I last read this novel seven years ago, but I have a poor memory for specifics of novels. I remembered Richard St Vier the swordsman and Alec the scho...moreI last read this novel seven years ago, but I have a poor memory for specifics of novels. I remembered Richard St Vier the swordsman and Alec the scholar, but I had forgotten all of the intrigue and politics and the noble slimy bastards who hire Richard and who Alec is doing his best to escape. “… It all comes down to a question of power. Do we have the power or do they?” “They have the swords,” Lord Halliday smiled down at his hands; “We have everything else. It comes out fairly even, though, with the tip of one pointed at your throat.” “Everyman lives at swordspoint.” “Richard knew he was fighting for his life, and he was terribly happy. In most of his fights, even the good ones, he made all the decisions: when to turn serious, whether to fight high or low… but already Applethorpe had taken that away from him. He wasn’t afraid, but the edge of the challenge was sharp under him, and the drop from it irrevocable. The world had narrowed to the strength of his body, the trained agility of his mind in response to his opponent. The universe began and ended within the reach of his senses, the stretch of his four limbs and the gleaming steel. It was too good to lose now, the bright point coming at him always from another angle, the clarity of his mind anticipating and returning it, creating new patterns to play…” (less)
September 20, 2008 review: I've read this as a short story in a collection, but this is an illustrated novel.
July 26,2014 review of book republished...moreSeptember 20, 2008 review: I've read this as a short story in a collection, but this is an illustrated novel.
July 26,2014 review of book republished in 2014I wish I had a group of young middle schoolers or old elementary students with whom to share this beautiful novel. It would make a lovely, look-forward to reading aloud, read- aloud. It’s beautiful to look at, with gorgeous illustrations by Charles Vess and told with loving care by Charles de Lint.
It’s about Sarah Jane, her six sisters and Aunt Lillian, the old woman Sarah Jane hangs out with, helping her do her chores and listen to her stories. Then the stories become more than stories, when she goes up to pick some ginseng and finds a little man, who is hurt. I lovedlove love this! I bought it at a local independent book store 7/6/14 for $18.00.(less)
Laurel and Bess, Sarah Jane‘s older twin sisters, are professional musicians on the road in Arizona and are drawn into an ages old wager between Nativ...moreLaurel and Bess, Sarah Jane‘s older twin sisters, are professional musicians on the road in Arizona and are drawn into an ages old wager between Native American spirits who take human form. Jim Changing Dog and Alice Corn Hair have been changed into humans by Coyote for 100 years, but they have to have fallen in love to regain their two- shaped existance.
I have read that de Lint wants to leave Newford behind for Tyson and the desert. I love Newford; I guess I will come to love the desert too, if that‘s what de Lint wants to write about, because if he's writing it it will be lovely and full of heartache and magic and beauty and pain.
(It's still urban fantasy if it's setting is the rural contemporary desert, right?)(less)
Meyer Landsman is a Sitka Police detective, only the Sitka he knows and the one I have read about are very, very different. In Landsman’s world Jews w...moreMeyer Landsman is a Sitka Police detective, only the Sitka he knows and the one I have read about are very, very different. In Landsman’s world Jews were allowed to come to Sitka before World War II. Zionists were run into the sea by Arabs after the war, there is no Israel. So many of the world's Jews live in Alaska.
But there are murders for Meyer to investigate. A chess player prodigy who was the only son of the Verbover rebbe died in Meyer’s hellhole of a squat. Meanwhile, Sitka is about to revert to Alaskan territory and all the Jews will have to leave.
This is an amazing book: alternate history, which I never read, combined with a noir mystery like Raymond Chandler or Philip Marlowe. It’s a very nice combination, and funny. I've found a new favorite writer!!!(less)
Like a long, leisurely S-L-O-W game of summer baseball, I felt each and every one of the pages of this book. Sometimes I nearly gave up, got another b...moreLike a long, leisurely S-L-O-W game of summer baseball, I felt each and every one of the pages of this book. Sometimes I nearly gave up, got another book, metaphorically changed the channel. The book is ultimately satisfying, but like it’s thematic baseball it is lugubrious.
Ethan Feld, a boy who doesn’t like baseball, and his best friend Jennifer T. who lives for baseball go on a long road trip through the worlds of faery to stop Coyote from ending the world.
Sure, for my taste, Gaiman did it better in American Gods and Anansi Boys, but he did it without baseball. And Charles de Lint also treads similar mythology, but generally he doesn’t threaten “Ragged Rock.”
I'm going through a Chabon kick, all started by the brilliant Yiddish Policemen's Union. I prefer that novel and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay to this, but when all the good Chabon has been read, or it's too cold to read Yiddish Policemen's Union, read this and remember summer. (less)