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Muse and Reverie
A Newford Collection

by Charles de Lint


Strange things happen in and around the town of Newford. Things that cannot be explained in our world, yet seem perfectly normal in the one Charles de Lintís characters inhabit in the latest collection of Newford short stories, Muse and Reverie.

In Muse and Reverie we are introduced to fairies that steal stories and canít help falling in love with human boys ("Sweet Forget Me Not"), crowgirls who had forgotten they existed well before the human world was created and could destroy it if they ever remembered their power ("Da Slockit Light"), ghosts granting wishes ("In Sight"), or helping people with their unresolved issues ("The Hour Before Dawn"), and elves with a taste for sweets and very little common sense ("A Crow Girlís Christmas").

In others, well known legends are retold with a satisfying twist that makes them seem new, like the Scottish legend of Tam Lin ("The Butter Spiritís Tithe") or the visit of humans to the fairiesí lands, where time moves differently (Somewhere in My Mind There Is a Painting Box").

Three of the stories deal with musicians ("The Butter Spiritís Tithe," "In Sight," "The World in a Box"), two with people who can see the dead ("In Sight," "The Hour Before Dawn"), one with humans living as cats ("Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion"), or is it the other way around? Two take place in Newfordís buried old city ("Da Slockit Light," "Newford Spook Squad"), two are about second chances ("Riding Shotgun," "That Was Radio Clash"), and in one, characters come alive to talk to their author ("Refinerytown").

And in my favorite, "The World in a Box," a man is given the chance to play God when he finds a magic box that contains the world.

For me, itís not the paranormal component of these stories, but their indelible humanity that makes them magical.

The Book

Tor Books
Fiction / Fantasy
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The Reviewer

Carmen Ferreiro
Reviewed 2010
NOTE: Reviewer Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban is author of the award-winning YA fantasy novel Two Moon Princess [2007], recipient of the ForeWord Magazine Bronze Award for Juvenile Fiction. Its sequel, The King in the Stone, is scheduled for publication in 2010.
© 2010