Moonheart, a book review by Stella Brians

Moonheart by Charles de Lint

Book Review by Stella Brians {The Paperback Writer}

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I found Moonheart while looking for a fantasy novel to read, and I wanted a story that was different from Game of Thrones. I am very selective.  I look for something within the book that relates to me in an innate way, and for Moonheart it was the Amazon description of “mists, forests, fantasy, and folk music.” Another thing very interesting to me, is that it was written in the early eighties. . When I read a book, or write one for that matter I want to escape from technology and the modern world as much as possible. As readers I feel that part of the reason we read a book is to find some level of escapism.

I love folk music. And I love the writing of Charles de Lint, who is also a folk singer.

The story takes place in early eighties Ottawa Canada, which is somewhere I would very much like to visit at some point in time.  There are several central characters. Jamie Tamson–a middle aged man who writes, does paranormal research, and helps run an antique shop called The Merry Dancers. Sara Kendall,  is a young woman who likes to write novels, smoke rolled tobacco, and help her Uncle Jamie out with the antique store. Keiran is an apprentice of The Way, and  of an odd individual called Thomas Hengwr. Jamie and Sara live in an enchanted house known in Ottawa as “Tamson House.” This house is enormous, and welcomes all kinds of unusual people to stay as long as they would like. Blue, a heartfelt biker who has been changed for the better under the influence of Jamie and Sara is one example. The Merry Dancers is  important in the novel, because it is there that Sara discovers a small bag filled with an unusual painting, a bone disc, and a ring.

There are many, many other characters who the reader will become acquainted with during the book–but I think that the most important of these is Taliesin.

Taliesin has many references in other literature, but in Moonheart he is a bard who is very much in love with Sara. He is also handsome, and plays a harp. They meet on a beach when Sara gets lost while in The Otherworld with Keiran. A very important element in the story is that he and Sara share identical rings. Throughout the novel, Sara discovers that she loves him too.

Another very important element is The Otherworld–a place with many pockets of worlds and creatures–some good and some very evil. In The Otherworld there is an evil trying to get Sara, Thomas Hengwr and the ring that Sara wears.

Tamson house is under attack both on Earth and in The Otherworld, and it is up to Sara and her comrades to ensure that the evil known as Mal’ek’a does not get what it wants. If this happens, they will all be dead and the house destroyed.

Something I really love about Charles de Lint as an author is that he is so amazing at characterization. The story is told from constantly switching viewpoints, all very real. You come to understand each character as if you have been friends with this person or at the very least met them for coffee. His ability to  do this is inspiring, and also helps the reader to bond with the characters and story. The only thing that I wish was different about the book, was that there could have been more romance in it. I very much wanted to read more about the relationship between Taliesin and Sara. Although– it was a relief to know that they lived happily ever after.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that  enjoys a well written story, who loves animals, or who is looking for something different. There is not a bad thing about this book, and if I had a rating system I would give it five stars.

Another thing that I liked was that at the end of the book, Mr. Lint mentions all of the music he listened to while he wrote. One of those he listed was folk band  Silly Wizard. I was absolutely blown away by how amazing their music is.

Have a listen:

Where to buy Moonheart:

I had the pleasure to speak briefly with Charles de Lint on Goodreads, and he seems like quite the pleasant gentleman. He also sometimes answers questions.

Charles de Lint Goodreads

His website


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