Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Jack The Giant-Killer

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Jack The Giant-Killer (Jack of Kinrowan) (1987) Charles de Lint

Jack-of-KinrowanJack of Kinrowan is actually two books, that were later published as a single compendium: Jack the Giant-Killer and Drink Down the Moon. I’ll write about them separately, as they’re two separate books, published three years apart, even though you can only find Jack of Kinrowan to purchase anymore.

Jacky Rowan has just been dumped. After an argument, her boyfriend has walked out the door, and even if he returned, she doesn’t want him back. What she does want is to figure out what’s wrong with her–what was missing. So she goes out to get roaring drunk, and discovers that faerie isn’t a myth, and that most of the beings there aren’t very nice, when she sees a tiny man–a hob she later discovers–murdered by a group of dark bikers.

There are a couple things about this story, first of which is that one single song placed the story VERY firmly in time.

Leaning forward, she turned on Judith’s radio, switching stations until one came on playing the Montreal group Luba’s latest single, “Let It Go.”

You know what? Twenty years later, I still love that song. (The song starts about 54 seconds into the video.)

However, aside from that single reference to a song from 1984 (and I suppose the lack of cell phones), like most of Charles de Lint’s books, the rest of the story could have taken place at any time, because it is the elements of faerie that suck you into the story.

As I said, this isn’t the happy fairy land of Tinkerbell and sexy elves.

“The time of darkness has come to our world–to Faerie… (H)ere the Unseelie Court grows stronger than ever before. Would you know why? Becuase your kind will always believe in evil before it believes in good. There are so many of you in this land, so many feeding the darkness…”

But let me be clear, this story isn’t a dark trudge. Bad things happen, but with all of Charles de Lint’s stories, somehow, even in the worst parts, the hope shines through.

This is, as noted, one of his earlier books. The story telling isn’t quite as smooth and even as his later stories, but it’s still quite good, and well worth reading.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Orb


Categories: 8/10, Fantasy, Paper


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