What if magic really existed in our world? Magical creatures could be encountered on a city street. this happens in the fantasy sub-genre of Urban Fantasy. Charles de Lint is a master of this sub-genre. His creation of the Fantasy city of Newford has been the center of many collections of stories and books over the years. Tapping the Dream Tree is another collection of Newford stories that range through different aspects of the city and its denizens.
“The Buffalo Man” is a story mixing Native American and Celtic myth elements. It is the story of saving a spirit that lives as a homeless man. He is dying. Meran, an oak king’s daughter, and her bard husband Cerin try to help with their magic, which draws the young girl Jilly into a dangerous situation. This is an entertaining story that leads to a satisfying conclusion.
In “Forest of Stone,” Geordie faces changes with his life that he is not ready to undergo. His story coincides with a homeless who has lived a strange life. He wants to go to a Celtic h eaven but can’t until he dies. Geordie is torn about his long distance relationship and deciding to join his girlfriend. He must meet the request of the homeless man that helps him make a decision. Mr. de Lint creates a vivid story of characters dealing with change and the magic in the world.
“Embracing the Mystery” is an entertaining story with a nice theme. Sue wants to hear her friend’s dog speak again. She does not believe in magic, but explores ways to reconcile her friend’s suicide. Along the way she encounters a living Internet web site and the dream city of Mabon. Mr. de Lint provides a good story with the positive theme of there being some mystery in our lives. It is an entertaining story.
“Granny Weather” is the story of Sophie. Her friends keep telling her that she has fairy blood, but she does not believe it. She is a true dreamer and can enter another world of magic. Sophie is drawn into the dream world to save a witch and her boyfriend, but is not sure how to do it. This is a good story with a lot of twists. Mr. de Lint creates a vivid other world and interesting plot.
The last story, “Seven Wild Sisters,” is the longest in the book. This is the story of seven sisters whose family is touched by the world of fairy. Sarah Jane Dillard helps the older woman Lillian who lives in the hills behind her home. She hears stories about fairies from Lillian but does not believe in their existence. One day she finds a little man made of roots full of tiny arrows, taking him to Lillian. This drags her six sis Bters inadvertently into a struggle between two different groups. The story gives the reader a sense of wonder with its vivid descriptions and memorable characters. Some readers might find it the most entertaining story in the book.
Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles de Lint is another entertaining collection of Newford stories. The stories in this Urban Fantasy collection range from dark and edgy to humorous. Most of the stories are entertaining. They contain interesting characters and moving themes. It is a nice addition to stories of the Fantasy city of Newford.