Saturday, 31 May 2008

Waifs & Strays by Charles De Lint

Mythic fiction is at its best in this anthology of stories of memorable heroines, rooted not in a secondary world but in an urban environment. The author introduces each selection, providing insight and interesting biographical information. The subject of two stories is a 16-year-old vampire named Apples who receives "the Gift" from a stranger during a Bryan Adams concert. She hopes to "turn" her sister Cassie when she is older, if she agrees, so they can live together forever. Poking fun at the television version of a teenage vampire, the heroine offers a more pragmatic view of her lot in life as she avenges evil doings in her neighborhood. In the section "Bordertown," where magic and reality coexist, an elf named Manda saves the life of a Harley-riding black man who is the neighborhood peacekeeper in a city rife with prejudice and violence. Elements of Robin Hood, Merlin, Native American mythology, and Celtic music weave through each story. Some of the heroines are humans who briefly tiptoe into a magical realm or are skeptical about its existence. De Lint's characters are often lonely and intelligent misfits whose self-discovery triumphs over plot. Described as "urban fantasy," these stories represent a hybrid genre for readers who only want one arm through the door into another world.

My View

Another fantastic collection from Charles De Lint, this collction is about teenagers and possibly more Young Adult focussed. I loved the first three stories being about Merlin, Vampires and fairies.

There was a really good cross section of characters here and the last couple of storis I found nost as good as the first but, another really good mixed assortment of stories.

My favourite story of the bunch was 'Sisters' about 2 sisters called Cassie and Apple one of whom is a vampire, and whether or not she should 'turn' her sister.

Loved this so another definite one to read from CDL, can this guy do no wrong?


Rhinoa said...

I adored this collection and would recommend it to anyone unsure where to start with his writing. It is such a great introduction to his style and to the Newford characters. A+ from me!

Carl V. said...

This is one I really look forward to reading. I read Moonlight and Vines earlier this year and was blown away by it.