SPIRITWALK by Charles de Lint


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A ""fix-up"" to de Lint's Moonheart (1984), consisting of one short and three long stories previously published separately and a brief prologue. Various adventures take place in and around Tamson House, a sprawling structure occupying a full city block in modem-day Ottawa. The House hosts a variety of semi-transient artsy misfits, from neo-pagans to aspiring poets, drawn by its magic; the garden is a gateway to an Otherworld of blended Celtic and Native American mythology. The first story is a sort of set-piece, while each of the other three involves mystical threats to Tamson House and/or its occupants. The good vs. evil plots are very familiar, and de Lint draws little narrative tension out of them. Though the threats seem potent, none of the principal characters ever suffers any real harm. And the characters themselves are not interesting enough to make up for the lack of tension--the mythic figures are simply categorized like game pieces (""the bard,"" ""the woodwitch""), and the ""real"" people (such as Blue, the sensitive ex-biker) are tirelessly reasonable, forgiving, wise, compassionate, fair, selfless--and boring. De Lint's evocative mingling of disparate mythic elements might have provided the missing spark, but his use of the legends never gets beyond New Age shallowness. A disappointment from the author of Jack the Giant Killer and Drink the Moon.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0765325276
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Tor--dist. by St. Martin's