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The Little Country

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  4,041 ratings  ·  179 reviews
When folk musician Janey Little finds a mysterious manuscript in an old trunk in her grandfather's cottage, she is swept into a dangerous realm both strange and familiar. But true magic lurks within the pages of The Little Country, drawing genuine danger from across the oceans into Janey's life, impelling her--armed only with her music--toward a terrifying confrontation.

Paperback, 544 pages
Published April 7th 2001 by Orb Books (first published 1991)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  4,041 ratings  ·  179 reviews

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Todd Settimo
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Clearly written by a mystic, this is one of the most magical novels I've ever read. DeLint's writing is a delight as well as the way he weaves a wealth of knowledge about music into the story. I'm a big fan of Celtic music and it's hard to read this book without hearing a ghostly reel playing in a far off corner of one's mind. Highly recommended. I've already begun sending copies to friends. And, oh goody, look - this author has a deep bibliography! ...more
Written in 1991, years before the current " Urban Fantasy" trend, The Little Country is a magical and mythical novel taking place in our world. The setting, unlike other De Lint novels that are usually set either in Ottawa, Newford or the Southwest, is Cornwall, England. Most of the story is set in the time it was written, but part of the story, within the story, takes place in what appears to be the 19th century. Otherwise, the characteristics typical De Lint's writing; the blending of myth and ...more
Holly (The Grimdragon)
Every book tells a different story to the person who reads it. How they perceive that book will depend on who they are. A good book reflects the reader, as much as it illuminates the author's text.

Much like what The Gaffer says to Janey about the book choosing it's own time, I feel like that is what happened with me & The Little Country! I am a huge fantasy fan, so of course I have heard of Charles de Lint before, but not this particular book. One day last year, I was browsing my favorite used b
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was about to pull another Guy Gavriel Kay novel off my shelf for a reliable good read after slogging through a bit of a stinker, when I was pricked by a pin of conscience. I've met Charles de Lint occasionally over the years; he is a friend of a friend; we've exchanged a few e-mails and he's given me some advice.

And I have not read one of his books until now.

After finishing The Little Country, this seems truly ludicrous. This book easily stands up with some of the finest fantasy writing. It is
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm not actually a Charles de Lint fan. Since I read this book some years ago I've read a few books by the author that I really didn't care for, some I found okay, but none I like as well.

Sometimes it happens like that, you find the first book you stumble on by an author turns out to be the best you ever run across. The story caught my interest from the moment Janey (Little) finds the curious book in her grandfather's attic. The folk music angle...the magic permeating the story has all kinds of
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Musicians and magicians, if you'll forgive the redundancy
Recommended to Alan by: A wee little man i'the dell
Years ago, a coworker of mine left his technical position behind, to focus full-time on his musical career, playing traditional music on instruments like the hammered dulcimer, fiddle and mandolin. The last time I saw Carl, he was bearded and smiling, looking younger than I'd ever seen him appear while at his job—and he's still going strong as of 2018.

I think Carl would fit right into Charles de Lint's world. The old music still has magic to it, you see, or at least it does in The Little Country
Deborah Ideiosepius
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a great story. The different characters were vibrant and real, the situations they found themselves in had a good emotional loading and you found yourself really uncertain what the end would be. The different storylines complemented each other well and left a good satisfying feel at the conclusion of the book.

One way this book really scored was the character development of the ‘bad guys’. A book I had recently finished had totally left out any character development for the bad guys but
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly the most whimsical and unique book I've read in quite some time, this was my first time reading anything by Charles de Lint, and I'm sure this won't be the last.

It is an unusual book, and it is truly unlike anything I've ever read, but I got lost in the story within The Little Country. There was something about Charles de Lint's writing that just absolutely sucked me in. Honestly, I think part of it had to do with the fact that this story reminded me of just good old-fashioned st
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Magic, music, mysticism and mythology all play their parts in shaping the world and lives of de Lint's characters in The Little Country. Set in the 1980s, these elements come up hard against the modern world and its corruptions and complications. In this book, de Lint shows once again that he is a master of painting the ineffable with words and images that touched my heart and spirit. Very highly recommended. ...more
JG (Introverted Reader)
One of the first Charles de Lint novels I read. I've been hooked ever since. It's still one of my favorites. I think it's the combination of well-written fantasy, the coast of Cornwall, and all the music that makes this one so wonderful. ...more
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Wonderful. Two stories in parallel. You'll lose yourself in this fantasy. I really must read more of this guy. ...more
Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
So much of this book is a delightful, magical, thought-provoking story, but the mismatched romance aspects (every woman loves Felix?) and the powerful, evil, mystical cabal who run the world plot(s) don’t work as well as the story of Jodi and her companions dealing with the Widow Pender and central tale surrounding William Dunthorn’s mysterious book. The author’s philosophizing is neatly woven into the themes and plots of the tales, adding depth rather than distractions within the story.
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up-on
Ok, this started good. I was interested. It's a very unique and intriguing story for sure. There are.magical people, evil secret societies, a scary witch-like lady, talking dead people. All kinds of interesting things! I made it about halfway and I've been struggling for weeks now with it. I'm not sure what happened but I'm just not caring anymore what happens. I read a few pages, put it aside. So, I'm going to officially put it aside and move on. ...more
Karen Field
Mar 28, 2009 rated it liked it
It started out really well, very interesting. There are two stories running parallel with each other. At first, I enjoyed one story more than the other but I was eventually taken over into the other story. However, the middle seemed to drag on a bit. By the end it all made sense but I sort of lost a bit of interest.

The pros for the book was that the author used his imagination and touched on things that I’ve thought about but never said out loud. You’ll have to read the book to know what I’m tal
Jamie Wallace
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have read several of deLint’s other novels and always admired his ability to make magic tangible in a contemporary, real world setting. The way he weaves myth and fairytale into otherwise ordinary settings is almost like a kind of magic in itself. He is also a master at avoiding fantasy tropes, telling stories that are full of unique characters and plot twists.
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places, but it seems harder and harder to find standalone Fantasy novels. Everyone seems into trilogies (especially if you're writing YA) and long series. I get it. Why spend all that time world-building for just one novel? But, even so, sometimes I don't want to invest in a long saga or three-parter. I just want a great Fantasy read. And with The Little Country, I found one. Not too long, but meaty and very satisfying. No new languages to learn or worlds ...more
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting fantasy novel with a story within a story, the book story set in a less mechanized time (there are bicycles and steam locomotives, but no cars are mentioned that I can recall). There characters were engaging, and the sense of place in the frame story set in Cornwall was wonderful, but there was too much philosophizing for my taste. Most contemporary readers of fantasy would find this book rather slow, but despite my criticisms I liked it.
Mixed emotions over this one, although mostly positive. DeLint's writing style in the book is weird. At times it is almost amateurish, but then he throws in something beautiful, like you would read in classical literature. Sometimes it seemed like YA fiction, then there would be a graphic (and strangely ani-erotic and uncomfortable) sex scene or in depth violence.
Overall though, DeLint spins a great tale and really delves deeply into some heavy neo-pagan and magickal thought. I really enjoyed t
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!

To be fair, I love Charles de Lint, so I might be just the tiniest bit biased. However, this book was chock full of what makes de Lint...well, de Lint. Magic, reality, music all over the place. It's fantastic.

There is a bit of graphic violence and adult situations, so be forewarned. This one is not child friendly.

This book is definitely tailored for an adult audience, and has a nice mix of backstory, fantasy, inter-personal relationships, metaphysical philosophy, and just goo
Jul 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: horse heads
Recommended to Mariel by: Uma's track suit
The Little Country contains two stories, a modern day world of seemingly inaccessible magic (wake up and smell the roses kinds), and the story within a story of a sinister fairy world that may not be entirely fictional after all. The magic of books and music! de Lint's got me there. (Add food to the equation and there really is nothing better.)
Charles de Lint writes well enough about what drives the normal old little people (er not the fairy kind of little people, the kind that get stepped on by
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
this is a magical book in itself, as I re-read it and it was very different to what I remembered.
Jun 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2011
This one was recommended by Amanda, though Liz vociferously agreed I should read it, especially when they learned I'd never read anything by Charles de Lint. I do think I scandalised them somewhat with that confession. So I dutifully added it to my basket and read it last Summer during my holiday and due to morning/24-7 sickness it ended up on the backlogged reviews pile. So as such this review will probably not be as in-depth as my usual reviews, but it will be heartfelt, as if I remember it wi ...more
Mr. de Lint uses the curious device of two separate stories that twine around each other like the two snakes of a caduceus. They don’t touch or meet but wind up facing each other in eerie parallel. You wonder, briefly, which is the tale being told and which is the one being read. It’s neatly done yet wins the reader with its utter charm that is greater than a mere clever plot device.

The accents, colloquialisms and local talk pepper this story. The accents are never played for laughs (although t
Kirk Macleod
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For a while now I've been making my way through the works of Canadian Fantasy author Charles de Lint; finding his books a delight, delighting in his mix of folklore, mythology and fantasy over the course of more than a dozen novels.

Last month I read his 1991 novel The Little Country and it simply blew me away.

Significantly longer than his other books, The Little Country is filled with three distinct storylines, moving from magic realism to high fantasy and interweaving them into something that s
Elspeth Hall
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lovers of mystery and fantisy
Recommended to Elspeth by: birthday present
Have waited a long time to read this and was not disappointed. A story within a story it spans both our world and a magical one whilst not being at all sugary or frilly (my biggest pet peeve with modern fairy tales is that the are all too nice). Whilst you are aware of a connection between the story and the story within the story the writer conceals this right until the final chapters and caps it off with an ending that makes you wonder whether or not you yourself have been part of the story. So ...more
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favs forever. I read this back in 1991, when a lot of terrible things were going on in my life. This book was so well written and so full of action and adventure, the story line was perfect, it truly was my escape. It is a story of going from one world into another (the little country), so for me, it was just what I needed. I keep a copy of this book with me always. I always will. Ill never forget this story!
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the first Charles de Lint tale I read, and what a giddy ride!! "The Little Country" somehow feels like it's one of my own memories, it's so vivid! Perhaps something of a nightmare that I've woken from & been assured is okay, that it's not real.
But I still wake at times, jaw anxiety-tight...
Yes, the Little's leave a big impression... :)
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bought-copy
Only my second read of this beautiful book. The first read was when I was sixteen - and it was my first taste of Charles de Lint. I love the intertwined stories. I love the way that music and magic are considered one and the same. Great writing, entertaining story, fantastic folklore.
I loved this book. De Lint writes prose as if it were poetry, and while this continues his urban fantasy genre, it reads differently to his usual books - and is certainly suitable for younger readers!
Jennifer (the_pumpkin_reads)
I only cared for one of the story arcs in this novel.
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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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