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Someplace To Be Flying

by Charles de Lint

hardcover edition

Someplace To Be Flying is the latest novel set in Newford, the fictional Canadian city in which Charles de Lint has set many of his recent stories. While it occasionally brushes up against the edges of other stories, it's entirely self-contained. In this book, de Lint mixes his trademark urban fantasy with Celtic myth and Native American legends of Coyote and Raven.

Hank is a gypsy cab driver with the bad habit of getting involved in other people's problems. Against his better judgment, he attempts to stop the mugging of a pretty girl, and the attacker shoots him in the shoulder. He's saved by the Crow Girls, a pair of young switchblade-wielding girls who kill the mugger, heal Hank's gunshot wound instantly with spit, and then vanish. Hank and the mugging victim, a photojournalist named Lily, try to retreat into the comfortable normalcy of their lives, but they can neither forget the incident nor discuss it with anyone else without sounding like loons. Together they begin to search for the "animal people" of Newford, who may or may not be spirits and who may or may not be real.

Their search draws Hank and Lily into a war that is brewing among the animal people of Newford. Old rivalries and resentments are coming to a head, past injustices are being revenged, and the human population of the city is caught, all unknowing, in the middle.

De Lint's tendency to overpopulate his stories with lovably eccentric street people has given his work an increasingly saccharine tinge, but he has created a few unusually vivid characters here. The Crow Girls in particular are charming, by turns ingenuous and ruthless. Coyote, the trickster figure, is usually portrayed in fantasy as a dashing rogue; de Lint portrays him here as a dashing chronic screwup. Someplace To Be Flying is a solid urban fable that should be easily accessible to people who don't read much fantasy.

-- Christina Schulman.
Reviewed in
May 1998

hardcover edition
Publisher: Tor
Date: February 1998
ISBN: 0-312-85849-3
Binding: hardcover
Pages: 380
Price: US $24.95

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