I am probably not a good person to review any book by Charles de Lint. You see, I am totally and completely hooked and think anything the author writes is pure gold. But I can objectively say that the stories in The Ivory and the Horn are some of the authorís best, combining urban magic with the dark and often ugly realism of broken hearts, broken lives and broken dreams. Yet always, there is hope.
Fans of de Lint will recognize many a fave character running through the stories, such as the force-of-nature herself, Jilly Coppercorn, and many of Newfordís artistic set, but some of the stories introduce people and magical entities that are new and fresh, with deep heart-cuts of their own bleeding on the page as only an author of de Lintís talent can make them. There are a total of 15 stories, all connected by magic and imagination, art and nature, creativity and suffering.
De Lint is a master of urban folk magic, but even readers who donít go for the fantastical elements will find plenty of outstanding storytelling, along with generous doses of desire, romance, the pursuing of dreams - and all the typical subjects that make de Lint a readerís dream. He creates universes, and then leaves us wanting to return to them all over again when the last page is turned, and we, poor souls, must go back to our own bland ďrealityĒ. Yet his stories are as real as any mainstream fiction.
The main theme running through this amazing authorsí work is probably courage. He pushes his characters into dark, shadowy corners, and makes them walk between worlds, chasing old and new demons, confronting good and evil, and generally discovering that there really is a place just beyond the veil, where dreams are more real than waking.