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Yarrow (Ottawa and the Valley)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,766 ratings  ·  40 reviews
From the acclaimed author of Moonheart and Memory and Dream

Cat Midhir had made a reputation as the author of popular fantasy novels. But the secret that her fans didn't know was that her Otherworld was no fantasy. Then, one night, a thief stole her dreams. Since then, she's been trapped in the everyday. And the Others are coming to find her...

Yarrow
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 15th 1997 by Orb Books (first published 1986)
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City of Bones by Cassandra ClareMoon Called by Patricia BriggsVampire Academy by Richelle MeadHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingDead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
The Best Urban Fantasy
259th out of 2,365 books — 8,760 voters
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71st out of 299 books — 430 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,819)
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Jen3n
This is the first book I ever read by Charles deLint. I was hooked right off. I liked (and continue to like) his all of his Newford books; I love the gentle blending of wild myth and urban lore. Mid-town primitives and fairies living in the electrical pulses, that sort of thing. It's Urban Fantasy from back when that genre was, literally, fantasy in an urban setting, and not what it has been turned into.

This book spoke to me directly. It's about a socially awkward writer who is a little boho and...more
Andrew
Not nearly as good as his later novels, but the story was entertaining. I only had three complaints:

1. Too many characters, some playing such minor roles the story would have been better off without them. The detectives are a prime example.

2. The main character was so helpless and whining. "Whaaaa... I'm lonely... I have writer's block... I'm crazy... I'm not crazy but my life is meaningless... I'm still lonely... I still have writer's block... I miss my dream pals..."

3. Perhaps this was specifi...more
jack
pretty good read. i was not really into the amount of characters and how they were introduced, but things came together pretty well. i also think this was an earlier book, so that gripe may have been handled in later titles. i will probably find out. i do like the overall theme of mythology (of one sort or another) alive and well. it looks like this is a pattern through his other books. good.
Susan
Just finished A Game of Thrones, which was such a weighty and quite depressing (but mesmerizing) book that I now need one that will lighten my soul and relieve my mind, so I'm gonna re-read this now.
Mary C
Mar 01, 2009 Mary C added it
I always enjoy his books and did this one. But this one was a little more scary than most.
Lance Greenlee
De Lint came quite recommended by those promoting urban fantasy as an alternative to the Tolkienesque, but in truth, this came as quite a disappointment. This story and its characters lack any serious development. In the first eight pages of text, de Lint introduces Caitlin Midhir, Albert Cousins, Peter Baird, Ben Summerfield, Mick Jennings, Becki Bones, Debbie Mitchell, Andy Barnes, Farley O’Dennehy, Stella Sidney, and Rick Kirby. In eight pages, it simply can’t be done with any depth. The read...more
Amy C
Yarrow was my first foray in to the world of Charles de Lint, and it certainly won't be my last. What an amazing mind he has. When I first began reading, numerous characters were introduced, all going about daily things. A page for this one, a page for that one. I wondered who they all were and what their relevance was to the main plot. As I read, I was drawn into each of these people and found myslef amazed how they intertwined together. Some had small roles, and others larger, but what I loved...more
Christopher Bentley Owen
I picked up Yarrow at a used book store after really enjoying some of Charles de Lint’s short fiction. If I end up reading another of his novels, it will be in the hopes that this is not typical of his long-form work.

The story revolves around fantasy writer Cat Midhir, who travels to a magical realm, Otherworld, in her dreams. Her novels are all adaptations of traditional tales told to her in this realm by the elf bard Kothlen. But lately, she has been unable to dream at all, and has not written...more
Tracey, librarian on strike
Yet another book I haven't read in probably twenty years, Yarrow is the story of Cat Midhir, a fantasy novelist who, unbeknownst to everyone but herself, is dependent on her dreams for her writing. Every night she has found herself in another world, where she sits at the feet of the tall fae bard Kothlen as he spins tales, which she on waking weaves into her books. Every night of her life since she was very young she has had what for lack of better language she calls dreams - every night until t...more
Donovan
Yarrow is one of the better reads from de Lint (in my humble opinion). I can' get over his knowledge of the old Pagan ways and how they are woven in to a modern day setting. The characters are well developed and this particular story has a nice dark edge to it that keeps you a bit more riveted. Combine that with a pace that is a bit better than some of his other novels makes this a great introduction to the fantasy works and a way of sidestepping the a-typical Dungeon & Dragaon fantasy (of s...more
Shonna Froebel
This was a used book I grabbed as I like de Lint's fiction and hadn't read this one. Once of his earlier books (1986) it is definitely a simpler book than his more recent The Mystery of Grace. I enjoyed the read and got caught up in its good versus evil storyline, but definitely found it a lighter read.
Cat is an author of fantasy novels who is inspired by her dreams. The stories that she writes are told to her by her dream people, who she has spent time with for years. There is some uncertainty...more
Engineous
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Cowan
I thought I would love this since it's urban fantasy about dreams bleeding into waking reality. That is so specifically my thing it's amazing I hadn't heard of this book before. But, I kept waiting for more depth, more speculative or spiritual or other content that would make this more than an imaginative story, and I didn't get it. I can't judge a book according to some standard that it didn't set out to meet, but I am still looking for a book like this that is really literary/fantasy crossover...more
Karen Dolman
My most favourite of his books! An absolutely spell-binding tale and a great remake of the vampire legends. Astral-travelling author, Cat, is faced with a deadly enemy and must fight to protect all she holds dear and her life itself...
Ryan
This was a pretty quick read. The cover does not do it any justice because most of the story takes place in 1982 urban Canada. First author that came to mind when I started reading was Neil Gaiman. Some of the harsher things that happen make me think of Stephen King. There is a lot of talk about how the characters "feel" and how they are coping with the outlandish situations presented which also make me think of some of the more schmaltzi (sic) crud that King has been churning out in lieu of ret...more
Elaine
another reread. Interesting, but not as successful for me as many of his others.
Linda Acaster
Enjoyed the way the realities intertwined.
Nora Peevy
Yarrow by Charles de Lint introduces us to Cat Midhir, a writer with a horrible case of writer's block who soon discovers something or someone is stealing her dreams in dreamtime and cutting her off from her beloved cast of characters, who actually exist in their own world! Will she succeed in fighting the eater of dreams stalking her and her friends or will she lose her writing cast of characters forever? Read and find out. This book will not disappoint.
Jillymom
More Charles de Lint. I don't know how many stars to give these books. I really like them, although in somewhat differing amounts, and as I read more, I think, "Well, perhaps I like this one a little better than that one." Or... "Well, I really like the ones set in Ontario, but then again, the Southwest is particularly important to me now."
This novel was somewhat confusing with lots of different characters, but, lovely, a satisfying love story.
Kaseka
This book was my gateway into Charles de Lint in specific, and urban fantasy in general. That alone makes it special to me. It's been years and years since I read it, but I want to reread it--I remember enjoying the characters, and reacting strongly to its villain--a character whose actions and descriptive passages in the novel still haunt me in the best way.
Elena
Charles de Lint's books are somewhat tainted for me by how WEIRD he got, but this is a solid, well-written urban fantasy book. It has too many characters to be really can't-put-down, even though they all serve a purpose, and the writerly conceit is a bit much. But it's still very enjoyable.
Melissa
I love de Lint, and this early work shows promise which he definitely fulfills in his later work. Really enjoyed it, but, it makes me want to go read some of his later work when he's at the top of his game...
Ann
Started slow with many confusing threads, but turned into a ripping good yarn. Cat and her dreamfolk were wonderful as was the dreamstealer. The choice of Ottawa for a setting was effective.
Dietmar
You can't go wrong with a Charles De Lint book - a gripping tale of urban fantasy with believable characters and a fast-paced storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Ban
It's been a long time since I read this book and all I'm left with is an overall impression. I know it was a little disturbing (in a good way) and I was fascinated ...
Violin
I loved this book. De lint's writing grabbed me from the beginning and I was embroiled in Cat's worlds. This was an excellent read.
Simone Yemm
These books are fantasy but with a real Celtic touch to them. I found them very picturesque and enchanting.
Dy-an
I love that this book is set in Ottawa and incorporates all sorts of Fantasy elements.
P.D.
An early book. Not as good as his later work, but still worth reading.
Susan Gallacher
A very good read. But then, I don't think you can miss with any deLint choice.
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What's The Name o...: Fantasy, A Woman's Dreams Get Stolen [s] 5 42 Nov 29, 2013 05:16AM  
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Charles de Lint is a Canadian writer of Dutch origins.
More about Charles de Lint...
The Blue Girl (Newford, #15) The Onion Girl (Newford, #11) Dreams Underfoot (Newford, #1) Someplace to Be Flying (Newford, #8) Moonheart

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