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The Wild Wood

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,518 ratings  ·  97 reviews
A young artist returns to her cabin in the deep woods of Canada to concentrate on her illustrations. But somehow, strange and beautiful creatures are slipping into her drawings and sketches. The world of Faerie is reaching out to her for help--and she may be its last chance for survival.
Paperback, 205 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Orb Books (first published 1994)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  2,518 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Jul 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 stars

This is the third book that I've read in the Brian Froud's Faerielands series and is unfortunately my least favorite of the bunch so far. Brian Froud invited four of the top fantasy authors to pick their favorite piece of his work and write a story based upon it. The four authors and their respective books are:

Something Rich and Strange by Patricia A. McKillip
The Wild Wood by Charles de Lint
The Wood Wife by Terri Windling
Hannah's Garden by Midori Snyder

The Wild Wood tells the story of
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Ughh, I’m so conflicted in rating this. First let me say: the writing in this book is gorgeous. I absolutely loved de Lint’s descriptions of the settings and characters, and because of that, the story felt so rich and, well, magical for lack of a better word. There were so many layers of the book's atmosphere; the best words I can think of to describe it are "ethereal" and "eerie." Even creepy at times, but in a good way. If I were only judging writing style/setting/characters, I would have give ...more
I really loved this book. The idea is that Brian Froud did a series of ilustrations, which the artists in the series let inspire their tales. And boy this these. The faeries/fey of the drawings are in the world of this story. You never know what is real or notnor does Eithnie the artist main character. It is wholey satisfying and a magical story
[Name Redacted]
Did you know that NATURE is GOOD? Did you know that HUMANITY is BAD? Well, don't worry! This little attempt to mix "Captain Planet"/"Ferngully"-style environmentalist sermonizing with a blend of Froud-inspired de Lintian urban fantasy will hammer you over the head with that message till there's nothing left of your brain but a fine paste. And the worst part is that it will sucker you in with a genuinely beautiful first-half...right before descending suddenly into the worst sort of childish, hype ...more
May 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Time to critique published novels like I'm in creative writing!

This is a super powerful faerie story, but it falls WAY short of the emotions I suspect it was trying to create? We're told a LOT of things, instead of being shown, and the way the PoV switches between first and third person is just...not good.

Also, it MAY just be me, but I'm getting some really heavy "man writes book about pregnancy and miscarriage, completely misses emotional point" vibes. Maybe it's just me. It's not that the top
Sarah Sammis
Jun 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
To me, Charles de Lint is primarily the book reviewer for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Although he started writing fantasy at the time I was completely addicted to the genre, I somehow missed his books. It's only through the magazine that I have discovered de Lint's fantasy.

I picked at semi-random The Wild Wood because I loved the cover art by Stephen T. Johnson and the book design by Heather Saunders that mimics his painting of the stick people before the forest. I read the firs
Sidhe Prankster
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys mythical fantasy
When Canadian painter Eithnie starts experiencing strange day dreams, she thinks her mind is failing. Soon she begins seeing fey beings in her landscapes, which she has no conscious memory of painting. Worried for her sanity, Eithnie seeks advice, only to discover something even more bizarre than madness. Representatives of Faerie are reaching out to her, in need of her help. As she unwinds the riddles surrounding her fey beseechers, she is led to face the demons of her past, and discover hersel ...more
R. C.
Aug 04, 2009 added it
I didn't finish because I sympathized too closely with the protagonists fear of hallucinations in the first few chapters, as a person with a neurological condition that sometimes causes trees to come alive and layers to reveal other layers and suchlike. I wondered if de Lint is epileptic, because his first chapter is just like a temporal lobe seizure. Terrifying. Beautiful prose, though, probably the most beautiful I've read in the fantasy genre. ...more
Todd R
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inspired, fiction
This is another re-read for me. I enjoyed this book even more than the first time I read it when it was first published in the 90's. I have the hardcover with the Froud paintings - the best way to read this.
If you have ever struggled with the creative process this book is a clear communication and reminder that the artist confront his/her limitations and embrace past histories. This is an inspirational piece, like many of De Lint's works it calls to us to be be humble as we live...t
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
What it is:
A rather simple story about a woman's encounter with some fae folk and how it relates to her personal experiences.

Who should read it:
Readers who like faerie stories. Those who don't mind a sense of disorientation while reading. There are many ways that de Lint makes this one disorienting and I wonder if it is on purpose. I can see it turning some readers off, though, so caveat emptor. People who like a bit of personal touch and human psychology in their fantasy lit will potentially en
Kind of wish I could have read this in a cabin in the woods in winter.
Vicki Moutoux
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A charming book about an artist who begins to see disturbing visions and tries to determine their meaning to her life. The theme of the story is the environmental destruction that mankind is imposing on the wild world and just what the main character might do to help.
Skyler White
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Before I read this book, I would have said that a man couldn't really understand what it means to be a mother. Not *really.* Now I'm wondering if there is any experience impenetrable to a writer of sufficient imagination and craft. It opens up whole terrains of challenge, and shows me it is only my insufficiencies and fears that make characters of different races or backgrounds feel off-limits to me. ...more
Dec 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This is one of de Lint's less attractive works, in my opinion but that is only to say it is really good instead of excellent. It didn't engage me at first the way some of his others books have done, but it was worth the effort to read it. ...more
Dan Holt
Dec 28, 2010 rated it liked it
An early deLint novel. The main character is intriguing, an artist who has lost her edge. The depiction of the back woods in Ontario are vivid. Not a fan, though, of the climax and resolution. Seemed rushed and rather cliche.
Beverly J.
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What can I say? Simply magical. Magically complicated. I feel like I held my breath reading this, waiting with trepidation for each special moment to manifest. I waited so long for this book, I'm grateful that the 4 of this set graced my life. ...more
Mar 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, contemporary
This book is weird. Really weird. However, I think that it is definitely worth reading if you are into fantasy and strange symbolism. There certainly is a lot of that going on. Plus, it takes place just outside of Ottawa which is kind of cool.
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
Sep 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sheri S. Tepper & Robin McKinley fans.
Like reading poetry. This is my first Charles de Lint book though I have a bunch of them. It reminded me of Sheri S Tepper's eco-sensibilities with a dash of Robin Mckinley's prose. I loved it. ...more
Melanie Wilson
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Kinda hokey. Not horrible. Didn't understand the need for chapters in first person when the rest of the chapters were in close third person from the same character's POV. ...more
William Thomas
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: blah, bland
This thing should have come with a warning label stating that it is a powerful sleep aid.
"'She was a queen once,' Albin said, as though echoing her thoughts. 'Her court was a forest, her courtiers the beasts of the land, the birds of the air. Once she held all our histories in her mind. She was the lorebook of this forest, the binding force that kept us hale. And only she has that skill. We are creatures of the present. We can't remember as she could. Without our history, our safeguarded past, there is no connection to our future. We are cut adrift in time. We are fading, almost gon ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, novels, nature
I'm on a constant quest for "eco-fantasy", and this filled the niche with precision! A lovely tale about an artist living in the Canadian wilds who has lost her artistic way, she discovers that the local community of faeries are in dire health, and that she is somehow connected to their future. Interspersed with enchanting art by Brian Froud, this book is ripe with natural settings, mysterious faerie happenings, and a human protagonist who you care for the whole way through.

(Note: some spoilers
Shawn Cooke
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
It has been said of Charles de Lint that he only knows how to tell one story. My enjoyment of his books is not a denial of that statement, but rather an affirmation of it — I like that story, and he knows how to tell it well.

And yet... and yet The Wild Wood, written ten years into his publishing career, feels almost like a rough draft of ideas that he develops more fully in later books. And it includes some rather questionable themes that may have grown outdated in the last twenty-five years.

Lisa Naylor
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
As always for Charles De Lint this was magical and beautiful, the themes which run through his other novels is already there - art, music, the fey in each ordinary moment, lyrical writing and some really memorable passages. We meet Eithne, an artist who has lost her muse who has retreated to her wood-surrounded cabin to recapture it...and finding there instead the mysterious and the fey, urging her to 'remember...', but to remember what?
So it was beautiful. However I did feel there was somethin
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I picked this book up at a used bookstore. I am a fan of Charles deLint. This is some of his really early writing. It is tentative,wordy, awkward at times, and the ending is a little contrived but the most important thing is that there is promise. This is the book that hints at what is to come from this talented writer. It has some of the beginnings of future journeys into faerie. Although the stick people and their queen cross over into human territory it doesn't have the same flavor as the urb ...more
Sarah B
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This book is about a female artist's encounter with the faerie that live in the woods near her cabin. It's not so much a fantasy story but more raises questions like what is a faerie really and does everyone see a faerie the same way? Do different people see different things when they look at the same faerie? How does the ecological changes of pollution affect faeries? These and other similar questions are the heart of this story. It's very unique and different than the other fae ...more
Maeve Stone
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It made me feel like I was really there, like I was watching a movie in my head. It deals with topics such as the way humanity is treating the environment. It makes you ask "Are faeries real, symbolic or transpersonal beings?" and it lets you wonder. It is about a woman artist who is trying to get that "spark" of inspiration to make her art more than technically great. She examines herself and her relationships to find it. It is a love story but not what I expected, b ...more
I liked The Wild Wood, but I didn't love it. It has everything you want from a Charles de Lint story--down-to-earth characters, deep friendships, slow and subtle romance, art and poetry and music--plus a set of amazing illustrations by Brian Froud, but the end of the story left me dissatisfied (entirely for reasons of personal preference, not because it didn't fit the story). I also didn't enjoy the switches between third and first person; I didn't find it successful. Ah well. I won't love every ...more
Oct 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
An interesting concept--the modern climate's effect on the faerie world and what we can do about it But, the characters are not developed enough. Art is another way to "help", but is not explored enough. The main character's story is presented in 1st and 3rd person--why? I wanted to like it more, but just couldn't. This is supposed to be an homage to Brian Froud's Fairies. I will check that out. ...more
Morgan O'Cailleigh
Beautiful story, beautiful writing

I discovered Charles de Lint late in my reading life and now find that I see everything around me in a completely different light. From stickmen to cactus, coyote and desert, places of the heart and imagination. I love his ability to tell more than just a story, he can write on your heart.
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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

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