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.

SHARE:  facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail  FOLLOW:  facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrsstumblr

KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

View all posts by


  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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *