The Wind in His Heart

Charles de Lint. PS, $40 (627p) ISBN 978-1-78636-316-9
Legendary entities, ordinary mortals, and individuals somewhere in between fill this wondrous tale set in the Arizona badlands (part of the same world as the fictional Canadian city of Newford, which de Lint last visited in 2009’s Muse and Reverie). Steve Cole has lived a mostly solitary life in the desert for years, but when he sees 16-year-old Sadie Higgins dumped from a car miles from anywhere, he can’t resist the urge to help the troubled young woman. His well-intentioned act is the first of a series of events that engulf his neighbors on the Kikimi reservation as well as many of the Cousins, animal and plant people who can also choose human shape. Sadie contacts Leah Hardin, a Newford blogger, to suggest that Steve is actually famous rocker Jackson Cole, and then falsely accuses Steve of rape. Meanwhile, the Cousins call in a Night Woman to dispense justice to a Kikimi who has led Cousin hunts. Thomas Corn Eyes, a potential shaman, must try to mediate. Aggie White Horse, a tribal elder older than anyone knows, and Calico, Steve’s Cousin lover, also have their parts to play in this tale that is ultimately about redemption. De Lint’s portrayal of the fictional Kikimi tribe is respectful and detailed, with well-rounded characters who avoid clichés. This magnificent story, full of the wonders of the human spirit and the powers of the otherworld, will thrill fantasy readers, including those unfamiliar with de Lint’s Newford stories. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/02/2018
Genre: Fiction
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