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Forests of the Heart by Charles de Lint

Review by Jojo

Hello! Yup, another book review from me. I am going to try to be good and control my gushing. Forests of the Heart is Charles de Lint's *reverent gesture* newest book, which is, sadly, one of the most inexpensive de Lint book I've bought. And yes, it's hardcover. *innocent look* What? He's got a lot that went out of print and I had to have them! And I'd rather not talk about how many of them have or will be hitting reprint soon. :o)

The Characters
One of de Lint's talents is to weave a handful or more of characters that would otherwise not have met, together seamlessly. The major players in this book is Bettina, a woman of Mexican and Native American blood, a very strong and knowledgable curandera. She lives in a world where walking in between the worlds (la Úpoca del mito) is commonplace, having been taught by her abuela or grandmother, who was a very... interesting woman. There's Ellie, a local sculptor, and Tommy, her Kickaha buddy. There's Miki, an acordian player, and Donal, a painter, two Irish siblings from a broken family. There's Hunter, local record store owner and Miki's boss. There's... el lobo. And, of course, those are the main, main characters. There are half a dozen more that play supporting roles. And, of course, Newford regs make camoes. Angel. Sophie. Georgie. Jilly.

The World
This book takes us back to de Lint's city of Newford, a place that feels like returning to home. It's set in the present day, and, as always, there is no reference that would put this place in either Canada or the States. It's a cross between, a nice, cozy, familiar city that just happens to have more than its share of... odd... goings on.

The Plot
The basic plot is a struggle between the Gentry, also called the hard men, who are thought to be spirit-types that migrated with the Irish humans. For a while they were happy to claim the city as theirs, but ambition is driving them to seek the land that is protected by the Native spirits. Naturally, the Native spirits are not liking this idea very much, and people that can be of use are being brought in to lend a hand. At least, that's how the plot starts out. Things happen, as they tend to do, and things change. It's good stuff. *nodnod*

The Grade
*blink* Are you serious? Hm. Brand new de Lint book. Let me think...*evil grin* Ten out of five amulets. I'm biased, I know. Seriously, it was everything I was expecting and more. His characters are wonderfully detailed and layered. I love how he throws various languages around. The ending... Resolutions always seem to happen to quickly for my liking. You spend the entire book, or series, biulding up to this point, and it's over in paragraphs. Pages at the most. But, as I know I've said before, that's a think that I don't factor in to my review. I hardly every really *love* endings. That aside, I was not displeased with how this one wrapped up. Outside of the plot, there is amazing character growth. Readers familiar with his work realizes that that usually plays an important role in the stories. It's not just about defeating the bad guy, it's about growing from it. And they do. Good stuff. Highly recommended!!!

*g* Bet you didn't see that coming.


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