Yarrow

Yarrow

by Charles de Lint

Paperback(First Edition)

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Overview

From the acclaimed author of Moonheart and Memory and Dream

Cat Midhir had made a reputation as the author of popular fantasy novels. But the secret that her fans didn't know was that her Otherworld was no fantasy. Then, one night, a thief stole her dreams. Since then, she's been trapped in the everyday. And the Others are coming to find her...

Yarrow

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312863937
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 11/15/1997
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

Charles de Lint pioneered the urban fantasy genre with critically acclaimed novels and stories set in and around the imaginary modern North American city of Newford: The Onion Girl, Moonheart, The Ivory and the Horn, and the collection Moonlight and Vines, for which he won the World Fantasy Award. Among de Lint's many other novels are Mulengro, Into the Green, and The Little Country.

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Yarrow 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Stewartry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yet another book I haven't read in probably twenty years, Yarrow is the story of Cat Midhir, a fantasy novelist who, unbeknownst to everyone but herself, is dependent on her dreams for her writing. Every night she has found herself in another world, where she sits at the feet of the tall fae bard Kothlen as he spins tales, which she on waking weaves into her books. Every night of her life since she was very young she has had what for lack of better language she calls dreams - every night until three months ago, when she stopped dreaming at all, and because of that stopped writing. We the reader know what she cannot: there's an ancient creature called Lysistratus who feeds off dreams, off soul, and who finds her a rich source of sustenance. Quick note: why on earth call a soul/dream vampire "Lysistratus"?? There was a real Lysistratus in the 4th century who was a highly skilled sculptor (a creator), and there was the fictional Lysistrata, the Athenian heroine of Aristophanes's comedy about the women on both sides of a war deciding to withhold sex until peace could be achieved. Not, either of them, anything remotely appropriate for this character, which is unusual, especially if my assumption is right, that he took the name for himself. This was probably one of the first de Lint books I read, which helped lead to my reading more, which is by and large a good thing ... but if this was my first time reading it I'm not at all sure I'd pursue the author. It's not bad, at all; it's well-written, characters are well done, there's a good story, the setting (especially the Otherworld) is very good... I just didn't like it. I will, of course, being me, explain. First off, the main character. Cat Midhir is, we are told early in the book, sick unto death of explaining to everyone in the universe and his sister how her name is pronounced. Honey? I have to spell both my names to everyone in the universe, because both names have multiple variations. You should have taken a self-explanatory pseudonym if it's going to get to you this much, and you didn't, and it's an odd name so it will keep happening, so suck it up. And that's the thin end of the wedge, cracking open her character for the reader: there's not much there, there. She is a talented writer, but socially inept and alone (what ever happened to her parents? It's not a good thing that I can't remember if we're told). Now that her dreams have abandoned her, she can't write a single decent sentence, and I'm afraid I can't muster up a single spark of sympathy for her. I have delusions of authorship. I've had a couple of wild dreams that might someday, with a lot of work, become something readable. I have not ever had the ridiculous advantage of being able to sit at the feet of a bard, soak in his stories, and then write them down. We are assured that she took the stories deeper than Kothlen did, expanding, fleshing out the places he skimmed over and using her own gift of expression to turn them into best-selling novels... but we are also told several times that every word she tries to write without the umbilical cord of the Otherworld is "lifeless". I'll buy that she's not merely transcribing but actually writing - but how am I supposed to feel anything but mild contempt for a woman who has sponged off others for her livelihood? A woman who has never had to sit in front of a blank sheet of paper and search for what comes next in the story? Given a rich source like Kothlen, I'd be a best-seller too. If anything, her "writer's block" gives me a self-righteous and slightly perverse delight. Again, suck it up, honey, and sink or swim on your own damn merits. Wet dishrag, her. The other characters, as I said, are well done: Peter, the bookstore owner who has tentatively befriended her over the years and who becomes a true friend now; Ben, the cab-driver who has had a minor obsession with her since he read her first book (though I kept thinking he was an old man for
Kellswitch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite de Lint books, I read it back in high school and I just really identified with the lead character and so wanted her powers. Charles de Lint is one of the best at writing urban fantasy, he was in fact my introduction to it, and I love the mix of mysticism, darkness, depth and sheer beauty he brings to his stories and characters. When I read it I felt that Caitlin and the characters she created were as real as anyone I knew in the real world, and was totally sucked into the story and the dangers she was in. I was totally engaged in the world he created here and felt that the threat to Caitlin was real and there was no real guarantee that she would escape unscathed as de Lint doesn't always write happy endings for all his characters.
iftyzaidi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is urban fantasy from back when that did not automatically mean a formulaic vampire-werewolf-femme-fatale love triangle. Its a story about a group of people whose lives are intruded upon by an immortal human-like predator that feeds on dreams. The intended main course of his culinary tour of Ottowa is to be Cat, a fantasy author whose source of inspiration for her books comes from fantastical beings in a magical land that she is able to visit in her own dreams. Once her nocturnal sightseeing trips become snacks for the evil one, she suffers a major dose of writer's block. a genuine misanthrope who has only ever really connected to the beings she meets in her dreams, she is now cut off from her only friends and endangered by a mysterious assailant. Discovering and dealing with said assailaint can only come about if she breaks through her isolation and connects with the people around her.A decent urban fantasy tale, quiet dark in bits, which reminded me to some extent of Neil Gaiman's work. Entertaining but not exceptional.
TonyaSB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yarrow is about Cat, who lives in her dreams and floats through her real life without ever really living it. The place she goes to in her dreams is real and the people (such as they are) she meets are real. What appealed to me about this what that as a child I often wished that some of the places I fantasized about could be real and that I could interact with the characters in my favorite movies or books. I think I watched the Never Ending Story about 500 times (almost as much as the Breakfast Club or Annie but not quite)! Cat begins having problems when someone comes along and steals her dreams and she has to figure out how to interact with people more than superficially in her daytime world for the first time. Even after reading this I still wish sometimes I could go visit Willy Wonka or talk to the Last Unicorn.
1morechapter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I must confess that I read this book to kill three birds with one stone. I needed a `Y¿ title, a Canadian book, and a fantasy book so I could fit it into three challenges. I had always wanted to read de Lint anyway, so it seemed like a good fit. But, it really wasn¿t. This was my first foray into urban fantasy and while I¿m not giving up on it yet, I don¿t know if I really like the genre. Cat Midhir is an isolated Canadian fantasy writer who finds inspiration through her dreams. Suddenly, though, she has a severe writer¿s block and cannot find the reason for it. She confides in Peter, a bookshop owner, and the two become friends. Peter helps her to open up and even thinks he can fix her up with his friend Ben. Meanwhile, Cat soon realizes she is being stalked and is afraid to go to her own home at night. Afraid of being alone, she begins spending more and more time with Peter. This story actually reminded me a bit of Lisey¿s Story by Stephen King. I was uncomfortable with aspects of that story, and was even more so with this one. Yarrow was much too gritty for my taste, but I¿m usually in the minority on that score. On the positive side, de Lint knows how to build characters. I really, really liked the `good guys¿ in this and really hated the bad ones. I probably will try at least one more of de Lint¿s books before I make a final judgment. Any suggestions? 1986, 255 pp.
igor.kh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A psychic vampire is on the loose. An introvert fantasy author, with her dreams, is his victim of choice. She must reconcile her dreams with reality, finally reach out to those close to her, and, with their help, face her predator.Not particularly exciting or intense, but competent.
hairballsrus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Favorite de Lint, even if it's a slighter work. Loved the idea of the Otherworld of ideas for Cat. I really wanted to be her.
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