Forests of the Heart

Front Cover
Macmillan, Jun 3, 2000 - Fiction - 397 pages
6 Reviews
In the Old Country, they called them the Gentry: ancient spirits of the land, magical, amoral, and dangerous. When the Irish emigrated to North America, some of the Gentry followed...only to find that the New World already had spirits of its own, called manitou and other such names by the Native tribes.

Now generations have passed, and the Irish have made homes in the new land, but the Gentry still wander homeless on the city streets. Gathering in the city shadows, they bide their time and dream of power. As their dreams grow harder, darker, fiercer, so do the Gentry themselves--appearing, to those with the sight to see them, as hard and dangerous men, invariably dressed in black.

Bettina can see the Gentry, and knows them for what they are. Part Indian, part Mexican, she was raised by her grandmother to understand the spirit world. Now she lives in Kellygnow, a massive old house run as an arts colony on the outskirts of Newford, a world away from the Southwestern desert of her youth. Outsider her nighttime window, she often spies the dark men, squatting in the snow, smoking, brooding, waiting. She calls them los lobos, the wolves, and stays clear of them--until the night one follows her to the woods, and takes her hand....

Ellie, an independent young sculptor, is another with magic in her blood, but she refuses to believe it, even though she, too, sees the dark men. A strange old woman has summoned Ellie to Kellygnow to create a mask for her based on an ancient Celtic artifact. It is the mask of the mythic Summer King--another thing Ellie does not believe in. Yet lack of belief won't dim the power of the mast, or its dreadful intent.

Donal, Ellie's former lover, comes from an Irish family and knows the truth at the heart of the old myths. He thinks he can use the mask and the "hard men" for his own purposes. And Donal's sister, Miki, a punk accordion player, stands on the other side of the Gentry's battle with the Native spirits of the land. She knows that more than her brother's soul is at stake. All of Newford is threatened, human and mythic beings alike.

Once again Charles de Lint weaves the mythic traditions of many cultures into a seamless cloth, bringing folklore, music, and unforgettable characters to life on modern city streets.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - indiefishsteak - LibraryThing

This is an inspiring and gritty adventure full of treks in to the otherworld and the spirits who inhabit both that world and this one. The beginning was a little slow for me, but once the characters ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NaneenTrouble - LibraryThing

I've read some of De Lint's other books. Jack of Kinrowan and Into the Green. I enjoyed those two books but never really pursued his other works. Well I saw Forests of the Heart lying on a table in ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Los lobos
15
Musgrave Wood
34
Chehthagi Mashath
136
Mask
158
Los Dias de Muertos
233
Ice
247
En el Bosque del Corazon
304
Los cadejos
379
Copyright

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Page 13 - In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost. Ah, how hard it is to tell of that wood, savage and harsh and dense, the thought of which renews my fear. So bitter is it that death is hardly more.

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About the author (2000)

Born in Holland in 1951, Charles de Lint grew up in Canada, with a few years off in Turkey, Lebanon, and Switzerland.

Although his first novel was 1984's The Riddle of the Wren, it was with Moonheart, published later that same year, that de Lint made his mark, and established him at the forefront of "urban fantasy," modern fantasy storytelling set on contemporary city streets. Moonheart was set in and around "Newford," an imaginary modern North American city, and many of de Lint's subsequent novels have been set in Newford as well, with a growing cast of characters who weave their way in and out of the stories. The Newford novels include Spirit Walk, Memory and Dream, Trader, Someplace To Be Flying, Forests of the Heart, The Onion Girl, and Spirits in the Wires. In addition, de Lint has published several collections of Newford short stories, including Moonlight and Vines, for which he won the World Fantasy Award. Among de Lint's many other novels are Mulengro, Jack the Giant-Killer, and The Little Country.

Married since 1980 to his fellow musician MaryAnn Harris, Charles de Lint lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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