Author: Charles de Lint
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates, 1994
"I don't have a red crow beating its wings in my chest. When we die, we become nothing. We're not the same as you. When you die, the red crow flies away and you're supposed to live somewhere else. I want to follow it. I want it to show me how we can be real, too."Synopsis: As the young student of the brilliant Vincent Rushkin, Isabelle Copley discovered she could paint images so real they brought her dreams to life. But when the forces she unleashed brought tragedy to those she loved, she turned her back on her talent -- and on those dreams.
Now, twenty years later, Isabelle must come to terms with the memories she has long denied, and unlock the power of her brush. And, in a dark reckoning with her old master, she must find the courage to live out her dreams, and bring the magic back to life.
Review: This story revolves around an artist and her ability to bring beings from Otherwhere to our reality, just by painting pictures. These pictures have to be painted in just the right way or they don't work. It's an enticing idea and one I immediately fell in love with.
However, her mentor Rushkin feeds on these beings, called numena, that are brought across. They keep him youthful and strong. He is so horrible and cruel and scary. Thank goodness, in the end, he meets his match in Isabelle's first numena, John. After all the hundreds of numena he murdered, I was so very happy to see him go.
I loved the numena, some of which weren't even human, but were all so believably real. Cosette, the wild girl. Rosalind, the maternal woman with a calm grace. Paddyjack, the little wooden being who reminded me of a tree fairy. They were all such great characters. They do not age, do not need to eat or sleep....and cannot dream. When the picture that brought them to this world is destroyed, they disappear forever.
Now Isabelle and John and the rest of her numena have to learn to live again, free from fear and lies. The ending was so full of promise and hope, that I can only be sure they all succeed in their own way.
Rating: 9.5 / 10