De Lint at his best. When Jacky's boyfriend walks out, her life changes more than she could ever imagine. In a fit of angst she chops off her long blond hair then goes out to wander the streets of Ottawa. She's startled out of her reverie by a faceless gang of bikers attacking a small man whose body disappears, leaving behind only a red cap. The cap shows Jacky an unimaginable side of Ottawa and sets her on an impossible quest to save the good fairies from their evil counterparts.
Luck, magic, and love bring to life a perilous, rollicking adventure involving Jacky, her best friend Kate, nefarious giants, nasty bogans, a trickster, a whimsical wizard, a small hob, and the last of the Swan Princes. Jacky's daring and quick wit make for an exciting story that is impossible to put down. Cleverly mingling folklore, fairy tale and modern life, the novel points to a fine connection between what is seen and what is not, and the importance of belief, compassion, and loyalty.
This Triskell Press e-book contains a new Afterword by the author.
• Winner, Canadian SF/Fantasy Award (Aurora) for Best Work in English
• Winner, YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (Young Adult Library Services Association)
From Challenging Destiny:
De Lint has a deceptively casual writing style, but his ability to pull in the reader's sympathy and suspension of disbelief is entirely artful. This volume is a good place to start if you're unfamiliar with de Lint's writing, and just as pleasurable to return to after a few years' absence.
De Lint keeps the pace going full tilt, involving the reader immediately. The backdrop of Ottawa adds a delicious dimension as mortals and sidhe coexist on the streets, the former unable to see that latter among them. The characters are (mostly) likable and lively, and Jacky is a heroine after anyone's heart. It is a joy to watch her grow from a timid frightened girl into a resourceful hero, and she makes a darn good role model, too.
From The Phoenix Gazette, January 1990:
For those who have grown weary of the constant deluge of spiritless fantasy glutting bookstores, de Lint offers a refreshing change of pace one that is sure to delight even the most jaded reader with its charm.
From Booklist, American Library Assn., January 1988:
…de Lint is probably the finest contemporary author of fantasy; his command of language, use of setting, development of characters, and working out of systems of magic for emotional impact make this a distinctly superior work.
From Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact:
There can be no doubt: Charles de Lint is one of Canada's modern masters of fantasy.