Continuing the recent reflections on fantasy, it me:
Like many other fantasy writers, [Hope] Mirrlees is interested in what happens if the power of Fairyland cannot be wholly excluded from our well-buffered society. In this case, we see what happens when magic begins to creep back into well-ordered and well-buffered lives. To figure this as essentially a drug war — an inevitably unsuccessful attempt to prevent the smuggling of what one character in the story significantly calls the “commodity” of fairy fruit — is a wonderful conceit and developed with delightful panache, tracing an elegantly oscillating line between the economic and the metaphysical. When one character tells a senator that he should be more aware of the high levels of consumption of fairy fruit among the poor, I find myself murmuring, Fairy fruit is the opiate of the masses.