JACK THE GIANT KILLER by Charles de Lint


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Another novel that purports to retell a classic fairy tale; though the original Jack (giant killer, beanstalk, etc.) is hardly to be discerned here, de Lint succeeds in weaving a modern fantasy incorporating standard fairy/mythical elements. ""Jack"" is Jacky Rowan, a young woman who leads a dull life in contemporary Ottawa--until a chance encounter gives her the ability to perceive the fairy world that exists unseen alongside our own. Seems that the Unseelie Court--bad, bad guys--are about to overwhelm the good guys; their chief, the brutal giant Gyre the Elder, has stolen the magical Horn that controls the Wild Hunt (sort of Darth Vaders mounted on roaring Harleys). Jacky visits the chief good-guy magician, the scarred, evasive Gruagagh, who explains that whoever blows the Horn assumes control of the Hunt; the Gruagagh, alas, must maintain the magical defenses and cannot leave his house. So Jacky, helped by various friends and some strangely reluctant allies, must steal into Gyre's cave and, using only her wits, seize the Horn. An excitingly plotted, surprisingly effective blend of ancient and modern--though purists may balk at the notion of fairies riding motorcycles and driving automobiles--and the sort of gravely good-natured narrative that puts a twinkle in the eye of the beholder.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Berkley