I LOVE this book. From the very first page, I was completely drawn into the world that the author creates. De Lint's charachters-especially the women-are totally believable. His insight into the female mind is almost uncanny. As a woman, I read this book thinking, "Yes, I've felt that," and "Yes-I've done that." I could completely identify with these women. While De Lint deals with some very important issues in his stories, (child abuse, AIDS, the environment) the reader doesn't come away feeling like they've been preached at. The book has a strong emotional impact, but it is never heavy handed or saccharine. More than anything, these stories are beautiful. I was profoundly touched by "Bird Bones and Wood Ash." Once I read it, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I immedeately bought copies of this book to give to my friends, so they could read it too. There is a magic in "The Ivory and the Horn" that made me want to share it with other people. Anyone who has ever loved fairy tales will love Charles De Lint; because in his books, the wonder and the mystery of the Faerie world is interwoven with everyday common existance. That isn't an easy task, but I feel that this author has accomplished it brilliantly.