Review: Svaha by Charles de Lint

April 4, 2012 5 stars, Book Review 3 ★★★★★


Out beyond the Enclaves, in the desolation between the cities, an Indian flyer has been downed. A chip encoded with vital secrets is missing. Only Gahzee can venture forth to find it–walking the line between the Dreamtime and the Realtime, bringing his people’s ancient magic to bear on the poisoned world of tomorrow.

Bringing hope, perhaps, for a new dawn. . .

Thus far, I’ve only read 2 Charles de Lint books. This one I loved, the other MoonHeart, not so much.

It is a post apocalyptic world where most people live in cities that are controlled by people of Asian heritage – think yakuza. Native Americans prepared for the collapse of government and the corruption done to the environment by building large enclosed areas/preserves where they were able to escape and live protected from pollution. The inhabitants of these big domed enclosures do not allow anyone from the outside into their sanctuaries.

There was a great mix of Asian and Native American cultures – an odd mix for sure, but so right in the way it felt.

The story starts where one of the domed cities sends out a scout to discover why they have lost contact with another of their cities. Being sent out on this mission is essentially a sentence of Exile. Once you leave the city they consider you tainted and unable to be allowed entrance back in.

We not only follow this scouts journey but another’s as well – who lives inside of one of the remaining metro type cities – and how their paths cross. The interactions in this novel are great. I felt they were so intense, I don’t quite know how else to describe it but even though this was futuristic, the characters felt very real to me.

I loved the main character and his coyote. The story was thought provoking and I didn’t have those thoughts that I knew what was going to happen. Ultimately when it ends you wish you could know where all the characters go from there.

It looks like you’d have to pick this book up from a used book store or from one of the Amazon sellers. However, it it worth the hunt. I originally read a borrowed copy of my sister’s and as she lives out of state I had to track down a copy of my own to keep as I know I’d want to read it again.

Find Svaha by Charles de LintGOODREADS

* Personally purchased copy. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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3 Responses to “Review: Svaha by Charles de Lint”

  1. kimba88

    This sound interesting. I thought of the new dystopia Breathe when you mentioned the domed cities. I love indian culture and am anxious to see how that culture impacts this post-apocolyptic novel. Great review Pabkins!
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  2. La Coccinelle

    When I first started reading Charles de Lint’s books, I really enjoyed them. The last one I read was Dingo, which was probably one of his weakest. I think Trader and Yarrow are my favourite adult titles; The Blue Girl is a great YA read.

    I haven’t read Svaha, though I’m not sure why. Maybe our library didn’t have it when I was on my Charles de Lint kick. It sounds pretty interesting, though.
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      You know I’ve only read two of his books, SVAHA and MOONHEART (at least I think that is the title). I really loved Svaha and consider it one of my favorite books. Moonheart I was sadly not as impressed with. I have a whole slew of his other books that I plan to read someday.

      You definitely need to read this one. Heck I found an old vintage copy in the used book store the other day and then turned right around and gave it to another reader that I found perusing the racks of a second bookstore I visited that day. I’m such a book pusher.
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