The Ivory and the Horn

The Ivory and the Horn - Charles de Lint

I was first introduced to deLint's world of urban fantasy with his book, Dingo, and it was love at first word. He has the ability to look beyond the day to day struggles and show the magic of the world around us, a dream world where all is possible and the inhabitants take on a life of their own, blending mythology, the spirit world, fantasy and reality together and inviting his readers to join him.

I must confess though that I truly lack an appreciation of short stories. I've always preferred a full length novel that has the time to develop the characters as well as building a well executed plot line, things not available in short stories. That being said, I also have so great an appreciation for the tales told by Charles deLint that I thought I'd give it a shot. In true deLint style he presented 15 short stories that introduced us to fairies, wood spirits, desert spirits and other magical beings we've seen in folklore from around the world. Each story was well crafted, some of which I loved, others less so, but when taken as a whole seemed to lack a cohesive flow leaving the tales to blend together in what I felt was a bit muddled fashion.

Not being a veteran short story reader I fear that I approached and read the book in the wrong way. I read it as though it was a regular length novel without leaving enough time between stories, time to digest what I had read and to savor each tale on its own merits. I wish I had used a different method and read one short story per night so that I could have appreciated the book more, the way it deserved. I started out loving it but for the reasons given lost much of my enthusiasm. Still, deLint remains one of my favourite authors and I'm eagerly anticipating reading some of his other works that rest on my nightstand.

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