cover image Jack the Giant Killer

Jack the Giant Killer

Charles de Lint. Ace Books, $16.95 (202pp) ISBN 978-0-441-37969-9

In his eighth fantasy novel, the author of Moonheart and Yarrow turns the stories of ""Jack the Giant Killer'' and ``Jack and the Bean Stalk'' into a contemporary tale set in Ottawa. Jacky Rowan's boyfriend of three months has just dumped her because she has begun to bore him. Feeling empty, confused and rejected, Jacky meets Dunrobin Finn, a gnome who introduces her to a parallel reality, Faerie, which she can see and enter into by wearing a magic red cap. Having recently witnessed the murder of a gnome by evil bikers, Jacky's meeting with Finn inspires her with the renewed vitality to embark upon a quest to save the daughter of a Laird of Kinrowan, who is being held in a Giant's Keep. Jacky's best friend, Kate Hazel, agrees (at first skeptically) to help her. The pair flee and tackle all manner of bikers and ``bogans'' (evil entities that look like winos in non-Faerie reality), and Jacky finds a replacement for her wayward love in Eilian, the hunkish son of a Laird of Dunlogan. Unfortunately, de Lint gives more weight to fantasy arcana than to more accessible universals, undercutting the potential ``cross-over'' appeal of this otherwise readable tale. (November)