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Jack of Kinrowan: Jack the Giant-Killer and…

Jack of Kinrowan: Jack the Giant-Killer and Drink Down the Moon

by Charles de Lint

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Jack of Kinrowan (Omnibus 1-2)

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This is an omnibus edition containing "Jack the Giant-Killer" and its sequel, "Drink Down the Moon." I'd read the first novel before, but not the second.
Both concern two young human women – Jacky, and her best friend Kate, who turn out to be destined to be particularly useful to Faerie – the magical world which co-exists with our own, but which most people do not see. Although much reduced in modern times, the Seelie and Unseelie courts are still in conflict with one another – not to mention there may be other and greater threats. Although untried and seemingly unlikely heroes, Jacky and Kate may be the only ones who can save Kinrowan. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
In Jack the Giant Killer, the first of two novellas in this book, Jacky Rowan has just realized that her life is not going where she wants it to go. She drifts along, refusing to take care of her life and just staying at home doing nothing. She decides to change her life after a nasty breakup. In a fit of pique, she goes out drinking alone. Staggering home, she sees a little man being chased by 9 men on motorcycles. She tries to help him, but the little man is killed. She runs to a nearby house to try to get help, but no one answers the door. She runs back to where the little man's body was, only to see it disappear, leaving behind only a red cap.

The next day, she almost convinces herself that the alcohol was just making her see things that weren't there, but she can't explain where she got the cap from. She puts it on and starts to see people straight out of Faerie. She eventually finds out that the Unseelie Court has been getting stronger and stronger and has actually stolen the local Laird's daughter. The Seelie Court is so weak that everyone is afraid to go in search of the poor girl. Jacky decides to just go looking herself. With a hob's stitcheries giving her invisibility and swiftness, the help of her best friend Kate, and a whole heap of a Jack's luck, Jacky sets out to set the local Faerie courts to rights.

I loved how Jack becomes Jacky in this story. Who says women can't be clever, lucky tricksters? She fills the role of Jack perfectly, coming up with ingenious solutions to problems and avoiding pitfalls in the tradition of the best fairy tales. I also loved how Jacky reached out and took control of her life. It obviously can be done, but it's usually easier to just keep going with the flow. It takes real bravery to make a real change.

What I have always loved about Charles de Lint is the way he weaves fantasy into modern life. Yeah, urban fantasy is common now, but de Lint was one of the earliest authors in the genre. Reading this for the first time years ago, I loved how urban Faerie have developed a tolerance for iron. And why wouldn't the Wild Hunt appear on Harleys? This is taking place in the 20th century after all. I just liked the idea that there is more to the world than meets the eye, and fairies are not fragile creatures who can only survive in the wilds. They would have to be adaptable.

I love Charles de Lint because of his characters. I can't say that Jacky and her friend Kate are some of my favorites, but I do love to read about their friendship. They are silly and brave and honest with each other, and neither would ever abandon the other.

The other novella, Drink Down the Moon, was not as strong for me. Jacky has gotten a little over-confident and makes some big mistakes. As a result, an evil force has wrought havoc on the wild faerie and has started causing big damage in her area of Faerie, Kinrowan. Kate is the true hero who realizes what's going on and starts acting on it.

There are two parallel plots throughout most of this story. I was most interested in Jacky and Kate's story. On a straight read, it gets a little old to read about the humans Johnny and Henk going through the same bewilderment that Jacky and Kate went through as they adapted to Faerie in Jack the Giant Killer. The books were published years apart and reprinted together later, so that's not entirely de Lint's fault.

The wild faeries that Johnny and Henk stumble onto are a little too belligerent and blood-thirsty for my taste. They have been through a lot, but it's not the humans' fault. I did like mercurial Jemi and her relationship with Johnny, but the rest were very angry and bitter.

So, 4 stars for Jack the Giant Killer and 3 stars for Drink Down the Moon. I'll round up to 4 because I love de Lint so much. His Newford books are still my favorites, but this was a very strong entry in his body of work. ( )
1 vote JG_IntrovertedReader | Apr 3, 2013 |
I found this book excellent the first time I read it, several years ago. It wasn't quite as good the second time around, but perhaps that was only because I wasn't as interested in the source material this time. All in all, its a very good book, well written, keeps you reading. A classic urban fairytale. I liked the characters, and it kept me interested. There were no dull moments. ( )
  Mortumi | May 21, 2012 |
Jack of Kinrowan by Charles de Lint

Comprising of :

1 - Jack the Giant Killer

This story, set in modern-day Ottawa, tells the story of Jacky Rowan, who stumbles across Faerie magic one night and impulsively offers her help to the beleaguered Sidhe (de Lint having transported Faerie-kind from the Old Country (Ireland) to the New Country (Canada)).

Though I can't find any fault with the book, somehow, the story didn't grab me. The genre (urban fantasy) doesn't usually work for me - the disparity between gritty, industrialised reality and ethereal fantasy realms is too harsh for me to reconcile. So I'm giving this 3 stars, though I suspect it deserves more.

2 - Drink Down the Moon

This story worked better for me. It is also about Jacky Rowan and her friend Kate Hazel (known as Crackernuts) in the seelie world (that's 'good guys' in kid-speak) helping to fend off the unseelie host (what my kids would call 'bad guys'); but it also introduces new characters, with musicians helping the fiaina Sidhe - in the person of the Pook of Puxhill - who owe no allegiance to either the seelie or unseelie courts.

Maybe there was more fantasy in this, or maybe I was used to the setting, but I found this more readable. I like the way the humans, now working in the Faerie (not fairy) world, find their way through the magic, and find allies in various faerie creatures along the way.

Just to add, native Ottawans - or anyone else familiar with the city - will probably be thrilled to recognise local landmarks (and discover their equivalent in Faerie)

( )
  humouress | May 19, 2012 |
This is one of Charles de Lint earlier books and the writing is not as polished but still a great read. I like that the main character is a girl and that she is learning about herself and her power as a women. This is a great girl power story that would be appropriate for the tween and YA crowd. I like the twisting of the fairy tale character Jack the giant killer and the blending of old wild magic. ( )
  redswirl3 | Nov 25, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles de Lintprimary authorall editionscalculated
Canty, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Red is the color of magic in every country, and has been so from the very earliest times. The caps of fairies and musicians are well-nigh always red.
—W. B. Yeats,
from Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry
Though she be but little, she is fierce.
—William Shakespeare, from A Midsummer Night's Dream
Rowan am I and I am sister to the Red Man
my berries are guarded by dreamless dragons
my wood charms the spells from witches
and in the wide plains my floods quicken
—Wendlessen, from The Calendar of the Trees
Sun & fire & candlelight
To all the world belong
But the moon pale & the midnight
Let these delight the strong.
—Robin Williamson, from "By Weary Well"
Where the wave of moonlight glosses ...
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances,
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight...
W.B. Yeats, from The Stolen Child"
For MaryAnn and Terri and dedicated to the memory of K.M. Briggs (1898-1980)also for Donna Gordon
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The reflection that looked back at her from the mirror wasn't her own.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312869592, Paperback)

Jack of Kinrowan
An acknowledged classic of contemporary fantasy, Jack of Kinrowan brings together in one volume Charles de Lint's rollicking saga of wild faerie magic on the streets of the city.

Jack, the Giant Killer
A faceless gang of bikers on Wild Hunt through the streets of present-day Ottawa hurtles young Jacky Rowan across the threshold into the perilous land of Faerie. There, to her dismay, she is hailed as the Jack of Kinrowan, a once-and-future trickster hero whose lot is to save the Elven Courts from unimaginable evil.

Drink Down the Moon
Once the realm of Faerie drew its power from the Moon herself. But now a ghastly creature has stolen that power and enslaved the Fair Folk--and Jacky Rowan herself. Only Johnny Faw, a hadsome fiddler unaware of his magical gifts, has the power to set them free.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:46 -0400)

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