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Svaha Paperback – November 18, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; First Edition edition (November 18, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312876505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312876500
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,696,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"De Lint is as engaging a stylist as Stephen King, but considerably more inventive and ambitious." --The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

"Opening de Lint's work is like stepping through a mirror." --Los Angeles Daily News

"De Lint is a romantic; he believes in the great things, faith, hope, and charity (especially if love is included in that last), but he also believes in the power of magic--or at least the magic of fiction--to open our eyes to the world." --Edmonton Journal

About the Author

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.

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

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
De LInt is one of my all time favorites.
Lynette
Readers of HIERO'S JOURNEY will fully relish this great tale.
Harriet Klausner
I just finished reading Svaha for perhaps the 6th time.
Tamara Kilbreth Shaw

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
As the twenty-first century is half way through its final decade, the world is a terrible place to live except for the Enclaves. Most of the residents of the planet live in polluted communities ruled totally by money and greed with things turning worse all the time as the world nears collapse under the weight of destruction and devastation and dissolution. On the other hand, the Enclave is a clean environment where the tribes thrive in peace. The powers of the disease ridden environs outside the Enclave blame the problems on the Tribes as a means of diverting accountability by using a convenient scapegoat to silent the masses.
A flyer containing an Enclave technological chip that could help cleanse the world crashes in the outside. Afraid that it will be misused, the Enclavers send Gahzee into the precarious mess to retrieve the chip before the outside world begins encroachment on the Enclaves.
SVAHA is a reprint of the classic tale of Native American magic mingling in a world on the eve of destruction caused by self-interests polluting the environment and the minds of the people. The story line is fast-paced, filled with action, and loaded with fully developed characters representing different sides of the conflict. This novel shows why Charles de Lint has been so highly regarded by fans of science fiction and fantasy for well over a decade. Readers of HIERO'S JOURNEY will fully relish this great tale.

Harriet Klausner
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Julia Walter VINE VOICE on January 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
I really like de Lint's urban fantasy for its grittiness and despair which exists alongside its hope and beauty. I would call this book science fiction-- it takes place in the future and deals with technology we clearly don't have. It also deals with Native American/ Aboriginal spirituality and Dreamtime. It's a beautiful quest book about creating community in an awful time and place between people who are not terrible and not immediately identifiable as 'community.' I am very glad to see this book is now in print again, it deserves a large audience. I had to wait for years to find a copy, you won't have to.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kieri VINE VOICE on January 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
I love, love, LOVE de Lint. But Svaha...Svaha left me a little cold. I enjoyed reading it, sure, but it didn't affect me the way his books usually do. Part of the problem, I think, is that I don't think even de Lint knew what he wanted this book to be about. There is an element of Japanese culture, the cliched wastelands, the mandatory Native spirituality...but nothing really tying any of them together. The book revs up an adrenaline high early on, keeps it going, and then just ENDS. In, like, a page, the story reaches its climax and conclusion, and the reader is left thinking, "What? It's DONE?" The story doesn't feel finished to me. There is also the annoying gratuitous character death, which is really atypical for de Lint. He keeps introducing these characters, mostly walking sci-fi charicatures, and then kills them off. Also, there was what I have come to call the "Wyrd Science" problem--the panoramic view of the future, the technology--basically, all the sci-fi stuff just sounded sort of off to me.
Don't get me wrong, here...the writing is pretty damn good, and a bad de Lint is better than a great Nina Kiriki Whatsername any day. But this just didn't quite work for me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Naturally, I am a huge fan of Charles DeLint's work. Svaha, in particular, being among the best due to the darker, semi-apocalyptic landscape of the setting. DeLint is a master of creating magical fantasy in gritty urban worlds. I like the feel of of the abandoned industrial world bearing down of those who once gave life to it. The Enclave also has some intriguing possibilties unexplored by DeLint as yet. Personally, I would like to see a return to this setting, but not as much as I'd like to see Tamson House appear in my front yard.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tamara Kilbreth Shaw on February 14, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just finished reading Svaha for perhaps the 6th time. Each time I read it, I get more from the book. While it is a super book to read if you want to experience a post-apocalyptic adventure story, if you read it for that alone, you're missing so much. The mixture of Native American and Japanese cultures, the struggle between honor, duty and the need for change, all of these combine to create a world of teaching.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julia Rampke on November 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Before they began reprinting "Svaha" I managed to find a first printing copy in a used book store - yay! This is one of his older publications, and I've found that some of de Lint's earlier works are a little more quirky, a little less formula than his newer ones. In many ways, that's quite desireable, and I find "Svaha" to be a great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Berger on April 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
The tale itself is well done, De Lint is always a masterful storyteller. The world he brings alive is robust, diverse and very reminscent of the cyberpunk genre. The only problem with the book is i think it should have been longer. About half way through i felt as if i was being dragged through the plot, and it started to get predictable as the pace picked up. When i finished, it was very anti-climactic. Still, its a beautiful tale - i like the style of telling a story from several viewpoints - its not done enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Shreeves on July 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
tl;dr: <Worth the $4 I paid for it, but if you want depth, go read his Newford stuff. Or William Gibson.>

In Svaha, Charles De Lint tackles a fairly cut-and-paste dystopian cyberpunk setting, adding only a Native American element to keep in touch with his core of fantasy writing.

Svaha is set in a 21st century where Indian tribes have regained their land and sealed themselves away from the world with superior technology. Their lives in Utopian Enclaves are as stereotypically complacent and superior as any Amerind tagalong could wish them to be. The world outside of the Enclaves, is, as one might expect, a completely ruined nigthmare, split between scavengers living in the ruins and shining Metroplexes in what used to be North American cities, run by, of course, Japanese corporations.

The main character, Gahzee is an Amerind scout who must turn his back on the Enclave and venture out into the wild to protect the secret of their technology.

And you can stop there.

Beyond this, the characters are generally likable, but one-dimensional, the plot predictable, and all the high points of the cyberpunk genre are duly touched upon without anything groundbreaking. The Native American element is interesting, but de Lint seems to be working so hard to fill the sci-fi architecture that he has no time to truly work his magic.

By the time Gahzee comes around to standing up to his tribe in defense of the... yada yada yada, we have only really seen enough of Native American culture to paint a thin, patchy whitewash over a tired, borrowed ending.

Is it a good de Lint story? Not particularly. Is it a bad cyberpunk story? Not really. Unfortunately, 5 years after Neuromancer, being 'just' a level cyberpunk story is far from enough.
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