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Charles de Lint
Tor, 369 pages

Charles de Lint
Charles de Lint has been writing urban fantasy, mixing elements of Native American and Celtic folklore, for a long time. Many of his earlier stories, such as Moonheart, Jack the Giant Killer and Drink Down the Moon (both later republished together as Jack of Kinrowan), Ascian in Rose, Westlin Wind and Ghostwood (later collected and republished as the single volume Spiritwalk) explored this, using the city of Ottawa as a backdrop. The fictional city of Newford became the stage for novellas such as "Ghosts of Wind and Shadows", "Our Lady of the Harbour", "The Wishing Well", The Dreaming Place; short story collections such as Dreams Underfoot and The Ivory and the Horn; and novels such as Memory and Dream, Trader, and Someplace to be Flying.

Charles de Lint Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: A Handful of Coppers
SF Site Review: The Onion Girl
SF Site Review: Forests of the Heart
SF Site Reading List: Charles de Lint
SF Site Review: Jack of Kinrowan
SF Site Review: Moonlight and Vines, A Newford Collection
SF Site Review: Someplace to be Flying
Information about the Tamson House Mailing List
One Tamson House
Newford Chronicles

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Alma A. Hromic

Mulengro Originally published in 1985, Mulengro is being reissued in a new edition by Tor in its Orb Books imprint. In one of those strange mind-twists, 1985 seems both an unutterably long time ago (a child born in that year would be 19 this year!) and almost yesterday. Most literature bears the imprint of its era, whether it will or not; things get dated as they grow older, or even fall out of favour and then back in, if the work is old enough to carry that kind of baggage. Charles de Lint's work, however, has something of a timeless quality. Once he moved past his very early stories and into the mature body of his work, he acquired a luminosity of presence that doesn't fade with the passage of time.

Charles de Lint has made his career with books which have a foot in both fantasy and ordinary workaday worlds; in his stories, the two are so intimately interwoven that it is sometimes hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. Mulengro, although shifting a shade more into Stephen King-esque horror rather than straight fantasy, is no exception. In his usual inimitable way de Lint enters the world of the Romany and makes it part of our own world -- we share the lives of people sometimes very different from ourselves, and somehow he manages to get into their heads. Whether he chooses to write of the Native American skinwalkers or of Romany drabarne, he produces characters that engage the reader's interest and sympathy, and while he is in unfamiliar territory here -- he even says so outright in the author's note -- he is by no means lost, or without a map.

This is a good, solid, engaging read, and I am glad to see it reissued in a new edition -- it very much deserves the honour.

Oh, and I'm naming my next cat Boboko, after one of the most endearing animal characters I've ever met in print. Anyone who wants to know why will get handed a copy of Mulengro.

Copyright © 2004 Alma A. Hromic

Alma A. Hromic, addicted (in random order) to coffee, chocolate and books, has a constant and chronic problem of "too many books, not enough bookshelves". When not collecting more books and avidly reading them (with a cup of coffee at hand), she keeps busy writing her own. Following her successful two-volume fantasy series, Changer of Days, her latest novel, Jin-shei, is due out from Harper San Francisco in the spring of 2004.

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