Friday, May 06, 2011

Muse and Reverie by Charles de Lint

Muse and Reverie by Charles de Lint

Completion Date: May 2, 2011
Reason for Reading: Carry on with the series.
Muse and Reverie is an all-new collection of short fiction in Charles de Lint’s “Newford” universe—the fifth such collection since 1993, and the first since 2002. Previous collections are Dreams Underfoot, The Ivory and the Horn, the World Fantasy Award-winning Memory and Dream, and Tapping the Dream Tree.

The city of Newford could be any city in North America, bursting with music, commerce, art, love and hate, and of course magic. Magic in the sidewalk cracks, myth at the foundations of its great buildings, enchantment in the spaces between its people. In this new collection, de Lint explores that magic and those spaces, shedding new light on the people and places that readers of novels like Moonheart, Forests of the Heart, The Onion Girl, and The Mystery of Grace have come to love.
I am loving Charles de Lint, so I have been reading more of one author than I normally do. By the time I finish the Once Upon a Time challenge I will have read at least 3 collections by him. This is his most recent Newford collection. I believe that all of the stories included have been released before, but I have never read any of them before. They were all really good, though. There were a few stories with characters that have never appeared before, that I know of, but then there were others that have been around since the very beginning. I am always happy to see Jilly Coppercorn, for example, included in a collection. A lot has changed since we first met her in Dreams Underfoot.

The first story is 'Somewhere in My Mind There Is a Painting Box'. This was a quaint story of a young girl that is introduced to a magical world by a unexpected discovery. It is also a tempting story about how you might want to step out of your life, but it might not always be the best idea. Then there is the story 'Refinerytown'. It is a story about what happens when the imaginary world doesn't always mean that things are not real. This story seemed familiar, so it is possible that I have read it before. A couple of characters that I haven't seen in a while were the Crow Girls. In 'A Crow Girls' Christmas', they return. They are always entertaining. This story was no exception.

'Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion' is a cute story about cats. It might not have started this way, but it was compelling by the end. One of the stories that got me to think the most was 'Riding Shotgun'. It shows how the things that we do shape us as people, and even if we don't always agree with the choices we have made and want to change them, that actually may cause more problems. 'Sweet Forget-Me-Not' is a story about fairies. Sad, but sweet. 'That Was Radio Clash' was interesting, too. It shows a different side of second chances and how they can work out for a person. Then, 'The Butter Spirit's Tithe' shows how what we say can lead to troubles that we might not expect.

One of my favourite characters in the Newford universe is Meran. In the story 'Da Slockit Light', she shows another side of herself. Over the couple collections I have read lately I have watched Meran develop. It has been rather fun. 'The Hour Before Dawn' is about a guy that has deceased people come to him in his dreams. His most recent visit, though, leads to a reawakening about how he has been living his life. 'Newford Spook Squad' is about the squad they put together to investigate all of the strange things happening in Newford. It might also be a retelling of Hellboy, which surprised me. 'In Sight' and 'The World in a Box' were both really good, too. 'In Sight' is about getting help in life when you least expect it and 'The World in a Box' is even the best deeds can go wrong when a person has too much power.

Overall, more great stories from a very talented author. I look forward to more from him!

Newford Series:
Dreams Underfoot
The Dreaming Place
A Whisper To A Scream (originally credited to "Samuel M. Key")
I'll Be Watching You (originally credited to "Samuel M. Key")
Memory And Dream
The Ivory And The Horn
Someplace To Be Flying (Read, but never reviewed.)
Moonlight And Vines
Forests Of The Heart
The Onion Girl
Seven Wild Sisters (also available in Tapping the Dream Tree)
Tapping the Dream Tree
Spirits in the Wires
Medicine Road
The Blue Girl (Read, but never reviewed.)
Make a Joyful Noise
The Hour Before Dawn
Old Man Crow
Little (Grrl) Lost (Read, but never reviewed.)
Promises to Keep
Muse & Reverie


  1. Did you read it in the edition with the gray cover? I've been seeing other posts around and the other cover, the one with the art nouveau feel, really caught my eye.

  2. *Alexandra: I read the book with the same cover as the one in this review.

  3. I loved this collection...especially the Crow Girls Christmas...the candy canes just killed me. What a great book!

  4. Anonymous2:36 PM

    The Crow Girls are my favorite de Lint characters. They make me smile every time I come across them in one of his stories.


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