These Antique Fables is a short story written for Seanan McGuire's Patreon supporters.

More strange than true: I may never believe
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.

—William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Author's Summary Edit

[W]e return to the world of October Daye with a love story, of a kind, and a war story, of a kind, and a tale of a girl who became a woman still trying to find her place in Faerie.  You've met January O'Leary and Li Qin Zhou before.  Now see them meet each other.

Plot Edit

In 1916, January O'Leary and her father, Malcom ap Learianth, are waiting for her mother to return to the Kingdom of Silences with help against the ongoing attack by Kingdom of the Mists. When assistance doesn't arrive in time, Malcom takes a drastic step, transforming January into a yarrow branch and sending her away to the safety of the Duchy of Shadowed Hills.

When she awakens, January discovers that much has changed. Her father is dead, her mother is crippled with mourning, her home knowe has fallen, and her uncle Sylvester has taken her in as ward. When he declares her his presumptive heir, she finds the functions and responsibilities a heavy burden. She finds solace in the Library and in her friends Elliot and Magdaleana.

In 1965, on her 100th birthday, Sylvester throws January a party. Although she resents both preparations and attendance, once there, she finds that maybe her luck has changed.

Date (See Timeline) Edit

various, between 1916 and 1965

Characters Edit

Mentioned only Edit

Locations (See List of Faerie Kingdoms, Duchys, Realms) Edit

Mentioned only Edit

October Daye Stories

Rosemary and RueA Local HabitationAn Artificial NightLate EclipsesOne Salt SeaAshes of HonorChimes at MidnightThe Winter LongA Red-Rose ChainOnce Broken FaithThe Brightest FellNight and Silence

Short stories

Rat-Catcher (#0.6)Through This House (#4.5)In Sea-Salt Tears (#5.1)No Sooner Met (#6.2)Never Shines the Sun (#7.1)Forbid the Sea (#7.2)Heaps of Pearl (#8.1)The Fixed Stars (#8.5)Full of Briars (#9.3)Dreams and Slumbers (#10.5)Of Things Unknown (#11.5)Suffer a Sea-Change (#12.1)

Patreon stories

In Little Stars (#0.5)Stage of Fools (#7.3)The Voice of Lions (#7.4)The Act of Hares (#7.5)Instruments of Darkness (#7.6)With Honest Trifles (#7.7)In Deepest Consequences (#7.8)Jealous in Honor (#7.9)Quick in Quarrel (#7.91)Shore to Shore (#8.2)Write in Water (#8.3)And Thrice Again (#8.32)Live in Brass (#8.4)The Ambitious Ocean (#8.5)These Antique Fables (#11.1)