The Blurb on Other People’s Words – The Onion Girl

February 18, 2013 at 10:32 pm (fantasy, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , )

The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint

As I’ve mentioned before, while I’m a fantasy fan, I am very much a selective fantasy fan. Mr. De Lint is one of those fantasy authors – in his case urban fantasy – whom I have read before and I will definitely read again. There is a solid dose of realism to his fantasy fiction, the type of gritty biting edge, in places, that I adore. His characters are far from perfect (as characters should be in order for me to be able to relate to them), they go through great struggles and pain and they don’t always come out on the other end smelling like a rose. There is solid substance to this fantasy, not just spectacle and pageantry.

That being said, while I loved this book, it may not appeal to everyone. It is not a fast-paced read, nor is it a whimsical or flighty adventure filled with action. It certainly has its tense moments. It opens with a terrible accident and there are multiple incidents involving crime and violence, but much of the book is placid, emotional and introspective. It can also be a little difficult to follow at times because the narrative jumps around from real world to dream world and follows more than one character and chronology. I read it in drips and drabs between other things I was reading for review purposes and sometimes I found myself a little lost when I returned to it, having to back track a little to figure out where, when and with whom I was.

As a whole I think this is a wonderful book and well deserving of the World Fantasy Award. I’m fortunate enough to have a signed copy which I bought when Mr. de Lint made a local appearance here. The story is as multi-layered as the onion mentioned in the title and in my opinion, a firm five-star read.


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