The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

The novel begins with a young fiddler named Johnny Faw, whose grandfather, better known as Old Tom, played fiddle for the fairy moon rides, or “rades.” Shortly before his death, Old Tom instructs Johnny to play fiddle in Vincent Massey Park in Ottawa. There, Johnny is greeted by the fairy pook, Jenna, who gives him an amulet for luck. Jenna, however, has her own worries in that there is some dark force keeping her from conducting her rades, riding the moon roads to replenish the fairy luck. Jenna goes to find Bucca, her old teacher, but never finishes her quest.

Luck leads Johnny to stumble on Jenna’s identical twin, Jemi Pook, a punk saxophone player for a local band. Jemi is a half fairy, living in the world of humans and to some extent turning her back on the fairy way of life.

Jenna’s body is found. Jemi goes into mourning for her sister, and Johnny is drawn deeper into the web of fairy troubles. He has an abrupt change of perception facing him, as he must learn to accept the existence of fairies, knocking on stone outcrops to get under hillsides, beasts coming out of the river, and the dark menace of a magician who can steal the life and luck from living beings. He also finds himself falling in love with Jemi.

Jack of Kinrowan (known as Jackie, who appears in Charles de Lint’s 1987 Jack, the Giant-Killer) guards the heart of fairy in her tower, where she keeps the old wizard’s library. She is informed of...

(The entire section is 483 words.)