Published: 2005 by Orb Books
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
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This is my second book for the Once Upon a Time V challenge. The novel, like most of Charles de Lint’s, is urban fantasy set in the fictional city of Newford.
In de Lint’s world, the animal people are shapeshifting spirits who have been on the earth since creation. When Lily, a photographer, is attacked in an alleyway, she finds herself drawn into a conflict between the shapeshifters that has the potential to end the world.
De Lint is spectacular, as always, but I enjoyed Forests of the Heart a lot more. This book had a lot of characters that didn’t really come together until almost the end of the book. In fact, I found it hard to even decide whose story to focus on when I summarized the book, because there isn’t really a distinctive main character. I really did enjoy it a lot; just not as much as other Charles de Lint novels. If you’re new to Charles de Lint, you probably want to start out with a different novel and then progress to this one later.
However, I really loved how much of the Crow Girls that we see in this book. Maida and Zia are two punky mischievous tomboys who live in a tree, like eating sugar, and happen to be Crow spirits who helped to create the world. They kind of remind me a bit of my little sisters. Seeing so much of the Crow Girls alone makes the book worth reading.