Moonheart: A truly satisfying read

Charles de Lint MoonheartCharles de Lint MoonheartMoonheart by Charles de Lint

Sara and her uncle Jamie live in Tamson House, the old family mansion that takes up a street block in Ottawa. While Sara runs their cluttered curiosity shop, Jamie spends his days studying the arcane and playing host to the eccentrics and homeless people who come and go through Tamson House. Sara and Jamie’s interests collide when Sara discovers an old gold ring that seems to draw her into an ancient past — a past where Welsh and Native American mythology comes alive. But not only does the ring pull Sara in, it draws Tamson House, and all its occupants, with it.

Moonheart was a truly satisfying read for me. I fell in love with Tamson House — just the idea of a big sprawling mansion that exists in two worlds is enough to fascinate me. Tamson House was my favorite “character” in Moonheart but, as rarely happens, I liked almost all of the characters in this novel. They feel real and alive, with distinct backgrounds, personalities, and motivations. I enjoyed watching them react to their strange situations and interact with each other.

Another aspect of Moonheart that works especially well is the mix of the modern and ancient. It doesn’t feel at all unreasonable when Blue is racing his motorcycle through ancient Wales. In many ways, Moonheart reminded me of Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood and Lavondyss, two of my favorite fantasy novels. In each of these stories, an old house exists in both the modern world and on the edge of an old dark forest full of myth and legend. I suppose I just can’t resist this type of story and de Lint does it so well.

There is plenty of mystery, suspense, and action in Moonheart, and even some terror, too. I was completely enthralled the whole way through as I listened to Paul Michael Garcia superbly narrate Blackstone audio’s version. Moonheart is an enchanting story.


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KAT HOOPER is a professor at the University of North Florida where she teaches neuroscience, psychology, and research methods courses. She occasionally gets paid to review scientific textbooks, but reviewing speculative fiction is much more fun. Kat lives with her husband and their children in Jacksonville Florida.

View all posts by Kat Hooper

6 comments

  1. I really want to read this! I’m such a sucker for otherworldly houses.

  2. Holly Yates /

    Ah! I haven’t read much of de Lint, but your review has piqued my interest.

  3. I am almost finished with “Mythago Wood”. I’m not familiar with de Lint, but I’ll have to check this out.

  4. Kelly, I’m sure you’ll love it!
    Holly, I’ll definitely be reading more de Lint soon.
    CTGT, if you like Mythago Wood, I think you’ll like Moonheart.

  5. Thanks Kat. I’m not sure how I missed “Mythago Wood” back in the day, but it was such an enjoyable read I’ll probably go back and reread it in the future. I tore through the book so quickly I know I missed things. Thanks for tie in with “Moonheart”, I’m going to move it onto and up my to-read pile.

  6. CTGT, make sure you don’t miss Lavondyss which is the sequel to Mythago Wood and, I think, better.

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