Oh, I was married in Gywnedd.
The story follows a wealthy uncle and niece, Jamie and Sara, who run an antique store and live in a patchwork Victorian on the park called Tamson House, which when you come right down to it, acts as a sort of TARDIS. The house could be a whole series unto itself, for sure. What a wonderful idea – and I wonder how many other bodies are buried in that courtyard garden…
Interestingly, even though this book was written in 1983, it did not have the dated feel of Howling Mad. The plot takes the usual plot turns: magic rings, vendettas, love stories, battles, and the-world-in-peril stakes, but de Lint’s writing is so comfortable in its saunter that it was still a delight to read: Now as the feeling of being shadowed came to him, he paused on the bridge and looked down at the water in the Rideau Canal. It had been lowered in anticipation of winter when it became the world’s longest ice rink. With the cessation of his own movement, the constant agitation of the city came over him in a rush. He took a couple of deep breaths, quieted the patter of his heart and drew on the stillness inside.
Lessons Learned: Write like the world is real, or course, and – although I myself have done it – perhaps there are enough the-entire-world-is-in-peril stories at large.
For your further delight, visit Charles de Lint.