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by Charles de Lint

From the acclaimed author of Moonheart and Memory and Dream

Cat Midhir had made a reputation as the author of popular fantasy novels. But the secret that her fans didn't know was that her Otherworld was no fantasy. Then, one night, a thief stole her dreams. Since then, she's been trapped in the everyday. And the Others are coming to find her...


Download Yarrow epub
ISBN: 0312863934
ISBN13: 978-0312863937
Category: Fantasy
Subcategory: Fantasy
Author: Charles de Lint
Language: English
Publisher: Orb Books; First edition (November 15, 1997)
Pages: 288 pages
ePUB size: 1142 kb
FB2 size: 1388 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 683
Other Formats: lit txt lit lrf

Yarrow was my first foray in to the world of Charles de Lint, and it certainly won't be my last. What an amazing mind he has. When I first began reading, numerous characters were introduced, all going about daily things. A page for this one, a page for that one. I wondered who they all were and what their relevance was to the main plot. As I read, I was drawn into each of these people and found myslef amazed how they intertwined together. Some had small roles, and others larger, but what I loved was even though you didn't really NEED to know the little tid bits of information about this or that character, the fact that the author did give it in the simplest way made those characters stand out and become three dimensional.

This isn't normally the type of book I enjoy reading. I'm not a big fan of creepy, but I have to say that I did not want to put this book down until I finished the last page. The fantasy element in it was rather subtle, yet profound. I almost immediately found myself connecting with the main protagonist, Cat. She's withdrawn, shy and a writer. When she sleeps she dreams of an Otherworld, with strange creatures. A place that is just as real as the wolrd she lives in in her waking life. But something terrible happens. She stops dreaming of her Otherworld. Something is hunting her. Something evil. Eventually Cat begins to doubt her sanity and if this Otherworld isn't really just her imagination.

It's this evil that is hunting Cat that brings all the characters together in one way or another. I loved the execution of this tale. The vileness of the villain made this one creepy story and gave me the heebie geebies. But what really made this book for me was the relationship that formed slowly between Cat and Ben and the sense of a happily ever after for them.

I have a huge back list of Charles de Lint to get through, but I am looking forward to reading many, many more of his books.
Another great Charles De Lint urban fantasy novel. My only selfish want, is for Chicago to be the setting. LOL.
Great Experience. Book was delivered quickly and as described.
Classic de Lint as I hoped it would be. Engaging, believable characters & situations that draw you in. Recommended.
I very much enjoy de Lint's books, but unlike some authors who seem to have sprung full blown from some god's brow, or who started with a bang and then faded, de Lint has always struck me as an author who got better and better with each book. The de Lint of early 1980 is remarkably different from the de Lint of the mid-90's Newford series. So, when I come across a one-off paperback I usually check to see where it fits in the timeline before I commit.

This book is a good example. It's de Lint's fourth book and it came out just two years after he started publishing novels. It has the suggestion of all his strengths, and is limited by what struck me as his early weaknesses.

There are stretches, and bits, of beautiful, lyrical writing. There is a wonderful command of the boundary between the here-and-now and the otherworld. De Lint was one of the vanguard in the matter of urban fantasy, and that is a compelling aspect of even these earliest works. He can conjure up an atmosphere of fantastic yet grounded dread or fable or myth, and can move characters back and forth and through and into and out of powerfully realized other worlds. That's the good part. It's in every book, and it grows stronger from book to book.

But, there are limits. Here, de Lint gives us a heroine who is neither appealing nor particularly interesting. A blocked writer is almost never my idea of a compelling character. Here our author/heroine is tormented by the question of whether she's a creator or merely a transcriber of the stories that are told to her in her dreams. Since she can't compose a single complete sentence once her dreams dry up I'm leaning toward transcriptionist, and that just makes her even less interesting, and even less deserving of sympathy.

We get loads of incidental characters who are nicely sketched in, or even profiled in detail, despite the fact that many of them are clearly irrelevant or are just red shirts who aren't going to make it past their next chapter. We get sex that isn't very explicit, but it's often a mix of naive and creepy/violent, and the villain is almost always at the center of it. I don't know what all that is about.

But a lot of this is just quibbling. De Lint was trying to do something almost unheard of - melding urban grit with fantasy/folklore conventions into a coherent single story. We take that genre for granted now, but it had to be created and formed almost from scratch. This is one of the early efforts, and it is worthy.
This is the second De Lint novel I came to, after first reading 'Greenmantle'. This is shorter than Greenmantle, and was a written a touch earlier. The story does jump around between characters significantly at the start, which I didn't like, perhaps a more mature De Lint would have handled this differently. As with Greenmantle, he name drops cultural references to other authors that interest him, a couple of the references to authors being ordered in quantity at the bookstore featured here as a location (like Piers Anthony) sure wouldn't get ordered in those quantities now ;-) I won't provide a synopsis here, although it has vampiric elements, they are handled very well. I didn't enjoy 'Yarrow' as much as 'Greenmantle', but it does seem to be a relaxed entry point to De Lint, without going immediately into his masterwork 'Newford' saga. Both 'Yarrow'(1986) and 'Greenmantle' (1988) are considered part of his 'Ottawa and the Valley' setting, along with 'Moonheart' (1984) which I have held of reading for the time being, after taking advice not to start with it. My read order is being governed a little by which books arrive in the mail first at this point. I am on my 4th De Lint book in 5 days. I'm not normally an Urban Fantasy reader, so I'm coming at De Lint from a different angle than some readers will be approaching him. Yarrow really is 3.5 stars, if you can get past the jumpy start it is certainly worth the read.