Canadian author, Charles de Lint is, perhaps, my favourite urban fantasy writer–at least, he’s the first one that hooked me. And, of all his books, Widdershins is the one I return to time and again. He’s a poet and musician; both talents seep through his work. Interweaving the fantastical world of humans and faeries (both European and Indigenous) with Celtic traditional music, de Lint’s pure voice catches my heart.
Here are three favourite quotes from Widdershins:
Music needs to live and breathe; it’s only pure when it’s performed live with nothing hidden–neither its virtuosity nor the inevitable mistakes that come when you try to push it into some new, as yet unexplored place. It’s improvisational jazz. It’s the jam, the session. The best music is played on street corners and pubs, in kitchens and on porches, in the backrooms of concert halls and in the corner of a field, behind the stage, at a music festival. It’s played for the joy and the sadness and the connection it makes between listeners and players.
The fates of men and fairies weren’t inexorably etched in stone. If there were weavers, making a pattern on their looms of how lives were lived, they could only nudge and hint, not force fate to unfold on some strict schedule. And a seer’s vision saw only probabilities, not truth. The only truth was now. The past was clouded by memory; the future, in the end forever a mystery. Even to a seer.
As I was straightening up, my gaze became level with that of one of the small twig and leaf fairies that were regulars at the mall revels. She was lying on the roof of the car, pixie-featured and grinning, head propped on her elbows, her vine-like hair pulled back into a thick Rasta ponytail. She wasn’t really made of twigs and leaves and vines–or at least I didn’t think so–but her skin was the mottled colour of a forest, all greens and browns. (Hazel)