The Folk of the Air Summary
Peter S. Beagle

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The Folk of the Air Summary

in most of his earlier work, AsBeagle draws several of his characters from standard fantasy types. Sia, the good sorceress, is the amorphous earth mother whose magic cures and advice are sound. Aiffe and Nicholas Bonner, the child-witches who spread their elfin mischievousness throughout the novel, are also familiar types. The protagonist, Joe Farrell, however, is drawn from a wholly different tradition. He has some traits in common with the picaro: he is the passive commentator who pursues an episodic quest. Farrell initiates little action in the novel; he reacts rather than acts.

Beagle also pairs his characters to reinforce the thematic balance of the novel. Sia and Aiffe are supernatural opposites, and Farrell and Ben represent different responses to the lost idealism of the 1960s. In addition, each character has a medieval alter ego, invented for League ceremonies, that allows entry into the world of magic.

An unhappy...

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