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Review: Moonheart, Charles de Lint

It all starts when Sara Kendell finds a little pouch full of odd small items in the stockroom of her antiques shop.  Sara, the quirky daughter of a wealthy family, has no interest in her inheritance and instead lives with her uncle Jamie and a various crew of outcasts in large, mystical Tamson house.  Kieran Foy arrives in Ottawa having lost tabs on his mentor in the Way, Tom, only to discover the police are after him thanks to this very connection.  When Sara and Kieran meet, they are thrown into a new world, into a conflict they don’t fully understand, but they must learn quickly as their friends are in danger.

Before this, I’d only read one book by Charles de Lint, The Onion Girl, which I enjoyed a lot.  I knew this one wasn’t set in the same universe but was reputed to be very good and since I was in the mood for fantasy, I thought it might be a perfect fit.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty good and I liked it.

This book is fairly long, so I was glad it didn’t take much time to get going.  This seems like another varient of the urban fantasy genre, but it is indeed more magical than the current offerings, particularly when two of the main characters are sent back in time.  The magic system was interesting and seemed to be based from a combination of Native American and Welsh myth, at least in the book’s world.  I managed to read more than half of it on a very stressful set of flights, so the fact that it managed to keep my attention during all that is a definite stroke in its favor.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about the characters, though.  The two main ones, Kieran and Sara, fall in love with minor characters over the course of the book, but I felt both affairs were too sudden to be believable.  I know their lives were under threat and people feel more strongly during those times, but I had a hard time buying it.  I’m not sure why I didn’t care about any of them, I just know that I didn’t and it lessened the book for me.

In the end, I liked it but I didn’t love it, so I’m not sure if I would recommend it.  I’ll probably still read the sequel, Spiritwalk, which was a free e-book on tor.com, but I think for now I will stick with reading more Newford stories.

Buy Moonheart on Amazon.

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