66 pages 2 hours read

Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2001

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Symbols & Motifs

The Book

Each fairy carries a small copy of the Book that contains the sacred rules of “the People,” referring to their society. Its opening lines assert importance: “I am thy teacher of herb and spell. I am thy link to power arcane. Forget me and thy magick shall wane” (27). Some lines from the Book like this one convey a sense of the history of the People, whose lives are much longer than humans’ lives.

The Book sets the parameters for fairies’ actions; it also provides a means by which Artemis can exploit them. Specifically, it lays out a rule that fairies cannot enter human homes without their permission, ensuring that the LEP cannot simply storm Fowl Manor and save Holly. Likewise, the Book requires that fairies be good guests and listen to their hosts, so Holly must stay within the halls of Artemis’s home as long as he wishes.

Artemis is the first human to translate the Book, a task so difficult that “[t]he average adult would have been reduced to slapping the keyboard” (25). His ability to do so is an early testament to his determination and intelligence, especially since the Book is “not for those in mud that crawl” (28).