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Memory and Dream by Charles De Lint

Review by Liara

This is one of the Newford books, but it is completely stand-alone. I think DeLint is obsessed with art and artists of all kinds, because each of the few books I've read by him have been centered on art and most of the characters are painters or musicians or writers or something. Anyway, on the real review.

The book shifts between the present and a crucial time in the past. The main character is Isabelle, a gifted painter whose skills go beyond art and into the magical. But "Izzy" has not yet come to terms with what she can do with her paintings, or with the death of her best friend Kathy 10-ish years ago. Most of the characters are friends of Izzy and Kathy, or other artists, including Izzy's teacher, the enigmatic Rushkin. The plot is very personally centered on Izzy as she discovers the extent and implications of her powers and unravels the mysteries of her past. I can't say any more without giving too many spoilers, but the plot certainly keeps you guessing. The characters really drive the story, but DeLint's urban magic is what fills out the flesh of the book. The magic is fresh and unique and wonderfully mysterious.

I really, really liked this book. It grabbed me right away and I stayed fascinated all the way through. I liked the characters and they felt very real to me (except possibly the bad guys right at the end, but that's a minor complaint). I loved the magic as well, especially its connection to art. This is my third DeLint book and I think i'm becoming quite a fan *g@jojo*. His books are quite enjoyable. I give this one 4.75 amulets.

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