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Other Books
Over My Head (2013)
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest (2013)
Under My Skin (2012)
The Painted Boy (2010)
The Very Best of Charles de Lint (2010)
Muse and Reverie (2009)
Eyes Like Leaves (2009)
The Mystery of Grace (2009)
Woods and Waters Wild (2009)
Yellow Dog (2008)
What the Mouse Found (2008)
Dingo (2008)
Little (Grrl) Lost (2007)
Old Man Crow (2007)
Promises to Keep (2007)
Widdershins (2006)
Triskell Tales 2 (2006)
Make A Joyful Noise (2006)
The Hour Before Dawn (2005)
Quicksilver & Shadow (2005)
The Blue Girl (2004)
Medicine Road (2004)
Refinerytown (2003)
Spirits in the Wires (2003)
A Handful of Coppers (2003)
A Circle of Cats (2003)
Tapping the Dream Tree (2002)
Waifs and Strays (2002)
Seven Wild Sisters (2002)
The Onion Girl (2001)
The Road to Lisdoonvarna (2001)
Triskell Tales (2000)
Forests of the Heart (2000)
The Buffalo Man (1999)
The Newford Stories (1999)
Moonlight and Vines (1999)
Someplace to be Flying (1998)
Trader (1997)
Jack of Kinrowan (1997)
The Ivory and the Horn (1995)
Memory & Dream (1994)
The Wild Wood (1994)
Into the Green (1993)
The Wishing Well (1993)
Dreams Underfoot (1993)
I'll Be Watching You (1992)
From a Whisper to a Scream (1992)
Merlin Dreams in the Mondream Wood (1992)
Spiritwalk (1992)
Paperjack (1991)
Our Lady of the Harbour (1991)
Hedgework and Guessery (1991)
Death Leaves an Echo (1991)
Ghosts of Wind and Shadow (1991)
Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair (1991)
The Little Country (1991)
The Dreaming Place (1990)
Angel of Darkness (1990)
Ghostwood (1990)
Drink Down the Moon (1990)
The Fair in Emain Macha (1990)
Philip José Farmer's The Dungeon: The Hidden City (1990)
Westlin Wind (1989)
Berlin (1989)
Philip José Farmer's The Dungeon: The Valley of Thunder (1989)
Svaha (1989)
Wolf Moon (1988)
Greenmantle (1988)
Jack the Giant-Killer (1987)
Ascian in Rose (1987)
Yarrow: An Autumn Tale (1986)
Mulengro: A Romany Tale (1985)
The Harp of the Grey Rose (1985)
Moonheart: A Romance (1984)
The Riddle of the Wren (1984)
De Grijze Roos (1983)
The Dreaming Place
The Dreaming Place
Firebird


A young woman locked in rage yet seeking magic, Ash is drawn into a wondrous Otherworld of totems and dryads, living tarots and mystic charms. At the same time, Ash's cousin Nina is stalked by an Otherworld demon-a manitou who can force her mind and soul into the bodies of beasts. Ash must find the strength to overcome her own anger, learn the full power of magic, and save Nina before she becomes the manitou's weapon, turning the faerie realm into an arctic wasteland. De Lint fans will relish this urban and otherworldly fantasy, partially set in the author's trademark Newford.
Source: firebirdbooks.com

Reviews
Green Man Review:
The Dreaming Place is set in Newford, a city of de Lint's imagination, which comes to life in his writing. Anyone who has read any of the Newford stories will recognize many of the places, such as Lower Crowsea, as well as the characters such as Bones. It is the story of cousins, Nina and Ash, different as night and day.

Ash and Nina share a room after Ash's mother dies and her hippie aunt and uncle take her in. Nina is a clean cut, all-American kid doing well at school, while Ash gets bad grades, misses a lot of school and dabbles in magic.

We enter the story where Nina is having nightmares in which she finds herself in the bodies of animals. She finds herself lost and confused, unable to make the animal's body perform its normal functions. Then one day her transmutation into an animal body happens while she is sitting at the bus stop. All of a sudden, the dream world has moved into reality. Nina is sure that Ash is behind all this, having set a hex on her.

Ash has problems of her own. She is finding herself being followed by a strange man, whom she is sure means her harm.

The story alternates each chapter between the viewpoints of the two girls. At times this ploy doesn't work well, but de Lint has pulled it off by covering the same events from two different viewpoints. Instead, the story flows well. As the story unfolds, we see the two girls coming to terms with each other.

In its own way, it is a coming of age story. The two girls come to discover, after sharing a room for three years, a lot of insight into themselves, and that they each have their part to play in the world.

I have always marveled at how well de Lint is able to create female characters. At one stage I wondered if it was a woman, writing under a pseudonym. How many men could get so deep into the female psyche and actually get it right? So often I have read male authors' versions of female characters that just don't seem real. De Lint's female characters are true to life.

As always, de Lint introduces us to some wonderful characters. There is Ash's best friend, Cassie, the tarot-card-using fortuneteller, who by choice is a street person. Then there is Cassie's partner Bones, who tells fortunes using the bones. There are also Nina's parents, who never left their hippie days behind. Even though, at times, Nina finds them a little embarrassing, she respects them for holding onto their beliefs.

This is a wonderful story, and highly recommended for young adults as well as adults.

From SFRA Newsletter, October 1991:
Charles de Lint has crafted a complex and engaging novel. De Lint, recognized as a poet as well as a novelist, almost always limns images rich in sensory detail. It is indeed remarkable how much relevant and fascinating detail de Lint has packed into a mere 138 pages… The writing is balanced and beautiful; the story is intricate and satisfying.

From Locus Magazine, December 1990:
This is another excellent urban fantasy from de Lint. The Dreaming Place is beautifully written, with appealing and believable characters inhabiting a slightly skewed universe that's on the edge of reality.

From The Ottawa Citizen, January 1991:
De Lint likes to explore the myths and legends of different ethnic groups, but he blends them so skillfully with 20th century life that the border between fantasy and reality blurs. He has a fine ear for dialogue and an eye for the details that give a story body.

Rambles:
I think it's safe to say that Charles de Lint is the master of urban fantasy, a true groundbreaker in the field. With almost 50 novels behind him, he continues to take new strides in the contemporary fantasy field. While The Dreaming Place is actually not a new novel (the original Atheneum edition, with illustrations by Brian Froud, is long out of print), it helps introduce younger readers to his style of work without straying far from the content and themes of his other novels.

Nina Caraballo seems like any ordinary teenage girl, caught in the midst of growing up with all the struggles and conflicts such a journey involves. But Nina has other problems, too—one of which is her cousin Ash, who recently moved in with Nina after her mother's death. To say that Nina and Ash don't get along is an understatement. But that's not the worst of Nina's problems. Much worse is the presence that stalks her dreams, dreams in which she's trapped in the body of an animal with no way to get out. And Nina absolutely sure that Ash, with her interest in witchcraft, is responsible for those nightly terrors.

Things take a turn for the worse when Nina is pulled into the otherworld. With the help of Cassie and Bones (two familiar characters from de Lint's Newford novels), Ash discovers that it's her own pain and anger that has pulled this spirit into our world and set it on Nina's trail. Now she must undertake her own journey into the otherworld—both to rescue Nina and to face the facts of her own life. Will she be able to let go of past hurts and move on?

Once again de Lint proves his ability to create engaging characters, this time focusing on young adults. He skillfully weaves mythology and folklore with believable conflicts, and continues to explore the theme of looking beyond yourself to help others. Nina and Ash's struggles are realistic ones that young adults can identify with; the setting of the otherworld serves to reinforce the inner landscape of their thoughts and feelings.

The Dreaming Place is an excellent gateway for younger readers to enter de Lint's world, but readers of all ages will find themselves enjoying this story. Firebird has also reprinted de Lint's Riddle of the Wren, another novel that has been long out of print, as well as several other excellent young adult novels (including three novels by Nancy Springer and one by Laurel Winter that readers shouldn't miss). If you're interested in more of de Lint's work for younger audiences, check out Waifs & Strays, a collection of short stories set in Newford and other environs.

Australian SF Online:
This book is quite short—much shorter than what he usually writes, and much shorter than what I normally read. In fact, the only reason that I picked it up was because it had "Charles de Lint" on the cover. Normally I pass slim books by. I know I miss great novels with this habit of mine, and I would have missed this one otherwise.

The Dreaming Place is set is de Lint's city of Newford. It is an urban fantasy that deals with North American myths and legends (really, religion). His characters of Bones and Cassie—who are medicine people, and are familiar with the spirit world, make another appearance in this book.

Nina is being tormented by dreams that take her far from her body and place her in those of animals. Quite understandably, she is terrified, and is even more so when those dreams starts to invade the waking hours. She believes her cousin Ash to be responsible, who is involved with the occult. But not all is as straightforward as it appears to be.

When Cassie and Bones find that Nina is being stalked by a spirit, they take Ash into the spiritworld, where she takes matters into her own hands. Ash takes steps to save Nina, who is also in the spiritworld, imprisoned in the body of her totem animal. And not before time, either.

Charles de Lint has created a marvellous story here, but I feel it is a bit too short. (Not everyone will agree with me here. I tend to read books about 1 1/2 inches thick in 2-3hrs. Paperbacks.) It certainly dealt with all the issues brought up in the novel, but I could not help but feel left wanting. Perhaps this is just a vestige of my preferences for longer novels. The motivations and emotions of the two main characters are looked into quite thoroughly, and as each chapter progressed you could empathise with each of them individually. I quite liked this book, and would recommend it to those who like shorter novels

Folk Tales:
A close friend of mine first introduced me to Charles de Lint. She showed me a short story and said I had to read it. I took the anthology, but wasn't expecting too much—after all, we have different tastes in reading material. The story was "The Conjure Man" and it hooked me, and even my mother, who is not much of a fantasy fan, enjoyed the story. After reading this, I knew I had to get my hands on more of de Lint's writing.

Fortunately it was 1989, and Greenmantle and Moonheart had both been released in Australia. I devoured them hungrily, and then went looking for more of his works, but to my dismay there were no more, at least not in Australia. Every week I combed the shelves looking for more and every year I was rewarded with one book.

One day I discovered a new specialist bookstore, Pulp Fiction, in Brisbane, which catered to lovers of science fiction / fantasy and crime / mystery. Even better, they were willing to import from America (most Australian bookstores do not because they cannot return unsold stock as they can do with Australian and British publishers). All my dreams had come finally come true—I had access to more de Lint.

One day I walked into the store and they had a surprise waiting for me—a book that not only was written by de Lint but also illustrated by Brian Froud (by now the owners knew me too well) That book was The Dreaming Place.

The Dreaming Place is set in Newford, a city of de Lint's imagination, which comes to life in his writing. Anyone who has read any of the Newford stories will recognise many of the places, such as Lower Crowsea, as well as the characters such as Bones. It is the story of cousins, Nina and Ash, different as night and day. Ash and Nina share a room after Ash's mother dies and her hippie aunt and uncle take her in. Nina is a clean cut, all-American kid doing well at school, while Ash gets bad grades, misses a lot of school and dabbles in magic.

We enter the story where Nina is having nightmares in which she finds herself in the bodies of animals. She finds herself lost and confused, unable to make the animal's body perform its normal functions. Then one day her transmutation into an animal body happens while she is sitting at the bus stop. All of a sudden, the dream world has moved into reality. Nina is sure that Ash is behind all this, having set a hex on her. Ash has problems of her own. She is finding herself being followed by a strange man, whom she is sure means her harm.

The story alternates each chapter between the viewpoints of the two girls. At times this ploy doesn't work well, but de Lint has pulled it off by covering the same events from two different viewpoints. Instead, the story flows well. As the story unfolds, we see the two girls coming to terms with each other. In its own way, it is a coming of age story. The two girls come to discover, after sharing a room for three years, a lot of insight into themselves, and that they each have their part to play in the world. I have always marveled at how well de Lint is able to create female characters. At one stage I wondered if it was a woman, writing under a pseudonym. How many men could get so deep into the female psyche and actually get it right? So often I have read male authors' versions of female characters that just don't seem real. De Lint's female characters are true to life.

As always, de Lint introduces us to some wonderful characters. There is Ash's best friend, Cassie, the tarot-card-using fortuneteller, who by choice is a street person. Then there is Cassie's partner Bones, who tells fortunes using the bones. There are also Nina's parents, who never left their hippie days behind. Even though, at times, Nina finds them a little embarrassing, she respects them for holding onto their beliefs.

This is a wonderful story, and highly recommended for young adults as well as adults. It is a beautifully-presented hardback, which is sparingly illustrated with tarot card designs by Brian Froud in black and white. Now that would definitely be a deck I'd like to own if it is ever marketed.

Editions
Atheneum; hardcover, 1990 Warner; mass market, 1992
Timun Mas, Spain, as El Pais de los Suenos; hardcover, 1992 Firebird; mass market, 2002

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