Friday, March 13, 2009

Woods and Waters Wild by Charles de Lint

In this third and final compilation of his early tales, de Lint shows his growth from a new laborious writer to an old hand. His first stories, under the heading of “Pastriches” are, as the author himself admits, a little painful to read. These “high” fantasies are so overly descriptive and stiff, that it is hard to recognize any talent. However, these are followed by the tales of Angharad, which later were the bases for his book “Into the Green”, and it is in these further tales that his real talent and a style of his own begins to show.

From there on de Lint spins tales of great promise, relying more on his own imagination than that of authors he admires. His retellings of the ballads of Thomas the Rhymer are very good and so it is almost a shame that his interests have turned away from this line of writing.

Not only is this book is a wonderful insight to an author’s mind - one that would inspire any budding writer – but also is book of delightful fantastical tales that are a pleasure to read.