Charles Vess

Books: Comics | Graphic Novels | Children's


The Book of Ballads (2004), Sandman, Stardust (1999)


A Circle of Cats (2003)

The Book of Ballads (2004) by Charles Vess

Publisher: Tor Books

Sandman with Neil Gaiman et al

Preludes and Nocturnes (1991), The Doll's House (1991), Dream Country (1991), Season Of Mists (1992), A Game Of You (1993), Fables And Reflections (1993), Brief Lives (1994), World's End (1994), The Kindly Ones (1996), The Wake (1997)

Stardust (1999) with Neil Gaiman


A Circle of Cats (2003) by Charles de Lint

A Circle of Cats

I received this book for my birthday from Brian and Stacie. (THANKS!) I'd placed it on my wish list solely because it was written by Charles de Lint, and as usual, I wasn't disappointed.

A Circle of Cats is about Lillian, a girl who loves to wander in the woods, trying to see the faeries she knows are out there, but always failing. Every morning she leaves part of her breakfast for the Apple Tree Man who had been around for as long as Lillian's aunt remembered, but only Lillian believes that the Apple Tree Man is more than just a tree. It is only when danger strikes that Lillian learns that the magic she believes in, is truly real.

Some of the characters, such as the Apple Tree Man, are familiar from Charles de Lint's other works, but prior knowledge is in no way necessary.

Except for the language, the story feels much like one Charles de Lint's short stories, although with fewer characters. As always this tale has the feel of a folk tale transplanted into modern times, although none of his tales are ones that I recognize.

Charles Vess has again done some lovely illustrations; his art always seems perfectly matched to the fairy tale like quality of the stories. (I also liked his illustration in his collaboration with Neil Gaiman on Stardust.

If you like Charles de Lint, then you'll most likely enjoy this story. My only issues is that I cannot remember whether an older Lillian appears in another Charles de Lint story with the Apple Tree Man. (Part of my mind thiks that the story may be ‘Somewhere In My Mind There Is a Painting Box' but I'm not certain.)

The book is rated ages 8 and up.