Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Fantastic Fantasy Finds: Moonheart by Charles de Lint (1981)

One of the first fantasy books I ever read, this dark urban tale is set in Ottawa, Canada. And one of its main characters is a house. (I love mysterious, weird houses, from Shirley Jackson's Hill House, to Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves.)
   Tamson House takes up an entire block in Ottawa. Its residents are eccentric. Sara, a young woman who lives in the house, is used to all this.

   Then something evil arrives after Sara meets a young man named Kieran Foy. Kieran knows all about otherworldly things--such as the native spirits of the land. Sara soon finds herself in another world, meeting Taliesin, the famous bard, speaking with native spirits called quin'on'a. She and Kieran both meet faery lovers of a sort. But there's dissent among the native spirits, some of whom hate the immigrant faeries and anyone who isn't from the land. Kieran and Sara return to Tamson House in time to battle the dark thing invading it. As the evil seeks to take over Tamson House, the eccentric residents are soon under siege, and some of them discover their own connections to the otherworld.

   With a rich, original mythology of Celtic and native folklore, Moonheart is an urban fantasy touched with horror and filled with intriguing characters, its atmosphere one of dream-touched realism. This isn't exactly a fantasy find, since anyone who reads fantasy knows this is one of the best. If you liked American Gods, or urban fantasy, you'll love this one.