Who wrote this and when?
Charles De Lint wrote these books. This is actually a collection of the stories from three of his books: “Dreams Underfoot,” “The Ivory and the Horn,” and “Moonlight and Vines.” They were published in 1993, 1995, and 1999, respectively. This collection was published in 1999.
Has there been a film version?
Who are the important characters?
Since this is a collection of short stories, most of them include different characters. There are several who make many reappearances, though. These include:
Jilly Coppercorn – a girl who believes anything about magic, a painter
Geordie – a young man who lost his true love to magic, a fiddle player
Sophie – a woman whose dreams are reality
Christie – Geordie’s brother, an author of magic stories
Meran – a flute player with magical qualities
Wendy – a painter
What’s it about?
These stories all take place in the town of Newford – normal except that magic abounds within it’s territory. There are faeries, mermaids, demons, pennymen, almost anything you can think of. Some of the magic is fun and entertaining, some is life-threatening.
Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
Charles De Lint is widely recognized as one of the best fantasy authors out there, so his works are naturally popular.
Do you recommend I read this book?
Yes, if you enjoy fantasy. However, you might want to start out by reading just one of the books in this series to get a taste.
How did this book make my list?
I have some of Charles De Lint’s works on my “books to be read” list and had never heard of him. So I wanted to get acquainted with him – hence, the short story collection.
Has it won any awards?
The last book of the three, “Moonlight and Vines” won the World Fantasy Award in 2000.
“Jilly always says the family we choose for ourselves is more important than the one we were born into; that people have to earn our respect and trust, not have it handed to them simply because of genetics.” – p 526
“I touch the first color to the paper and reach for a taste of that amazement.” – p 669
I think De Lint has something for red heads, curly hair, and Celtic music (he is a Celtic musician).
I’ve said many times over that I am not a fan of short stories. I’d rather spend 600 pages getting to know someone and living their life alongside them, than have some poignant lesson thrown at me in six. These stories, however, are something different. While they’re still short, they all take place in the same location and often involve the same characters in different capacities. Sometimes Jilly is the main character, sometimes she’s in the background. Sometimes the story is about Sophie, sometimes she’s referenced as a friend of a friend. So it doesn’t seem as much that you’re reading short stories but parts of a novel told from many, many different points of view.
The creativity of De Lint is astounding. He doesn’t just pull characters from popular myth, but he creates his own creatures too. His descriptions aren’t ornate, but put in a way that you think “oh, I see exactly.” In other words, he writes the way I wish I could write.