When Celtic folk musician Janey Little discovers a secret manuscript in an old attic trunk, strange and frightening things begin to happen. Janey’s perilous story, and the one she is reading—about spunky adolescent Jodi Shepherd, beset by the witchery of the evil Widow Pender—expertly weave two separate plot threads. A steadily mounting tension makes two small seaside villages in Cornwall come alive with danger, magic, and mystery. One of de Lint’s best-loved novels, The Little Country is a fantastic escape dealing with ancient standing stones, the power of music, and the warmth of true friendship.
This Triskell Press e-book contains a new Afterword by the author
Praise for The Little Country:
“A keeper, intricate and entertaining… I read it straight through in one evening!”
“What a great, galloping wonder of a book—deep and wide and witty and wise. And absolutely impossible to put down.
“An intricately structured novel, full of a wealth of detail about music, Cornwall, and things magical and arcane. I think it is one of de Lint’s best.”
“A must for all connoisseurs of high imagination,”
“A masterful blend of the sinister and the fantastic.”
Charles de Lint's masterwork, The Little Country, must stand as the finest novel of fantasy in 1990.
Charles de Lint is the best of the post-King fantasists, the one with the clearest vision of the possibilities of magic in a modern setting. …in The Little Country he never goes over the edge into preciousness or self-indulgence. This book sings.
—The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
What I like most about de Lint's work (and in particular The Little Country) is his talent for making ordinary settings like Cornwall or downtown Ottawa come alive. After reading de Lint, I start hearing music down side streets, and revel in rooting through a second-hand bookstore. De Lint makes us appreciate the beauty of what we have.
—The Independent Artists' Review
In a genre choking to death on regurgitated Tolkien, de Lint does research and imbues his story with an unusual, authentic atmosphere. In a genre of elaborately mapped Neverlands, de Lint sets his tale in our contemporary world and makes it not less magical. And in a genre plagued by automatons acting out Joseph Campbell's theories, de Lint develops complex characters and original plots.
—Los Angeles Times
This is the book that cemented my love for the urban fantasy genre and, in particular, my love for Charles de Lint. This man is a master storyteller, who infuses his stories with lifelike characters, evocative settings, and a sense of wonder that I think is sometimes too often missing in a lot of fantasy.
De Lint weaves the story within a story wonderfully. He can also juggle a huge cast of characters and their multiple viewpoints with real aplomb. And while there’s always action happening, he knows exactly when to pull back and allow for some quiet moments. But when the climax comes—and it happens at the same time in both stories—the tension really ratchets up.
I loved that music was a huge part of everyone’s life, whether it be playing music, listening to it, or singing it. The inherent magic in music is a theme de Lint uses often, and it’s one of my favorites. And I am fairly certain I would not be the lover of Celtic music that I am if it weren’t for Janey and company. And, this being a romance blog, I have to mention that the second time around love story between Janey and Felix, a sailor she’s known for years, is among my top romances ever as it’s very poignant and well done.
—Shannon C, dearauthor.com
A book that could provide its possessor with ultimate power; a Cornish family that has kept the volume hidden for decades; a secret society out to obtain it at any cost; a psychopathic killer; two or possibly three alternate worlds; and a love story are the plot strands of this pleasant but not very engrossing fantasy by the author of Angel of Darkness . After folk singer Janie Little finds the only copy of a novel titled The Little Country by celebrated writer William Dunthorn, an old friend of her grandfather's, extraordinary events begin to occur. Strangers seek to buy or steal Dunthorn's papers and peculiar accidents befall Janie's friends. Wealthy and powerful John Madden, head of the sinister Order of the Grey Dove, employs a killer to acquire a talisman, somehow related to Dunthorn, that Madden is convinced will augment his magical powers. Meanwhile, the tale in the secret novel is unveiled; it deals with the lost music that underlies all magic. While de Lint's rendering of the small Cornish town of Mousehole and the life of a folk musician rings true, the novel lacks the hypnotic mix of horror and beauty necessary to lure the reader into this particular fantasy world.