“Spiritwalk” by Charles de Lint

“Spiritwalk” by Charles de LintSpiritwalk by Charles de Lint
Series: Ottawa and the Valley #2
Published: 1993 by Tor
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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“Spiritwalk” is the sequel to Moonheart, which I read a few months ago.  I waited to read it until reading “Moonheart,” but I think that it would have functioned adequately as a standalone.

Before I get to my actual review, I’d like to share the conversation between my boyfriend and I when the book came in the mail:

Mike:  You got another book in the mail. Why is there a furry on the cover?

Me:  It’s not a furry, it’s a coyote spirit!  It’s a shapechanger that lives in a parallel plane of existence!

Mike:  So it chooses to look like that?  Sounds like a furry to me.

So, to introduce this book, I will state very clearly that it is NOT about furries.  (For anyone reading this who does not know what a furry is, trust me, you’re better off not knowing.)

“Spiritwalk” is set in Ottawa at Tamson House, a haven for artists and other individuals who don’t quite fit in with normal society.  Most of the residents of Tamson House don’t know that it is also a gateway between various Otherworlds.  When a man attempts to harness the House’s power to achieve his own immortality, its residents are whisked away into a primeval forest to confront dangers unknown…

“Spiritwalk” has an interesting structure, as it is divided into parts which can each function as standalone stories.  The overall plot of the novel is a unification of each individual storyline, in which readers encounter  Merlin, mad witches, biker gangs, creepy owls, and ghostly computers.  Oh, and the coyote spirit who is totally not a furry.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys mythic urban fantasy.  I could say more about it, but it’s very similar to what I’ve said about Charles de Lint’s other novels–it features a blend of Celtic and Native American mythologies against the backdrop of a more modern setting, with the central message that everything isn’t quite as it seems and that there is magic and beauty in the world.

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6 comments

  1. I do not know what a furry is but I trust you and will not try to find out.
    I think I would love to read this one.
    The Charles de Lint books I read so far had no American Indian Mythology, I like that additional twist.

    1. I think in general that it’s really neat how Charles de Lint can incorporate mythology into North American life. It’s something that we don’t get a lot of here, considering that our country has only existed for a couple hundred years.

  2. Sounds very interesting, especially how it incorporates Celtic and Native American myth/folklore. Oh, and I enjoyed the little tidbit of the conversation between you and your boyfriend…pretty funny!

  3. Yeah, I don’t know what a furry is either…when I hear it it sounds like a gremlin or something. This sounds awesome though, especially with the folklore. Also wow, Merlin and biker gangs in the same book? Cool!