Medicine Road

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Overview


Music, Mischief, and Magic

Laurel and Bess Dillard are charismatic bluegrass musicians enjoying the success of their first Southwestern tour. But the Dillard girls know that magical adventures are always at hand. Upon meeting two mysterious strangers at a gig, the red-headed twins are drawn into an age-old, mystical wager along the Medicine Road.

One day, seeing a red dog chasing a jackalope, Coyote Woman gave them both human forms. They ...

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Overview


Music, Mischief, and Magic

Laurel and Bess Dillard are charismatic bluegrass musicians enjoying the success of their first Southwestern tour. But the Dillard girls know that magical adventures are always at hand. Upon meeting two mysterious strangers at a gig, the red-headed twins are drawn into an age-old, mystical wager along the Medicine Road.

One day, seeing a red dog chasing a jackalope, Coyote Woman gave them both human forms. They became Jim Changing Dog and Alice Corn Hair. In return, both Jim and Alice must find true love within a hundred years, or their “five-fingered” forms will be forfeit. Alice has found her soul mate, but trickster Jim is unwilling to settle down—until he sets eyes upon free-spirited Bess Dillard.

Yet time is running out for the red dog and the jackalope. In just two weeks, they will journey to their reckoning at the Medicine Wheel. Meanwhile, a motorcycle-riding seductress and a vengeful rattlesnake woman are eager to meddle, and Bess and Laurel, caught in a web of love and lies, must find their own paths into the spirit world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Canadian author De Lint and illustrator Vess make good medicine in this whimsical collaboration of words and images starring those rambunctious red-haired Dillard twins, Laurel and Bess, mentioned in 2002's Seven Wild Sisters and now stage center in their own short novel. Musicians Bess and Laurel have exchanged the green Northeast for the desert Southwest for their first road tour, playing their rockabilly music and having fun. Enter two unhappy Native American spirits, Jim Changing Dog and Alice Corn Hair, who've been charged by Coyote Woman to find soul mates in two weeks or lose their ability to shift into their cherished "five-fingered" human form. Soon the two sisters become key players in an unfolding melodrama involving the true love quest. Alice has already found her mate in Thomas, an aging artist, but Jim, a roving red-haired rascal, is uncertain he can ever fall in love until he tumbles for Bess after the twins' Tucson performance. When he begins to woo her, complications threaten to doom poor Jim to life as a red dog. Laurel then decides to awaken her animal self in order to help Bess learn the value of "connecting with the animal spirits inside." The mythic magic inevitable in all of De Lint's best fantasies marks the spirited conclusion. (Apr. 27) FYI: De Lint and Vess's last collaboration was a children's book, A Circle of Cats (2003). Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

“Canadian author de Lint and illustrator Vess make good medicine in this whimsical collaboration of words and images starring those rambunctious red-haired Dillard twins, Laurel and Bess, mentioned in 2002’s Seven Wild Sisters and now stage center in their own short novel.... The mythic magic inevitable in all of de Lint’s best fantasies marks the spirited conclusion.”
Publishers Weekly

“De Lint adroitly and believably meshes the world we live in and the spirit world, and his lyrical descriptions of desert and canyon take us directly into the ambiance of the Southwest, adding much to the charm of this first-in-a-series short novel that is already well laced with humor, romance, and Native American mythology and nicely complemented by World Fantasy Award–winner Charles Vess’s black-and-white illustrations.”
Booklist

“Charles de Lint’s new book, Medicine Road, is a first-rate folk tale, the story of a jackalope (that’s a mythical cross between a rabbit and an antelope, for the uninitiated) and a red dog whose run-in with a meddling Coyote Woman changes their lives forever.”
Bookslut

Medicine Road is like a dish made with a few strongly flavored ingredients. It has its impact and lingers in the memory just as long as a complex, subtly seasoned meal might. I heartily recommend it.”
Green Man Review

“De Lint has created a rich fairy tale where the characters, both human and animal spirit, practically jump off the pages with their own personalities, and it’s a fast-moving enjoyability that doesn’t suffer from not knowing the full measure of the Dillard sisters’ background.”
Fantastica Daily

“...a strong, thoroughly enjoyable, thoroughly magical story that takes advantage of native myths and lore to create something entirely new, yet quietly familiar.”
SF Site

“The author cleverly weaves ancient myths with modern-day romance in a way that seems easy and natural.”
Rocky Mountain News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931081979
  • Publisher: Subterranean Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Series: Newford Series

Meet the Author


Charles de Lint is the best-selling author of more than seventy adult, YA, and children’s books, including Moonheart, The Onion Girl, Widdershins, Medicine Road, and Under My Skin. He is the recipient of the World Fantasy, YALSA, Crawford, and Aurora awards. De Lint is a poet, songwriter, performer, and folklorist, and he writes a book review column for Fantasy & Science Fiction.
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Table of Contents

Changing Dog and Corn Hair 13
One Night in the Hole 21
Once Upon a Time in Tucson 45
On the Road Again 101
Red Deer Woman 177
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of DeLint's best!

    Lively fantasy in this author's world of folk magic and "First People".

    Illustrations particularly good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2004

    Outstanding!

    I waited several months to read this book; I was not disappointed, & was very suprised. To call it a good book is not giving it enough credit. 'Medicine Road' is very special to me. I believe it to be one of CdL's best. I'm eagerly waiting & looking forward to the others that will come. (The author is creating a series of Dillard Sisters/Lilly books.) 'Medicine Road' left me wondering the same question it will leave all of us whom it deeply touchs; this is a question of what I am missing in life, just as Red Dog & Laurel feel in the book. I imagine those not pondering these thoughts after finishing the book may look at life just a little bit differently than before, & like me, will keep 'Medicine Road,' a book about healing, on their minds for some time following. Let the book stretch as you read, & enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2004

    Wonderful, magical book

    Charles de Lint has once again brought us the charming Dillard sisters (Bess and Laurel, one of the twin sets). I read this is one sitting. For those who have not read any other of the Dillard sister stories, the character development may seem sparse, but adequate for the story line (Get the other books!!) The illustrations by Charles Vess are perfect. The only improvement would be color.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2004

    Medicine Road

    Medicine Road is a wonderous trip in to the heart of the desert and in to the hearts of Laurel and Bess (Dillard twins from Seven Wild Sisters), Jim Changing Dog, Alice Corn Hair (a Jackalope) and Thomas Young. The love story is very moving, and drama is plentyful in the form of Ramona (trouble causing snake woman), and a 100 year blessing that may turn into a curse if they don't fufill a promise within that 100 years (of which they have only 2 weeks left). Illustrations by Charles Vess are beyond beautiful. Medicine Road is a great quick read that I will enjoy re-reading again and again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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