladies named Jill. Queen Alice has not abated on her search for Lady Elizabeth, who purportedly is being hidden by the two earlier mentioned individuals. More stories are incoming of folks disappearing in crossroads and garden-paths, though paths into Faerie have not functioned since the Decline.

It seems there are only two things Albions are to be sure of during these times, and these are The Increasing Excellence of Mister Shudder-Lance’s Plays and as always The Anger of The Martian Church. The priests are still furious at King James’s divorces and Queen Mary’s death, odd because her daughter sits on the throne. Perhaps they fret about Elizabeth Tudor. This correspondent remains perplexed.

Overall, whilst the book is certainly enjoyable, it could not have come at a more inopportune moment. Nobody needs the dust on the page to live magic now, for it seems that The Days of Fey Are Come Again.

Quarrelled With Winter