It seems like I should have been aware of Charles de Lint before now. He’s called the father of urban fantasy by some. This story collection is one of his many works that is set in a city that straddles modern day reality and a sphere of magic. Particularly considering when it was written, the concepts feel original, the writing solid, and the characters come through as three-dimensional. My only quibble is de Lint’s magical elements feel random and implausible sometimes.
I found many of these stories to be enchanting. Though some of them were on the darker side, they all explored the place where imagination meets reality to great effect. A couple of times I found myself out walking my dog in the evening while listening to a tale spin from modern mundanity to an enchanted realm and back again. Some of the magic in the stories almost seemed to cross over into my own reality for a short while.
Read it if you’re interested in good storytelling and the power of the imagination.
Skip it if you have little patience for fancy and whim.