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Yarrow

Author: de Lint, Charles Set In . . .
 North America, Canada, Ontario, Ottawa
Genre: Fantasy
Time Frame: 1980s
Published: 1986
Description: Cat Midhir lives in a land of dreams, crossing nightly over the borders of sleep into a magic realm. A land where gnomes hide among standing stones and shelties dwell beneath the waves, where the harper Kothlen tells tales of the ancient days and the antlered Mynfel walks by moonlight…

When Cat wakes she weaves stories around the Otherworld. Her books are labelled as fantasy, but Mynfel's domain deems more real to her than the humdrum streets of the city.

Until a thief comes stalking—and steals Cat's dreams away…

Reviews

From Fantasy Review, 1986:
Charles de Lint is an excellent writer, and Yarrow his fourth novel is terrific. Yarrow is a tale of friendship and trust, hope and honor, faith and love, with a dark eroticism for spice. It settles for no cliched scenes and no easy answers, and conveys a reality of place (modern Ottawa) not commonly found in any fiction. Novels as good as Yarrow don't come along that often. As one of de Lint's characters puts it, "while the tale itself…is of utmost importance…the trueness of the telling is what makes up a storyteller's craft." De Lint's telling is indeed true and Yarrow is highly recommended.

Mythlore, 1986:
It is always gratifying to watch a writer grow into the style that best serves his/her creative gift. This has certainly been happening with Charles de Lint. …his imagination has expressed itself with a new vitality. Yarrow: An Autumn Tale is by far his most successful work to date, and lines together the many strengths his writing has acquired. The plotting is perfect, holding reader's attention unflaggingly until the last page. …more than confirms de Lint's skill as a fantasist.

BooksILoved.com:
In Yarrow, Charles de Lint takes a light-hearted, yet candid look at the need for balance between reality and fantasy in our existence. Through Caitlin's journey of self-discovery, de Lint reveals that remaining distant from reality all of the time could mean missing out on a whole lot of wonderful things. Inspiration can come from many sources. But at the same time, he also reminds us of how beautiful it is to dream.

Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres because it assumes that modern-day-reality and fantasy can in fact co-exist. De Lint's refreshing writing style reflects this genre, mixing everyday language with Otherworldly terms that can reach out and touch readers from any background or lifestyle. His characters could be any one of us. We can relate with them because in their lives they struggle with the same things we do. What I love the most is that de Lint treats the fanciful with reverent belief and melds it right into his characters' everyday lives. He leads the reader to stop thinking of such things as fairy tales and start believing them as the possible.

Yarrow is profound truth clothed in a delightful tale.
  
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