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Forests of the Heart

(Newford #7)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  3,695 ratings  ·  154 reviews
Forests of the Heart is an enthralling voyage into the seamier side of urban magic. Returning to the familiar environs of Newford, where he sets so many of his modern myths, Charles de Lint introduces some of his most memorable characters yet.

The Gentry are ancient spirits of the land, sired in rape and born of woman in the Old Country. When the Irish immigrated to the Ne

Hardcover, 397 pages
Published June 3rd 2000 by Tor Books (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

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4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,695 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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Algernon (Darth Anyan)
My third Newford book and probably not my last. I have not been reading them in order, but that's OK, as they can be enjoyed independently. I'm trading being more or less clueless about some of the recurring characters in order to focus on the ones particular to each novel as a stand-alone. Forests of the Heart refers to the notion of Home, the place, geographical as much as spiritual that defines and nourishes us, gives us strength and a feeling of continuity, of belonging to a history
What happens when people come over and take over? Well, we all know the answer to that question. But what happens to beliefs, to gods, to spirits? Charles de Lint answers that question in Forests of the Heart which deals with a conflict of spirits, both in the magical sense and the sense of self, in the town of Newford. It isn’t so much a question of good and evil, but more of a question what is the best thing to do, how does one make peace, what costs should be paid.
The story takes place over
Wing Kee
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Takes a turn I did not expect.

World: I love the world this time around, this is the first book by De Lint that I have read that covers Latin American, more so Mexican beliefs, myths and lore and I find it fascinating. There are not huge info dumps here but rather storytellers who tell you their tale and that's been a staple of a De Lint book for a while. The pieces of myths we touch on from the First Nations, Irish to Mexican is really fascinating when it crash together and interact, it's mesmer
Mar 15, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thefantastic
I am a fan of Charles de Lint's short fiction, and in my opinion that is what he should stick to. He is clearly more adept at that form and length than he is at stretching a story to be novel-length. He skimped too much on details that I felt needed more clarification and breadth while overly emphasizing and rehashing other elements that I understood the first time around. The relationships between the characters and some of the characters themselves weren't terribly believable and seemed contri ...more
Dec 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably on my top 3 books list. Its the only book I've ever re-read. It mixes different folklore all together making each side fit together and be equally as likely in the realm of fantasy. loved it loved it loved it
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know the kind of book where, even though you should be a responsible adult and put it down and go to sleep you cannot? And you stay up WAY too late just to see what happens? This book is THAT kind of book.

I popped into the Newford series with this book having not read any of the other ones in the series before it, but I didn't find it disjointed. DeLint's writing is so good you can just immerse yourself in the world he's created and get to know the characters without needing any other back
Lorina Stephens
Charles de Lint is a master of urban fantasy. Combine that with his remarkable skill as a storyteller, his love of music, Celtic and Native legend and you have a tale that is enchanting, captivating, restorative.

Forests of the Heart returns to de Lint's imaginary town of Newford, and draws heavily from native desert culture pitted against uprooted Celtic culture, all of it existing on an alternate plane that truly is just one step to the left. The Gentry, portrayed as angry, black-clad, cigaret
PJ Who Once Was Peejay
I think this is one of my all time favorites of his books--Newford meets Southwestern myth, and some really satisfying characters and plotting.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of novel for which Charles de Lint is famous, and I really enjoyed it. He masterfully draws together the mythologies of the Irish and Native Americans to create a complex tale that's sensitive to so many differing perspectives. I especially loved how the title “Forests of the Heart” took on multiple meanings as the story progressed (well, actually, it didn’t come together as a phrase/metaphor until nearer the end, but then it was clear how much of the story really had followed t ...more
I am writing this review of de Lint's novel before I go and read the reviews I have written before. I love the world that de Lint has created; I feel like I have come home when one of his recurring characters appears in a new book; I just settle into his books like I belong there. The real question is why haven't I read all of them. Part of the reason is that I need to be in the right place in my mind and I also just want the time to enjoy them. I believe this is why I read them on vacation.

Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
DeLint, as always, has a triumphant story. Possibly my personal favorite DeLint novel simply because he weaves Native American people's myth with the myth of the Celts. He, at once, shows the differences in the myth and mysteries of the Native Peoples of the America's, (both Mexico and Southern U.S. which were at one point one in the same), and he shows us the beauty inherent in both along with its potential for malice. It is not lost that these are both human characteristics which each person a ...more
Oct 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The first book I ever read by Charles de Lint. I absolutely fell in love with this author after reading this book. I'm always hunting for his books to collect and have read as many as I can find. I don't like to borrow his books. If I can't buy them, I wait until I can find them because they are worthy of being added to my literature collection. I hope he writes for a very long time to come.
Traci Loudin
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An AMAZING blend of various mythologies from various cultures. Truly unique and creative.
Matthew Rettino
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Does magic exist in the contemporary world? Charles de Lint’s mythic fiction brings supernatural beings into the context of the everyday and Forests of the Heart explores the contact between ordinary people and what he calls Mystery.

Bettina and Adelita are sisters, both partly Mexican, partly Indios, and raised by their grandmother to see la époco del mito, the time of myth. However, as they grow older, Adelita puts the childish stories away, while Bettina becomes trained by her grandmother to b
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I was in a weird mood when I picked up this book, but I don't remember the last time I was this excited to read a book. I had never heard of Charles de Lint before so everything about this book was a surprise. The cover looked cool and the description sounded interesting and I've always enjoyed urban fantasy along the vein of the Nightwatch series. Anyway, the story and the magic were such a welcome surprise. The combination of Native American, Irish, and Central American folklore was some ...more
For people who are super into De Lint's stuff: This is one of his better, more grounded, full realized works. It didn't have such an intangible quality to it, mostly because the artsy leads that normally populate Newford were balanced out by characters who were less so. (Tommy, Hunter, Lobo)

For people who don't really know De Lint's stuff: This is a good one to pick up. While there are a few mentions of Jilly (a character that crosses over into plenty of De Lint's stuff), it is mostly a standalo
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like urban fantasy, so from the start I knew I would like this book. There's a curandera of unusual and powerful heritage, a sculptor with inborn power, a record store owner, a guy who drives a homeless outreach van, a brother and sister, magical beings of European descent looking to make their home permanent, magical beings who have been here a long time, a whole host of supporting characters. In a clash for power between old spirits and the new the people pulled in have to try and give some ...more
Glam Hobbit
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gonna be real with you all, I definitely chose this book based on the cover and genre alone. I love fantasy, and the idea that it's a story not completely divorced from modern life was engaging. It proved to be a fantastic read, like a literary version of the TV show "Supernatural" but with less violence and more of an emphasis on the natural world. Told from multiple perspectives, the, at times, slow build to dramatic tension, seems like a nod to the other books written in this creative univers ...more
Jim Leckband
A smorgasbord of cultural magical traditions in this one - we've got two Native American (Southwest and Prairie), Irish/Gaelic, and English/Saxon traditions all mixed up in an ice storm in Newford. Which is the point as the novel concerns what happens when magic that is rooted to a certain place and people is uprooted. De Lint was mashing up before mashing up was a thing. The only thing missing is the Scandinavian trolls! C'mon!
Jewell Moreno
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles DeLint is one of my favorite fantasy authors. This one mixed Irish, Hispanic, and Native American beliefs in the mystical to tell a story set in the town of Newford. This is a town where the real world and the mystical world meet. I really liked this story. Loved the characters, and found the story both tragic and beautiful. Such a great writer, and one of his best stories to date.
Jane Ashford
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Charles de Lint's Newford books!
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my absolutely favorite books.
Caleb Edison
Oct 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't finish it. The author seems self important.
Rachael Royal
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing. A magical book which kept me hooked all the way through. I would defiantly recommend this to everyone.
Katy Lohman
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just like with humans, so to the sacred spirits of the Natives and Immigrant people fight for their right to the land. People get caught in the middle, of course.

A beautifully written book.
Karly Noelle Noelle
What can I say about this book that I wouldn't say about any other book by Charles de Lint? It's in keeping with his usual modus operandi, filled with music, art, and magic in many forms. It features a fascinating and compelling cast of unrelated characters who ultimately come together in the end in a satisfying manner. It seamlessly meshes together the mythologies and beliefs of many different cultures. While dealing with fantastical matters, it is ultimately a story about grief, loss, and copi ...more
D.G. Laderoute
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've long been a fan of Charles de Lint, ever since I first read Moon Heart in a bush camp back in the early 80s. He's a master of urban fantasy, much of it based around his imaginary city of Newford. Forests of the Heart takes us back there, this time in a story that crosses Celtic, Canadian Aboriginal and New World Spanish/SW American Native folklore.

As usual, Charles gives us a great read. Forests is well-paced, with well-drawn, interesting characters (but...and there is a but, as I'll get to
Althea Ann
Set in de Lint's imaginary modern American city of Newford (which seems a lot like Minneapolis to me, from the perspective of someone who's never been to Minneapolis...(it's cold, and it's not coastal)) tongue.gif
I have a feeling some of the characters have appeared in de Lint's other books as well, but I don't remember clearly enough to vouch for it.

Here we meet Bettina, a Mexican/Native American who's been brought up in the mystic healing traditions by her grandmother, and who has long had an
Isabel (kittiwake)
'So these wolves that come to our yard,' Bettina tried. 'En otros palabras - in other words. They are evil?'
Nuala shook her head. 'Not as you're using the word. Long ago, they followed the Irish emigrants to the New World, but this land already had its own guardian spirits. So there was no place for them. But here they remain all the same. They are homeless, unbound, and they neither feel nor think the way we do. When the Gentry gather in a pack they can be like a wild hunt, ravening and hungry
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe it took me this long to actually pick up a novel by this incredible man! I have had Charles de Lint recommended to me for at least a decade and have only now read a book by him.

His writing style is one I find extremely engaging and reminiscent of the type of English spoken where I live (unsurprising given he lives in the same city). I had never realized how many small idiomatic turns of phrase are used specifically in this region. I also like how he incorporated language from oth
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Forests of the Heart Discussion 2 13 Sep 17, 2013 03:25AM  
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Charles de Lint is the much beloved author of more than seventy adult, young adult, and children's books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, Aurora, Sunburst, and White Pine awards, among others. Modern Library's Top 100 Books of the 20th Century poll, conducted by Random House and voted on by readers, put eight of de Lint's b ...more

Other books in the series

Newford (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Dreams Underfoot (Newford, #1)
  • Memory and Dream (Newford, #2)
  • The Ivory and the Horn (Newford, #3)
  • Trader (Newford, #4)
  • Someplace to Be Flying (Newford, #5)
  • Moonlight and Vines (Newford, #6)
  • The Onion Girl (Newford, #8)
  • Tapping the Dream Tree (Newford, #9)
  • Spirits in the Wires (Newford, #10)
  • Widdershins (Newford, #11)
“We are wise women," Abuela liked to say. "Not because we are wise, but because we seek wisdom.” 13 likes
“If all the darkness each of us carries within us, all our angers and unhappiness and bad moments were pulled out of us and given shape, we would all create monsters.” 4 likes
More quotes…