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 fictional city of Newford. Jilly, the free-spirited artist that knows everyone in town and believes in things outside the bounds of rationality. Maisie, a teenager determined to make a better life for herself despite living on the streets. Angel, the beautiful advocate for the lost, forgotten, and overlooked in the city. There are several other characters that makes Newford one of the most colorful, interesting fictional cities I have ever read.
This collection had three standout stories I enjoyed reading like the opening story, Waifs and Strays. That story featured the aforementioned Maisie and how she tried to gain a better perspective on her life on streets of Newford while trying to better her situation. The story, Forest is Crying, went in depth about a social worker who lost heart for his career after witnessing the death of a toddler. The story, The Pochade Box, about a box owned by the aforementioned artist Jilly and why she keeps it her life. Those stories revealed the connection between city life and the supernatural. Also, de Lint drew upon Native American and Canadian folklore to give parabolic lessons in each story.
The Ivory and the Horn is another solid collection of short stories by Charles de Lint. I will admit that I liked the stories more in Dreams Underfoot. However, I will recommend The Ivory and the Horn for newcomers to Charles de Lint and long time readers of the author.