Friday, September 5, 2014

Book Review: Yarrow

Holy cats. Seriously, I don’t really know how else to begin. I’ve been reading a Charles de Lint book a month for almost half a year, waiting to be truly wowed, and so far the books have been pretty great, fun, experimental with fantasy tropes, and in the case of Mulengro (1985) a really neat blend of fantasy and thriller. Overall I was enjoying myself but I still hadn’t really been blown away by any of his books.

Then I hit Yarrow: An Autumn tale (1986) and everything changed. The novel focuses on a Canadian fantasy author named Cat Midhir, who is currently suffering from a bout of writer’s block. It turns out Cat has been using her dreams as inspiration for her work throughout her career, but now something has changed, something dangerous. I really don’t want to spoil the story even though it is now 28-years-old. What I will say is the story balances quite well between thriller and fantasy, and deals with questions of perception and reality as well, not to mention adding both a little comedy and a little eroticism into the mix as well.

With this book I can say that yes, I’m in it for the long haul and will be reading a De Lint book a month until I catch up (luckily, that is a lot of material before I have to slow down). Although I’ve never been to Ottawa (living in Edmonton), Mr. De Lint’s works make me wish I could travel to his Ottawa, a world of magic and wonder, with a feeling of danger beneath the surface.

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