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Jack of Kinrowan: Jack the Giant-Killer and Drink Down the Moon Paperback – July 2, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“There is no better writer now than Charles de Lint at bringing out the magic in contemporary life....The best of the post-Stephen King contemporary fantasists, the one with the clearest vision of the possibilities of magic in a modern setting.” ―Orson Scott Card

“A superb storyteller..de Lint has a flair for tales that blur the lines between the mundane world and magical reality.” ―Library Journal

“You open a de Lint story, and like the interior of a very genial Pandora's box, the atmosphere is suddenly full of deep woods and quaint city streets and a magic that's nowhere near so far removed as Middle Earth.” ―James P. Blaylock

From the Publisher

"In de Lint's capable hands, modern fantasy becomes something other than escapism. It becomes folk song, the stuff of urban myth." --The Phoenix Gazette

"There is no better writer now than Charles de Lint at bringing out the magic in contemporary life. . . . The best of the post-Stephen King contemporary fantasists, the one with the clearest vision of the possibilities of magic in a modern setting." --Orson Scott Card

"A superb storyteller . . . de Lint has a flair for tales that blur the lines between the mundane world and magical reality." --Library Journal

"You open a de Lint story, and like the interior of a very genial Pandora's box, the atmosphere is suddenly full of deep woods and quaint city streets and a magic that's nowhere near so far removed as Middle Earth." --James P. Blaylock

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st Orb Ed edition (July 2, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312869592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312869595
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) VINE VOICE on November 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Jack the Giant Killer", the first of the two books included in _Jack of Kinrowan_, tells the story of a depressed young woman named Jacky, stunned by her recent breakup, and seeing no point or direction in her life. But one night, she stumbles drunkenly into Faery. Upon hearing that the faery princess of Ottawa has been abducted by the evil Unseelie Court, she volunteers for a rescue mission--despite the fact that every Seelie faery in the city has chickened out and called it a lost cause. She joins forces with some interesting friends, and through luck and resourcefulness, fights the Unseelie Court. Jacky and her best friend, Kate Crackernuts, are wonderful characters, and I was glad to see them in the sequel, _Drink Down the Moon_, the other novel included in this book.
Unfortunately, _Drink Down the Moon_ is a little bit of a letdown after _Jack the Giant Killer_. It's still a three- or four-star book in its own right, but it wouldn't stand very well on its own, and Jacky and Kate have too-small roles. The novel's finest moments are those in which Jacky or Kate or both are present, but in _Drink Down the Moon_, Jacky herself has become the "rescue-fodder", and center stage is taken by characters that fail to engage the reader quite as much. I had hoped to see more of Eilian as well. What I really want is for de Lint to write a third installment, in which Jacky and Kate are prominent again, and perhaps challenge the Seelie Court itself, and ask the Laird a few hard questions--like why he's always out of town when he's needed most.
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Format: Paperback
Originally written an Charles De Lint's entry into the retold Fairy Tales for Adults series by Terri Windling. A series still (albeit slowly) being written today. _Jack the Giant Killer_ or Jack of Kinrown_ as it was known as in Canada (of course) took the story of "Jack and the Beanstalk" and set the story in modern day Ottawa, the book was originally released in 1986. De Lint liked the characters and world so much he went onto write a sequel to the novel entitled _Drink Down the Moon_ as unsatisfying second novel.

_Jack the Giant Killer_ follows Jacky Rowan,a thirty-something slacker whom (litterally) stumbles into faery on an emotionally charged drinking binge. After a few hurtful words said to her by her (now ex) boyfriend Will, Jacky goes off on a drinking binge. Shaken to the core by Will, her drinking binge lands her in the citys park where she witnesses something truly horrific carried out by the modern day incarnations of 'The Wild Hunt', a supernatural hunt of celtic legend that was said to include everyone from King Arthur to Odin among its midst. But you thankfully won't find ties to Camelot or Norse Mythology here (perhaps in creatures and beings only).

De Lint follows the usual Urban Fantasy idea that when man came to these shores he brought his gods and mythical beings with him in addition to those that were already here, what we have then in De Lint's world is the two courts of Faery legend, The Seelie and Unseelie courts, the Unseelie court taking dominance as our modern media influences man's belief and thus gives the dark court dominance. This is De Lint's non too subtle snap (at the time anyway) towards a media that was populated by horror movies rather then lighter hearted and fantasy movies.
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Format: Paperback
These books ('Jack the Giant Killer' and its sequel 'Drink Down the Moon') introduce the young adult best friends Jacky Rowan and Kate Hazel and chronicle their adventures in the faerie realm of modern Ottawa. In the first book we learn that Jacky, a young blonde woman, is in fact "a Jack," a being blessed by luck. As such she is the only hope of the good Faerie denizens of Ottawa. With a lot of her innate luck, Jacky and Kate and her new Faerie friends kill some giants and save the day.

The books are early works by de Lint (1987 and 1990) and read like rough drafts of such amazing later novels as 'Trader' and 'Someplace to Be Flying'. Both novels together are the same size as de Lint's later single novels. The slim size means that the background and characterization of the later novels is missing here. Jacky and Kate seem to fall into Faerie, and we follow their adventures. None of the humans in these stories seem to be bothered by such mundane things as jobs, histories, families, etc. This makes the characters seem rather two dimensional and flat.

This is not to say that the books aren't good. They are, and are very fun reads, like an action-packed episode of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' or something. But this isn't a book I'd re-read. It's light reading, nothing deep.

I also agree with the reviewer who was aggravated by the fact that it's Jacky's luck that saves the day. She doesn't work for any of her victories, they seem to just happen to her. Also, many of the horrible situations she finds herself in are ones her stupidity and idiocy get her into in the first place. It annoys me that Jacky is the hero since she's blessed by luck, and never punished for the fact she is constantly leading herself, her friends, and even the entire city, into ruin.
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