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Muse and Reverie    by Charles de Lint order for
Muse and Reverie
by Charles de Lint
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2009 (2009)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

As is often the case with short story collections, Charles de Lint's fifth compendium, Muse and Reverie, is a mixed bag of thirteen Newford shorts. Along with a myriad of his other fans, I can't get enough of the author's urban fantasy, though I do enjoy the magical stories more than those exploring the afterlife.

In Somewhere in My Mind There is a Painting Box, the author addresses the allure of the otherworld versus the appeal of 'everyday magic'. Refinerytown has fun questioning whether art creates magic or simply reflects it. In A Crow Girl's Christmas, mischievous Maida and Zia get greedy for candy canes. Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion might make you wonder about your feline friends. Riding Shotgun looks at choices made in life - and in the afterlife. Sweet Forget-Me-Not tells of an ephemeral romance. And That Was Radio Clash is about second chances.

I especially liked The Butter Spirit's Tithe, a variation on Tam Lin, set to music. Da Slockit Light is about well intentioned people not always getting it right. The Hour Before Dawn is about things left undone by the dead - and by the living. The Newford Spook Squad is an official Ghostbusters style unit. In Sight is about 'the gift of possibilities'. And The World in a Box shows how the best intentions can result in the worst of unintended consequences.

As always in these short story collections, Muse and Reverie offers a delightful range of magical entertainment for Newford fans.

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