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Jack of Kinrowan (The Fairy Tale Series)

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  3,509 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
Jack of Kinrowan
An acknowledged classic of contemporary fantasy, Jack of Kinrowan brings together in one volume Charles de Lint's rollicking saga of wild faerie magic on the streets of the city.

Jack, the Giant Killer
A faceless gang of bikers on Wild Hunt through the streets of present-day Ottawa hurtles young Jacky Rowan across the threshold into the perilous land of Faeri
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Paperback, 412 pages
Published July 2nd 1999 by Tor Books (first published 1995)
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Dianne Sheffield There is actually not a book before this one. This was a two book series and this one actually has both starting with the the 1st book.

Community Reviews

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JG (The Introverted Reader)
In Jack the Giant Killer, the first of two novellas in this book, Jacky Rowan has just realized that her life is not going where she wants it to go. She drifts along, refusing to take care of her life and just staying at home doing nothing. She decides to change her life after a nasty breakup. In a fit of pique, she goes out drinking alone. Staggering home, she sees a little man being chased by 9 men on motorcycles. She tries to help him, but the little man is killed. She runs to a nearby house ...more
Chris
Apr 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
I wish Goodreads allowed half stars because I think this book is really a 3.5.

Jack the Giant-Killer retells the Jack motif from folklore. de Lint has a good twist by making this Jack, a Jacky. The strange thing it that the more interesting character, for me at least, is her friend Kate "Crackernuts" Hazel. Kate seems to be more of a living character. The story makes wonderful use of fairy motif and allusions (and what de Lint book doesn't). The one weak spot was that romance, in particualr the c
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Chris
Jan 11, 2010 rated it liked it
The two books contained in this omnibus edition are about Jacky and Kate, two ordinary Ottawa women who get drawn into the machinations of Faerie. Definitely not my favorites by de Lint.
Michael Battaglia
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Charles De Lint is a fairly well known name among urban fantasy authors and seems to be highly regarded. As I've read most of the books by his contemporaries (Emma Bull, recently, but I'd also include Tim Power and James Blaylock amongst that list) it seemed like someone worth trying at some point, especially since he has a decently fervent fan base.

This is an omnibus of sorts, collecting two novels based around the same character, Jacky Kinrowan, a young woman recently reeling from a breakup wh
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Octavia
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5
Rosanna
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, read-aloud
Mediocre at Best

I had high hopes for this book and was greatly disappointed. I will admit I’m a huge fantasy fan, but haven’t explored too much urban fantasy. Now normally I would question why fairies, hobs, and other mythical creatures—usually associated with the earth and Mother Nature—would be living in a polluted, crowded city and if mythical creatures did dwell in a city, I would imagine them to be more fiendish, evil type creatures. However, I was willing to put aside my initial biases an
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Carrie
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of urban fantasy
Shelves: fantasy
This is one of my favorite Charles de Lint books. Yes, you will find the familiar formula of a young woman who, at first, feels uncertain about herself and her life, but then goes through a period of growth and transformation by embarking on a journey of sorts, making friends and enemies along the way, and then defeating a force of darkness in the final showdown. But there's a reason you see this formula in a lot of literature: it's a basic metaphor for what we all go through again and again at ...more
Heather
Jul 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
It's ironic because, across the board, I like CdeL's short stories better than his novels. But this book is made up of two novellas and I wish they were longer -- particularly the first which I think could have easily been book length all by itself. It's also funny reading CdeL again now -- however many thousands of urban fantasy novels later and remembering when what he was doing seemed so unusual and creative. He's kind of the granddaddy of it all, or one of them anyway. There's an indescribab ...more
Hope Smash
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I wish there were half starts because I would give this 4.5. I really enjoyed the first book in this two book edition. I love other books by Charles de Lint, he is a master of urban fantasy. This book is no exception. The story really snares you in in the first few pages. A humanbeing transported into a world of fairie, but still taking place in Ottawa. Jacky Rowan having just broken up with her boyfriend stumbles on a group of otherworldly bikers beating up a strange old man in the park. She tr ...more
Rachel Boling
Jan 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I've read the first novel in this set of two novels a couple times now, once years ago, and then a couple weeks ago, since I checked out the omnibus, and I needed a refresher to read the second.

The book was written before Harry Potter, and the author's take on the magical world is thus unaffected by the mindset of the Harry Potter books. Instead of a escape into the magical world, this one is just as nitty gritty, full of courageousness characters, who need someone to step in and save them. The
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Elijah
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This fun little duology is not quite as interesting a take on urban Faerie as some of de Lint's Newford stories, but it does explore friendship and luck very well. The first short novel, Jack the Giant-Killer, is a modern take on the folktale of that name, though it doesn't feature any beanstalks or golden geese. The second novel steps back a bit from our characters in the first novel to bring in some more de Lint standards: musicians and fairies. Jacky and company are all back, too, but there's ...more
Lake County Public Library Indiana
This book is a combination of two of de Lint's “Jack” novels – Jack the Giant Killer and Drink Down the Moon. The world is lots of fun – 1980s/90s Ottowa exists side by side with the realm of the fae taken more or less straight from European and Celtic folklore, with some fun modern twists. My favorite part, though, was how realistic the main characters were. When you talk about a Strong Female Character, Jacky and Kate are what it should mean: they are strong, brave, smart, and determined but a ...more
Robin
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern-fantasy
This book is a compilation of two of Charles de Lint's novels: Jack the Giant Killer and Drink Down the Moon. It was my first foray into Charles de Lint's work and I was impressed. In Kate and Jacky, de Lint has written two very realistic women characters who are not only strong and brave and smart, but who are also occasionally scared, and confused, and who make mistakes. The result is a couple of really three-dimensional characters who were easy for me to relate to.

The story itself is also qui
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Marsha
This is a pair of novels, detailing the life of one Jacqueline Rowan. After her fed-up boyfriend leaves her, tired of her home bound ways, Jacky goes out drinking and stumbles on the world of faery, where a battle between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts has long been underway, with the dread Unseelie Court becoming stronger with every passing day. Jack is expected to be a hero but she’s just a girl…isn’t she?

This was an exciting tale for me, one where a young girl rose up to become an unlikely h
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Ash
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I finished Jack of Kinrowan by Charles de Lint, which is divided into two stories -- Jack, the Giant Killer and Drinking Down the Moon. While I was impressed with de Lint's writing style, I thought he did a great injustice to the reader. Let me explain . . .

Jacky Rowan is the main character of both stories, yet her portrayal as the fabled Jack of Kinrowan is a disappointing one. Jacky makes stupid decisions, especially in Drinking Down the Moon, which leads her friend Kate "Crackernuts" Hazel to
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Grace
Jul 10, 2007 rated it liked it
Oo...kay. I was trying to add a review for _Muse and Reverie_, and it keeps giving me an entry for Jack of Kinrowan when I try to select that title.

So...this is for _Muse and Reverie_...a good collection overall, even if de Lint's standby story lines of simple inner-city musicians encounter the magical is getting a little worn. I just wish he'd shown a little more creativeness with this volume. The only standout stories are "Somewhere in My Mind There is a Painting Box" and the story near the e
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Kate
Feb 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, want-to-own
An entertaining and charming reboot of the "Jack and the Beanstalk"/"Jack the Giant Killer" fairy tale, set as an urban fantasy in a Canadian town where the Wild Hunt rides Harley Davidsons instead of fiery steeds of the equine variety. Ultimately, I felt like the book was a little rushed - an outline for a richer novel, perhaps - and consequently fell a little flat. This book could have been expanded to a full urban fantasy epic and left this reader much more satisfied; this slender YA-appropri ...more
Ariana Deralte
Apr 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fairy-tale addicts, residents of Ottawa
I really enjoyed the mixing of fairy tale into a modern day setting, though I felt I lost something of the modern setting by never having been to those cities since it made no difference to me where the Lord's Court was etc.

Another thing I like about these books is the realistic, but strong female characters, and the good friendships. I enjoyed the plot of the first book and thought it was very nicely done. The second book, on the other hand, seemed to meander and never did what the blurb on th
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Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it liked it
This is an omnibus edition containing "Jack the Giant-Killer" and its sequel, "Drink Down the Moon." I'd read the first novel before, but not the second.
Both concern two young human women – Jacky, and her best friend Kate, who turn out to be destined to be particularly useful to Faerie – the magical world which co-exists with our own, but which most people do not see. Although much reduced in modern times, the Seelie and Unseelie courts are still in conflict with one another – not to mention the
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Samuel Lubell
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Rating is for Drink Down the Moon only. I liked the second book better than the first. Yes Jacky did some dumb moves, especially returning to the Tower the second time, even in disguise, but taking risks and depending on luck is part of the Jack character in traditional folk tales. Kate is much better developed in the second book and there was a more cohesive plot. I liked how the Jacky plotline and the Johnny plotline don't meet until the very end. And it was better written than the earlier boo ...more
Matt
Sep 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
One of the standards of “Urban Fantasy”. In medieval times, fairy stories were always set in a world next to ours, but with it’s own rules. Delint simply updates this to the modern era.
Not a lot of surprises in the narrative, but that isn’t really the point. A good gateway into the Urban Fantasy genre, but probably doesn’t hold much that is new for people already well versed in that area.
Erin
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Silly, fun fantasy fluff. As usual, DeLint is overly earnest about incorporating his love of music, and loves to romanticize Native beliefs. Sigh. Also as usual: the storyline of feisty young urban woman who doesnt believe in magic BUT THEN SOMETHING MAGICAL HAPPENS TO HER! Totally formulaic, totally love it. Still, he does know how to tell an enjoyable story and it was a fun change from my academic routine.
Lioness
Oct 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Felicia Day
These stories were the first ones I read of De Lint and I knew I had found an author I would follow anywhere. So far, many years later, that has held true.
This is Urban Fantasy/Urban paranormal, whatever you want to call it, at it's best. The characters are compelling and the city life blends seamlessly with the fantasy. These early tales are fairytale based but deLint expands in later books to include other mythologies.
Becca
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
The first book was better than the second. I loved both, but the second was a bit disjointed, and the back cover description was way off. I found it strange that de Lint made a few references to the Native American spirits of his other novels, but never really gave detail to them. There were an awful lot of those references, too. All the same, it was neat to see his take on just the fairies, without other spirits around.
Parthenia
Sep 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Pierce, Rowling, Tolkein, Atwaters, Meyer fans.
The first book I ever read by Charles de Lint was The Blue Girl and it was all it took for me to be a devoted fan of his works. The name of the author alone made me buy the book and it didn't disappoint, it was a captivating tale of fantasy that only de Lint could craft. Go get lost in a tale of only we wish could be true: fairytales.
Brendan
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I delayed finishing this because I was enjoying the world so much. Sure sign of a good fantasy novel. Two very enjoyable adventures about humans who find themselves enmeshed with the problems of the world of the supernatural creatures who live among us. Fun characters and a cool adventure story. Recommended.
Carrie
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Aurora (and maybe Peggy)
Shelves: fantasy, windling
I think I probably first erad this in college. Part of Windling's Faerie Tale Series, this book actually contains two full length novels, the first being Jack the Giant Killer and the second being Drink Down the Moon. They are both excellent, but I feel that Jack the Giant Killer was a much better and more dynamic book.
Verity
Sep 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-s-f
I enjoyed it, especially the scenes in the park or under hedges or in the garden. What I remember (now, 3 months later) more than anything else except the bare bones of the story is that the greenery was well done. I could feel, smell and taste the outdoors. This is undoubtedly because I was stuck indoors, in the hospital and rehab after a heart attack.
Kendell
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
In the midst of a bad break-up, Jacky Rowan cuts her waist length hair and runs out into the stormy night. Later on, drunk and heartbroken she stumbles into the park and sees what she thinks is a small man being chased by a horde of black clad bikers. What happens next...read to find out! One of my favorite early books by DeLint
Audrey Terry
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, fantasy, fairytales
This is the first of de Lint's books that I've read. I was actually really impressed. De Lint takes a well known fairytale character and gives it an entirely new life. Before I began reading I wasn't truly expecting a story about faeries, but was delighted once it all took off. There are far too few stories of this caliber running around currently.
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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
More about Charles de Lint...

Other Books in the Series

The Fairy Tale Series (8 books)
  • The Sun, the Moon, & the Stars
  • The Nightingale
  • Snow White and Rose Red
  • Tam Lin
  • Briar Rose
  • White as Snow
  • Fitcher's Brides

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