This evening I finished reading Charles de Lint’s Yarrow. Like nearly all his other novels and collections, it’s a story that blends a modern setting (in this case Canada’s capital, Ottawa) with folklore and fantasy. This novel told of a writer who wrote stories fleshed out from ones told to her in a land she visited in her dreams. When her dreams stopped she could no longer write well and soon discovered a vampire-like dream-eating stalker was the root of her troubles. For all the magic and supernatural events presented, this is a story very human in nature, focusing on the need for friendship, kindness and a connection with the world around us.
I wouldn’t say this early work matches the writings Mr. de Lint has produced in recent years. Like many of his early novels, it is well written but lacks the greater clarity of vision and storytelling mastery he has developed in the nearly two decades since this was written. That said, this is a novel far above average and well worth reading.

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