…a tiny golden volume the size of a match-stick.”
The Book is the small book carried by all fairies, which instructs them on the ancient rules of fairy life. The book is extremely important, and if found by humans, would reveal all the secrets of fairy life. Fortunately, the book is protected against this in two main ways, besides the obvious fact that the fairies themselves would do all that they can to stop their precious book falling into the hands of the mud-men.
The first protection is magical. If anyone attempts to take a fairies book without the fairy’s permission, the book will disintegrate. The second protection is a lot more basic, and that is, the book is written in the Gnommish language. Gnommish may be the root of all human languages, but it bears absolutely no resemblance to modern language, and is only spoken by fairies.
Perhaps the most important thing in the book is the information about The Ritual. Fairies are magical creatures, but after using their magic for a while, they run out of it. To restore their magic, they need to complete the ritual, described in this section of The Book:
“From the earth thine power flows,
Given through courtesy, so thanks are owed.
Pluck thou the magick seed,
Where full moon, ancient oak and twisted water meet.
And bury it far from where it was found,
So return your gift into the ground.”
What this literally means, is that on the night of a full moon, the fairy must travel to a place where an ancient oak tree grows by the bend in a river, take an acorn and bury it in the earth far from the tree. When a fairy has recently completed the ritual, that fairy is said to be, “running hot.”
The other major rule in the book, is to do with humans. A fairy is forbidden to enter a human dwelling without a human’s permission. This is open to interpretation of course. Different things, such as a cry for help can be taken as an invitation. The punishment for breaking the rule is grave, the fairy will have its magic permanently taken from it. The fairy attempting to enter without permission receives a single warning, in the form of a severe bout of sickness.
There is a lot more in the book which we do not know yet, but for now, that is all that matters. Also, if you purchase The Artemis Fowl Files, there is a passage from the book itself for you to translate and read. It has been decoded here.