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Forests of the Heart (Newford) Hardcover – June 3, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Newford
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (June 3, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312865198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312865191
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,329,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Forests of the Heart is an enthralling voyage into the seamier side of urban magic. Returning to the familiar environs of Newford, where he sets so many of his modern myths, Charles de Lint introduces some of his most memorable characters yet.

The Gentry are ancient spirits of the land, sired in rape and born of woman in the Old Country. When the Irish immigrated to the New World, some of the Gentry came along. Generations later, having no real ties to their new home, they dream dark dreams of wresting the land surrounding Newford from the native manitou spirits. The Gentry's scheming and plotting draw some of the inhabitants of Newford into a dark and desperate fight against them and a primeval spirit, old as the earth itself but slumbering in la epoca del mito, the myth time.

Bettina, a curandera--or healer--is part Mexican and part Indian. She has recently moved to Newford from the deserts of the Southwest for reasons she can't understand. She lives in Kellygnow, an art colony perched on a hill overlooking Newford. Earning her keep as a model for the various artists who live and work there, she tries to apply her desert-learned skills and knowledge in the cold, forested surroundings.

Bettina's fellow Kellygnowians include Nuala, who seems slightly more spiritual than the average housekeeper; Ellie, a sculptor with a very special commission; and the Recluse, a mysterious figure who winters at Kellygnow in one of the outlying private cottages. Donal, an Irish-born malcontent who dreams of better times, joins them, along with Miki, his musician sister, and Tommy, a Native American accompanied by a few of his apparently innumerable aunts. The looming battle against a seemingly invincible foe draws them together and forces them to depend not only upon their skills and powers, but also on hope, trust, and love.

Blending aspects of different cultural legends and myths with his keen insight into human nature, Charles de Lint offers a truly incredible and compelling tale. His specialty is an intoxicating mix of real and fantasy worlds, and Forests of the Heart delivers a delicious punch. With his deft touch and sensitive style, de Lint's mastery of the urban fantasy tale and his ability as a great storyteller remain unchallenged. --Robert Gately

From Publishers Weekly

Irish fairies, Native American shape-changers and Africa's Anansi the Spider all meet up as de Lint (The Buffalo Man) weaves a new tale of urban magic, in which a diverse cast of characters learns that all the oldest myths are true. This comes as no surprise to Bettina San Miguel (a Mexican-Indian healer whose power comes from her father, a hawk-spirit), or to Tommy Raven (whose aunts back on the reservation were in regular contact with the spirit world). But Hunter Cole and Ellie Jones, who have never believed in anything supernatural, are shocked to learn that Ellie has enormous magical powers. Conversely, for Miki Greer, the revelation is a horrible confirmation of her Irish father's angry rantings--and a dangerous portent for her brother, Donal, who is involved with the violent "hard men" (displaced Irish spirits, also known as the Gentry and los lobos, looking for a home in America). The "hard men" want to summon a Green Man to fight the native spirits--and they want to use Donal's body to help them do it. Suddenly, the fictional city of Newford is crawling with magic--some hostile, some strangely appealing. And Bettina, Tommy, Hunter and Ellie must stop Donal before it's too late. A leisurely, intriguing expedition into the spirit world, studded with Spanish and Gaelic words and an impressive depth of imagination, de Lint's latest teems with music, danger and a touch of romance. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Charles de Lint and his wife, the artist MaryAnn Harris, live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. His evocative novels, including Moonheart, Forests of the Heart, and The Onion Girl, have earned him a devoted following and critical acclaim as a master of contemporary magical fiction

Customer Reviews

Very fast and interesting and well written.
Charlene Moeller
I enjoyed reading it a good deal, and would certainly recommend the book to any Charles de Lint fan.
Stephanie Zuercher
Art, magic, music, true love and mystery abound.
EmBee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on May 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I hear that an author as good as De Lint has a new book come out, I get a little pessimistic. How can he possible write something as good as his previous books? But he has done it again. This marvelous story of shapeshifters of the southwest, manitous of the north, and Celtic genii loci is truly wonderful. Read this book! And, Mr. de Lint, was it serendipidous, or did you know about wise older women and spiders in some of the Plains Tribes? That is fairly esoteric, I think (I got it from my granny). At any rate, it makes me respect the way the author tosses together all the different lores to come up with such engaging stories.
Thank you!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Geekie Pixie on August 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I totally enjoyed this book. However, it read more like an action adventure fantasy, than a typical DeLint novel. I found that I was more interested in the actions taken than the thoughts/motives driving the characters in this novel. If you are looking for a typical DeLint, you will find some of it here, but you will find more action and force than you normally see. I have noticed that seems to be a trend, though. There was quite a "big action" feel to the end of "Somewhere to be Flying", too. I do recommed you pick this up if you are a big DeLint fan. IF YOU'VE NEVER READ DE LINT, then go back & buy the three short story collections, first, to get yourself familiar with his people and his environment. You will enjoy this book much more if you do; it will give you a sense of history to the story and the characters.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Donna Quattrone on May 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In "Forests of the Heart" Charles DeLint once again brings magic to life. This time around, la brujeria is closely intertwined with the Celtic folklore and Native American influences that DeLint is famous for. The tale is set in the already well-loved town of Newford, though it also travels to the Sonoran desert and, of course, the Spiritworld. Some of the author's most popular characters (including Jilly, my personal favorite) make cameo appearances, but the book is peopled by fresh new faces that instantly engage the imagination and touch the heart. As in his other works, the folkloric elements weave a spell that resonates with a depth that connects past, present and future. The action in the plot makes for another ceaseless page-turner that sings of timeless truths and delights in no small measure. DeLint fans will not fail to be thrilled by his latest contribution, though anyone interested in mythic fiction or unrban fantasy will be just as enchanted by the promise of magic that "Forests of the Heart" brings.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Zuercher on September 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book a great deal. As I said in the title, it was different from all his other books, in that it included the Native American/Hispanic point of view a good deal, instead of his usual Celtic/European. It also was much darker than many of the previous books. The characters have wretched family lives, like many of his characters, and in some cases, in this book, they can't overcome that. Most of the time, they do. The darker overtones do not take away from the book; rather, they add a dimension that one never knew was missing. The characters are intriguing as usual: the multitude of petite female characters, usually with short hair; the owner of Gypsy Records, a place that has been described but infrequently entered; Musgrave Wood, a thoroughly enigmatic character (down to gender); and Ellie, another one of his artists.
Being able to see his usual patterns does not make this any less of a book; no, rather it adds a dimension of familiarity to a story that is otherwise new. I enjoyed reading it a good deal, and would certainly recommend the book to any Charles de Lint fan.
However, I do feel compelled to admit, this is not the best place to start. Read _Dreams Underfoot_ or _Memory and Dream_ first to get the feel of the theme before trying the variations.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My opinion of this magical book disagrees with some of the opinions below. I feel that de Lint explores new Newford territory with each book he writes and the wonderful passages of Hispanic lore (which are particularly beautifully written) give this book a rich new texture and flavor and make it a terrific addition to the Newford opus. Although Memory and Dream remains my personal favorite Newford book this one comes a very close second.I also loved the excursion to Arizona where de Lint's characters bump up against some desert creatures from Terri Windling's fiction and art: her desert faeries, the rabbit woman (a relative of Thumper's no doubt!), etc. I love it when writers share their worlds and visions like this (Tim Powers and James P. Blaylock have characters who appear in each other's books, for instance) and it was such a treat to come across it here and made me smile. If you're new to either de Lint or Windling's work, read this one, then read The Wood Wife...and then be sure to read all the rest of the terrific Newford series.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
Charles de Lint is one of my favorite authors. Trader and The Onion Girl, in particular, are standout examples of his standout talent for blending our reality with myth, and getting readers to question the division between the two. Both books are explorations of humanity, spirituality, creativity, and love, succeeding where Forests of the Heart fails. The trials in Forests seem somewhat implausible, the characters largely undeveloped, and key relationships aren't given enough space to unfold into credibility, much less life. There are some good patches, especially in his development of Bettina's character (if not her language skills), but this book really feels like a formulaic return to Newford for no reason other than satisfying deLint's ravenous fans. If you are collecting the Newford books, then by all means get this one. It's certainly stronger than the early short stories of Dreams Underfoot and deLint's other, more experimental starting work. If you're only looking at this book because some starry-eyed deLint fan such as myself told you to read his work, though, please do yourself a favor and start off with either Trader or his short-story collection Tapping the Dream Tree. Either book - Tapping especially - will help you to get your feet wet in the world of Newford without completely overwhelming you with characters you haven't yet gotten to know, and still show you how good an author deLint can be.
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