January 07, 2004

Moonheart by Charles de Lint

moonheart.jpgVery much unlike other Charles de Lint novels I have read. For starters, this one isn't set in Newford, his fictional city of choice for most of his works. Instead it's set in the real city of Ottawa. The main characters are Sara, niece of a wealthy eccentric, and Kieran, a musician slash petty criminal turned shaman trainee. Sara lives with her uncle in Tamson House, a huge, mysterious city house which is a kind of character itself.

Sara runs a junk store and stumbles across a box of curious artifacts which lead her into some very scary and extremely dangerous adventures that, while fantastical, seem to grow plausibly from the way things work in our world. This is one of de Lint's great gifts: to portray magic as an integral part of existence, one which we just don't interact with very much in our mundane technological lives.

The book has all the other usual de Lint properties: realistic and engaging characters, interactions with the spirit world, and page-turner plot. There's also a police department investigation slash political intrigue plotline in this one.

The dangers are a little more dangerous than usual. There's an awful lot of gunplay that is conspicuously absent from his later work.

Posted by jeffy at January 7, 2004 11:30 PM
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