Tag Archives: Contemporary Fantasy

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 15: Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint









I have mentioned in several blog posts over the years that Charles de Lint is one of my favorite authors.  I read a few of his novels in the early to mid-1990s when he was the big name in fantasy fiction. His contemporary fantasy novels and short stories (set in his fictional city of Newford) breathed fresh air into the genre that had mostly produced Tolkien inspired books. de Lint’s ability to bring magic into the contemporary world made me become a fan of fantasy literature and has inspired me as an author.

I read Memory and Dream when it was first published October 1994 and remembered really enjoying it. It’s interesting to re-read a book over two decades later.  I did that with his novel, The Little Country and the short-story collections, Dreams Underfoot and The Ivory and the Horn.  Memory and Dream will complete this quartet of re-reads from de Lint.

It is the story of Isabelle Copley, a young artist who lives in the city of Newford.  Memory and Dream chronicles her artistic journey from the early 1970s as a university student to the early 1990s as a professional artist. As a university student, Copley learned under famed and reclusive artist, Vincent Rushkin.  Rushkin helped Copley with her gift of being able to paint images so vivid that they come to life. However, Isabelle’s gift comes with a price for studying under Rushkin.

Isabelle brought to life artistic images that are called numena and they suffered danger by coming into the real world. Their existence was under threat by Rushkin and Isabelle has to become their savior.

de Lint does an excellent job of writing a story with two timelines and creating a cast of characters I enjoyed reading.  Memory and Dream explores the nature of art and its ability to change culture. On the surface, it may seem to be a quixotic pursuit. However, the story shows that art has a greater influence that one could ever expect.

I enjoyed reading Memory and Dream and my initial feelings when I first read it in 1994 returned.  It is a page turner, and I had an enjoyable reading experience.  It will be one of my favorite reads of 2019.

Diondray’s Roundabout: Kammbia Book 3

    Diondray’s Roundabout is now released. It is the third novel set in the world of Kammbia. I really enjoyed writing this one and Diondray’s journey through Southern Kammbia will be one of a change for the entire world. Get it here: https://books2read.com/u/3krDnN Could he be the one foretold? Faith and doubt wrestle to… Continue Reading

Journey and Discovery: A Kammbia Omnibus Edition

The courage to face the truth. Diondray Azur had it. He took a gamble and looked hard into his roots. What he discovered changed him forever. A son of privilege in the land of Kammbia, Diondray learned one day that everything he believed to be true was in fact, a lie. When he discovered an… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 1: The Ivory and the Horn by Charles de Lint

I ended my 2018 reading year with a short story collection by Charles de Lint. I enjoyed Dreams Underfoot and began my 2019 reading year with the second de Lint short story collection set in Newford. The Ivory and the Horn is a fifteen tale collection that continues to explore the wonderful characters inhabiting the… Continue Reading

Cassandra’s Revelation: A Kammbia Short Story

“Cassandra’s Revelation,” is about a chance meeting between Cassandra Applebaum, a sultry-voiced singer who hadn’t sung in years, and an old friend—one who saw Diondray stop a rainstorm. Inspired by her friend’s account, Cassandra penned a new song, “The One Who Made the Rain Go Away.” After a few days, she received a call from… Continue Reading

Book Review 132: The Land Across by Gene Wolfe

One of the greatest living American authors just had their eighty-seven birthday earlier this month.  Is it Philip Roth? Cormac McCarthy? Richard Ford? John Irving? Toni Morrison?  None of them.  It is Gene Wolfe. Wolfe has never gotten the mainstream literary success or lauded like those aforementioned authors. However, he is revered and celebrated in… Continue Reading