Eddi McCandry, a singer and guitarist in a rock and roll band, finds herself unemployed after she breaks up with her boyfriend, Stuart Kline, the bandleader. Because of her artistic temperament, she is drafted to participate in a war between the Seelie Court, forces of good in the Faerie realm, and their nemesis, the Unseelie Court, over the fate of the public spaces of Minneapolis. The faeries need a human presence to ensure that the battles will result in mortal wounds. Because Eddi possesses a powerful energy as a performer, she has been chosen by the phouka sent from Faerie to recruit and protect her.
A reluctant warrior, Eddi forms her own band with her best friend Carla and an assortment of musicians, both human and fey. Throughout the summer, she participates in a series of battles staged amid the parks of the Twin Cities while the band practices in a hot, dusty loft and performs at some of the prime venues in Minneapolis.
Willie Silver, Eddi’s lead guitarist and a high-ranking member of the Seelie Court, is captured by the Unseelie Court and then killed by Eddi’s former lover, Stuart Kline, who has become her mortal adversary. Eddi comes to recognize her powers to intervene in this eternal battle through her music. She is aided by the phouka; brownie Hairy Meg, whose life she saved at the first battle at Minnehaha Falls; her faerie bass player, Hedge; her drummer, Carla; and her keyboard player, Carla’s lover, Dan.
Defying the wishes of the Queen of Faerie, Eddi challenges the Queen of Air and Darkness to a duel at one of her gigs. Whoever sways the audience will be the winner. Eddi and the Fey need to keep the audience dancing. Despite the loss of its lead guitar player, the band spins a wild magic over the crowd dancing before it, defeating the Unseelie Court, securing the city, and saving Eddi’s lover, the man-who-can-become-dog, Phouka, held hostage by the evil queen.