Muse and Reverie (Newford -23) by Charles de Lint

Muse and Reverie (Newford #23) by Charles de Lint—Art: John Jude Palencar

Muse and Reverie (2009) — The 5th Collection and the twenty-third book in the Newford Series by Charles de Lint.
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Category (YA, Adult) Edit


Description Edit

Muse and Reverie collects 13 stories based in de Lint's Newford universe—the fifth since 1993.

✥ Muse and Reverie is an all-new collection of short fiction in Charles de Lint’s “Newford” universe—the fifth such collection since 1993, and the first since 2002. Previous collections are Dreams Underfoot, The Ivory and the Horn, the World Fantasy Award-winning Memory and Dream, and Tapping the Dream Tree. The city of Newford could be any city in North America, bursting with music, commerce, art, love and hate, and of course magic. Magic in the sidewalk cracks, myth at the foundations of its great buildings, enchantment in the spaces between its people. In this new collection, de Lint explores that magic and those spaces, shedding new light on the people and places that readers of novels like Moonheart, Forests of the Heart, The Onion Girl, and The Mystery of Grace have come to love. ~ Goodreads | Muse and Reverie (Newford #23)


Themes Edit

Old fairy tale themes of redemption, courage and honour (love as well, there’s always love...) and effortlessly brings them into a modern setting. ~ Graeme's Fantasy


Settings Edit



  • Williamson Street Mall
  • Old City
  • Casement Bar
  • Troon
  • Korea

Supernatural / Mythical ElementsEdit

Corbae, Faeries,

Characters Edit

Character list: Muse and Reverie ~ Shelfari

Characters What Story About
Maida Crow Girls, corbae "A Crow Girls Christmas" very playful and childlike
Zia Crow Girls, corbae "A Crow Girls Christmas" very playful and childlike
Jilly Coppercorn artist "A Crow Girls Christmas"
Professor Bramley Dapple Prof "A Crow Girls Christmas" amazed Maida & Zia keep job
Meran Kelledy half faerie "Da Slockit Light" help of a streetwise young thief;
Cerin Kelledy immortal bard; "Songweaver" "Da Slockit Light" goes to Old City with Lucius to find missing people; help of a streetwise young thief;
Lucius Portsmouth (Raven) First People, Corbae, Animal People "Da Slockit Light" goes to Old City with Cerin to find missing people
Louie Felden young pickpocket "Da Slockit Light" Meran picks him to go to Old City to find Cerin, Lucius, missing
Billy Joe Cab driver, ex-convict "Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion" reformed; asked to rescue a cat from a man with powers
Luisa Jaramillo woman in Gracie Street bar "Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion" asks Billy Joe to rescue her beloved cat from her ex-boyfriend with powers
Mona Morgan Comic artist "Refinerytown" has writer's block till one of her characters, Diesel, comes to life
Marshall man his old 1965 car sends him back in time: drunken accident in which, originally, he killed his brother Billy
Allessandra Marshall's friend travelled with marshall to dad's farm
Ginny Burns ghost Marshall's old girlfriend; he sees her is freak time-travel
Ina Bell ghost "The Hour Before Dawn" helps Jack Daniels come to grips with his own loss, his relationship with Ginger
Jack Daniels private detective "The Hour Before Dawn" ghost Ina Bell helps Jack come to grips with his own loss, his relationship with Ginger
Billy Joe "Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion"
Luisa "Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion"

To expand the table, right-press on a row of the table or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add

Cover ArtistsEdit

  • John Jude Palencar: 2009–Hardcover and 2010–Paperback

~ Source: Bibliography: Cover: Muse and Reverie ~ ISFdb

Publishing InformationEdit

Publishers: Tor Books

  • Hardcover, First Ed., 352 pages, Pub: Dec 8th 2009—ISBN: 0765323400
  • Paperback, 352 pages, Pub: Nov 9th 2010 by Tor Books—ISBN: 0765323419

~ Source: Goodreads

TOC: Table of Contents Edit

  1. "A Crow Girls Christmas" (2001) • shortstory (with MaryAnn Harris)
  2. "Da Slockit Light" (2003) • novelette
  3. "Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion" (2005) • shortstory
  4. "In Sight" (2005) • shortstory
  5. "Newford Spook Squad" (2004) • shortfiction
  6. "Refinerytown" (2001) • shortstory
  7. "Riding Shotgun" (2003) • novelette
  8. "Somewhere in My Mind There Is a Painting Box" (2002) • novelette
  9. "Sweet Forget-Me-Not" (2002) • novelette
  10. "That Was Radio Clash" (2005) • novelette
  11. "The Butter Spirit's Tithe" (2004) • novelette
  12. "The Hour Before Dawn" (2005) • novelette (prev in: The Hour Before Dawn 3-story collection)
  13. "The World in a Box" (2004) • shortstory

Charles de Lint: Muse and Reverie (2009) Description—lists previous printings per story

First Sentence Edit

Such a thing to find, so deep in the forest: a painter's box nested in ferns and a tangle of sprucey-pine roots, almost buried by leaves and pine needles drifted up against the truck of the tree. ~ Shelfari

Synopsis by story Edit

"A Crow Girls Christmas" (2001) • shortstory (written by MaryAnn Harris, wife-artist) — Previously published on his website as a holiday story, — Free

✥ This lighthearted tale of what happens when Maida and Zia, the mischievous crow girls, get jobs at the Williamson Street Mall as Santa's helper elves. ✥ Focusing on their primary goal (which revolves around candy canes), the crow girls get jobs working as elves for the local mall’s Santa in what is essentially a lark, both for the girls and the readers. ✥ 

"Da Slockit Light" (2003) • novelette

Meran and Cerin Kelledy enlist the help of a streetwise young thief to right a wrong that turns out not to be wrong, and learn an interesting lesson about freedom of choice. ✥ Newford suffered a major earthquake in the past, resulted in an underground city—Old City—Of course, the Old City is exactly the sort of place that the dispossessed would gravitate towards and when word reaches Meran Kelledy and her husband Cerin of the disappearances, they vow to do something about it. Cerin and Lucius Portsmouth descend into the underground city, only to become numbered with the disappeared, leaving Meran to find someone else to go underground. She settles on Louie Felden, a young pickpocket, who she met when he tried to steal her purse. Felden agrees to go down for a price, and in the process provides an interesting, and nuanced view of the idea that there are good spirits and evil ones, a view which occurs frequently not only in fantasy in general, but also in de Lint's own works. Felden is an excellent counterbalance to the prevailing voices of Jilly Coppercorn and the de Lint's more typical characters. ~ Charles de Lint: Triskell Tales 2 ✥

"Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion" (2005) • shortstory

  • Chars, Supes, Places: Ex-con Billy Joe, Luisa

✥ Cab driver and ex-convict Billy Joe has turned from his former burglarizing ways and has restarted his life. But a stop at a Gracie Street bar yields him a new partner in crime (sort of), a woman by the name of Luisa Jaramillo. Luisa needs a favor from Billy Joe. She needs him to rescue her beloved cat from her ex-boyfriend. The boyfriend, she warns, has some extraordinary powers. But an ex-con and professional burglar always comes prepared for a heist. It's just that Billy Joe may not be prepared to understand what Luisa is all about.

✥ A cab driver working in Newford (city) must have a thousand stories to tell and this is one of them. Our hero finds himself helping out on a kidnapping quite unlike any other... Magic and reality clash in a front room and de Lint deftly shows how quick thinking can outwit the strongest magic of all. ‘Dark Eyes’ is also a detailed portrait of a former criminal with a kind heart.

"In Sight" (2005) • shortstory

  • Chars, Supes, Places: Casement Bar

✥ This is the story of two musicians who meet at the Casement Bar and who get to know each other, and how stereotypes can be pushed aside. ✥ Chance meetings can give rise to many things—this story was all about the conversation between the two lead characters, providing a window into the soul. ✥

"Newford Spook Squad" (2004) • shortfiction — Originally written for a Dark Horse Comics Hellboy anthology.

  • Chars, Supes, Places: ‘Hellboy’, Sam Cray

✥ The focus lies on the man in charge of the newly formed ‘Spook Squad’, a man who denies the supernatural for very good reason. The journey through the sewers is actually Sam Cray’s journey towards revelation and new found purpose. WE also get to see Hellboy take on a Kraken.

✥ Does indeed bring the Big Red Guy to the streets of our magical city. It involved forming a segment of the Newford Police Department specifically to deal with the paranormal as an excuse to bring Hellboy and Agent Sherman to town. ✥

"Refinerytown" (2001) • shortstory

✥ Mona works on a comic strip, in collaboration for the first time. In the process, Mona discovers the difficulties of working with someone else who may have different views of the manner in which the project progresses. Her discussions with Jilly about her difficulties, both with her collaborator and the material, lead her to look at collaboration in a whole new light, not just with regard to the comic strip, but also with regard to her life in general and her budding romance with Lyle the shape changer. ~ Charles de Lint: Triskell Tales 2

✥ Comic artist Mona Morgan experiences the dreaded story block syndrome - until she encounters one of her own characters, Diesel, at a Refinerytown fair. Diesel helps her get the story and character relationships back on track.

✥ Comic strip characters decide to have a say in the telling of their own story. As an aside there, we get a glimpse of Jilly Coppercorn's ongoing recovery from the events in The Onion Girl. ✥ Story about cause and effect, about grief and loss and life after tragedy…and life after death.

"Riding Shotgun" (2003) • novelette • (from Flights, 2003)

  • Chars, Supes, Places: Marshall, Allessandra, Billy

Marshall and Allessandra venture back to Marshall's childhood home, a farm which Marshall has just inherited. When visiting the place, he sees his beloved 1965 Chevy Impala—of which he still holds the key. When he checks out the car, he stumbles backward in time, to the scene of a drunken accident in which, originally, he killed his brother Billy. Is Marshall hallucinating? And when he meets up with a long-ago girlfriend by the name of Ginny Burns, whom he knows is dead—then what? Has history been somehow altered?

✥ A man’s attempts to stop his younger brother dying show that sometimes the past is best left as it is, or is it? Sometimes the path to redemption has lots of unexpected twists and turns. Everything comes together to form an ending that’s bittersweet yet full of promise for the future. ✥

"Somewhere in My Mind There Is a Painting Box" (2002) • novelette (originally a chapter book, part of de Lint's annual Christmas gifts to his friends)

  • Chars, Supes, Places: Lillian Kindred ('Lily'),

✥ Young Lily is on a ramble in the woods when she finds, hidden amongst the roots and leaves of an old tree, a painter’s box filled with completed works and the tools of the trade. Her joy is increased when she discovers just whose painting box this is, a seemingly impossible revelation that leads to one of the most difficult choices she has ever faced.

✥ The tory of a girl coming into contact with the otherworld, through a paint box. Show how you can compromise between the real world and the imaginary, having both at the same time.

✥ NOTE: Lily reappears as “Aunt” Lillian (Lillian Kindred) in "Seven Wild Sisters" in Tapping the Dream Tree. ~ Charles de Lint:  Seven Wild Sisters

"Sweet Forget-Me-Not" (2002) • novelette

  • Chars, Supes, Places:

✥ Here’s one for anyone who’s ever been bullied and wished that everything would magically get better. It’s also a tale of heart break and hope. ✥ Tale of a boy who falls in love with a fairy, one who in turn loves him.

✥ It's about the manner in which the young man chooses to grow from this experience, and the bond he forms with one of the older, forgotten members of the community,

"That Was Radio Clash" (2005) • novelette

  • Chars, Supes, Places:

✥ Time travel. ✥ A story of the giving of, and receiving of, second chances. I really like the characters in this story and it works fairly well. For some reason inexplicable

"The Butter Spirit's Tithe" (2004) • novelette

  • Chars, Supes, Places:

✥ Human ingenuity gets the better of otherworldly creatures. ✥ The story of a young musician who runs afoul of a touchy—and not terribly honest—spirit, de Lint takes a slightly different approach, once again bringing his signature blending of Celtic and North American mythology into play. As so often in de Lint's storytelling, the key factors in Conn O'Neill's second chance are love, and trust in the not-quite earthly. — Originally in: Emerald Green: Great Tales of Irish Fantasy, ed. Andrew M. Greeley, Forge, 2004.

"The Hour Before Dawn" (2005) • novelette — previously in: The Hour Before Dawn and Two Other Stories from Newford

  • Chars, Supes, Places: ghosts, Ina Bell, Jack Daniels,

✥ Ina Bell, recently deceased, visits private detective Jack Daniels. Ina, another ghost with unfinished business, helps Jack come to grips with his own loss, his relationship with Ginger. Sometimes ghosts come not to help themselves, but to help others.

✥ A private detective who helps ghosts with things they need to set right from their previous lives spends some time with a ghost who has some advice for him instead. It's a lovely story of redemption and moving on. ✥ People with magical powers can sometimes spend their whole lives helping everyone except the one person who really needs it. The tables are turned in a gentle yet very effective way; it also gently reminds us that we shouldn’t judge people by what we see at first glance.

"The World in a Box" (2004) • short story (from a chapbook published by Triskell Press)

  • Chars, Supes, Places:

✥ This story isn’t so much about the magic as it is about one man’s attempts to sort his life out using magic. Absolute power doesn’t corrupt so much as it makes everything a whole lot more complicated than when you started... Sometimes it’s far easier to take a step back, and then keep walking!

✥ A musician comes across a small box at the Antiques Market Mall. When opened, a small world floats in the center - and for the person that can see a world in a box, some wishes can come true. Having this kind of "magician's lamp" can prove to be good, or dangerous, depending on your perspective.

~ Sources:


Goodreads | Charles de Lint Quotes

I don’t know that there are ever real solutions to anything. Not easy ones, at any rate. Mostly, we just seem to muddle through our lives, and maybe that’s what we’re supposed to do. Learn what we can as we live our lives and make sure that we bring what goodness we can into the world at our individual level as we try to win back the darkness one little bit at a time.
Instead of taking what people say at face value, we spend too much time trying to guess what we think they really mean.
Sometimes we don’t fulfill our potential only because there is no one in our life to believe in us.”




De Lint says in the introduction that he's taking a break from Newford for a while. ~ Green Man reviews

See AlsoEdit

Other Newford Collections: Edit

External LinksEdit





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