The Shadow of the Sun Read Along – Part 4

The Shadow of the SunIt’s week four of The Shadow of the Sun read along. This week, we’re covering Chapters 22 – 28. Once again, thanks to nrlymrtl of Dab of Darkness for putting together the questions. I will be around to discuss with everyone this week.

1) Ellion and Letitia finally have not 1, not 2, not 3, but four trysts in this section of the book. What insights into the characters did you gain from these assignations?

Umm, that they need to learn to keep their pants on. OK. That’s obvious.

Actually, it occurred to me that these are two very hurt people looking to assuage guilt and be assured by someone, or something, even if that something is sex, that what they’re feeling is normal, and that it’s OK to feel they way they do. Letitia has no idea what she’s up against and has no faith in her abilities. Ellion is running so fast he’s bumping into every wall, real and imagined, that he can find as if he’s doing it out of some need to punish himself. Ignore this. I seriously have no idea what I’m talking about. I’m not going any further with my analysis than that.

2) Letitia’s retinue has diminished even further. How did this affect you as the reader and how do you think it will affect the dynamics of the remaining Tanaan?

It’s making me nervous! Barbara, please stop the killing! 🙂

Are they going to make it is the question that keeps rattling around in my head. Also, I’m beginning to think Amien is slightly useless on the wizard front. I want him to do more than throw green bolts. For god sakes, he a wizard! Also, I want him to get off Ellion’s case. Ellion needs some tough love but there’s too much guilt being passed between them to help matters.

I do think it’s starting to stress the Tanaan though. They’ve watching so many of their friends die that it has to be hard to them.

3) We’ve learned a bit more about the missing Carina in this section. What do you think is in her grimoire that has Letitia so secretive?

I think Letitia’s embarrassed because she doesn’t understand what she’s reading. She’s obviously had no training, believes that she’s supposed to know and understand everything on her own, and doesn’t want to admit this to anyone. I think she’s also terrified of what she has to face.

Letitia said she was willing to die if needed, so she seems to understand on some level what she’s up against, but I think she’s truly misread everything and it’s not her fault at all. It’s almost as though everyone expects her to know. How can she understand, be capable, if no one can or will help her? I’m feeling bad for her but also — keep ya pants on!

4) We’ve heard plenty about how much Ellion’s vow not to draw power means to him. But then we also see him finding several ways to feel, touch, smell, and use someone else’s power. What do you make of this and where do you think it will take Ellion?

Oh, all the wrong places. Totally off topic, is that a lyric to a country music song because it feels like it? Also, it fits with Ellion right now. This boy. I like him, I want him to finally come around and be what he’s supposed to be but, can he do more to make me question his judgement? Can he make a good decision here? He’s such an addict when it comes to power and I give him some credit for holding himself back but he’s cheating. He knows it too but doesn’t seem inclined to stop at all.

5) Nechton also played a larger role in this section. Which aspect has caught your attentions so far?

That he’s pretty much a badass. Although, Ellion’s description of Nechton when he sees a vision of him while touching the Spear is kinda eye opening. It’s a rather sexual description too which for Ellion is all normal. I mean, really. Pants. On. Ya just had sex too…it’s impressive but…not a race boy.

6) The mummers were in and out of this section, turning up in city and on the river. What did you make of their antics?

I found them disconcerting. They know entirely too much. Each time they showed up I was waiting for trouble. Although, they have been amusing and let’s face it, the death toll is a bit high not to laugh at something.

7) So far throughout the book we have gotten maps as we read. How is this working for you as the reader?
I like it. It helps me visualize the setting, where they’re going, and how they’re getting there. While I’m awful at directions, and honestly can’t read a map to save my life, (While in California last year, my husband asked where we were and I told him somewhere in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. That was all I could come up with.) I appreciate seeing the terrain. Although, if it’s possible to drop a temple on a corner where they need to turn, that would help me so much.

The Shadow of the Sun Read Along – Part 3

The Shadow of the SunIt’s week three of The Shadow of the Sun read along. This week, we’re covering Chapters 16-21. I’ll post some links to other posts later in the week. Once again, thanks to nrlymrtl of Dab of Darkness for putting together the questions.

1) Up to this section, we believed the Basghilae could not cross water, but we learn to the detriment of our heroes that this is not so. What further hidden abilities do you think might crop up from these walking dead?

I think maybe they’re learning as they go. The puppeteer, that’s what I’m going to call whoever is controlling these things, is figuring out as he/she goes and has figured out a way to get them into water. I’m waiting for them to fly now.

2) As the party enters the human lands, they come up with a cover story and request that Letitia remove her torc. She refuses. Do you think her decision was the correct one?

I don’t know if there’s a right or wrong answer. Letitia thinks she’s doing what’s right and believes that she bears the burden, always. She can’t simply remove the torc and pretend to be something she is not. I understand that devotion and sense of ownership but I think she also put the group in danger, and in her quest to not run from who and what she is, she doesn’t stop to think about the group as a whole. These people have sworn to protect her, and many have died trying, and while I do see her point, she could have given in for a short time. People are learning to compromise for her; she needs to compromise for others too.

3) At one point Ellion lingers over the warding process, specifically warding Letitia, and how a person must be completely nude for wards to be put in place. I’m going to leave this one wide open for comment ;).

He he. Ellion has got an imagination and knows how to use it. That boy has lots o’ sex on the brain.

4) Ellion makes a tough decision to leave the Tanaan and while he watches them leave he has a huge epiphany about his inner motives. How do you think this will affect his actions and motivations the rest of the book?

Oh Ellion. I so like him but I do wish he’d think a moment. He’s so worried about what his being there will mean that he doesn’t think about what his not being there will mean.

Letitia couldn’t take off her torc because she understands what it means to bear responsibility. Ellion likes to run and he thinks this is going to be the right answer in this situation as well. I don’t. Obviously, he has some power that’s going to be needed and he needs to stick it out and see what happens.

5) We saw the Tanaan and Ellion in some interesting situations of a more personal nature in these chapters, from the Night Butterflies to cutting in at a dance. What did you make of these instances, what further cultural differences along these lines do you foresee happening, and have you ever been a part of such a situation?

I’m going to tell a story here.

A few years back I had to go to Las Vegas for work. I invited a friend who had never been there to join me so we could explore. One evening, we took a stroll down the Vegas Strip and stopped in front of Treasure Island to watch the show. I’m sure it’s changed over the years but when we were there the show consisted of two pirate ships, one full of pirate women and one full of pirate men. They taunted each other something along the lines of:

Male pirate: “Surrender women!”

Female pirate 1: “Never! Why don’t you come over here and board us, boys…”

Female pirate 2: “Yes, boys, we’re all wet and hot from all the fighting. Come and board us.”

Not too raunchy, I mean Vegas is trying to be a family destination, but enough raunch to still be Vegasy. It was nothing too memorable until the following day when we ran into a few people I knew and they asked if we had the chance to see anything. We mentioned our walk down the Strip and watching the Treasure Island show. The following was said to us:

“That show is so cute. The boy and girl pirate flirting like that.”

Yeah. My brain kept yelling at my jaw to remain shut. Cute. Flirting. Um, I should also point out that all the pirates, women and men, looked as though they stepped out of a strip show soaking wet. Not the way I would have described it. It was slightly awkward and we had a great laugh after. Then again, maybe our brains just go to the dirty faster.

6) Once again, we were treated to some fight scenes. What stood out for you about these scenes?
I’m always amazed how fast everything happens in a fight scene. When I’m reading, it feels like it lasts forever but it’s minutes and people are dead and others struggling to survive when it’s over. I sometimes skip over fight scenes because they can be too violent. These scenes are adding a lot to the book and I haven’t once felt like any of it was too much.

The Shadow of the Sun Read Along – Part 2

The Shadow of the SunWeek two of The Shadow of the Sun read along. nrlymrtl of Dab of Darkness is hosting and if you’re interested in joining us, the schedule is here.

This week, chapters 8-15.

1) Ellion has quite a mystery on his hands with yet the third assassination attempt. The assassin is the same dude, and once ‘dead’, he proceeds to disappear once again. What do you make of this elusive, reappearing, dead guy assassin?

The reappearing dead guy assassin is starting to freak me out. Ellion needs to whack off his head the next time he appears, because obviously, he’s coming back for him. I want to know what Ellion did because he seems to have really annoyed someone for them to go through the trouble of sending this guy after him, repeatedly. They obviously want him dead and seem more than willing to try, try again.

2) Throughout this section, Ellion and Amien have several exchanges of words. Did you have the urge to ask them politely, yet firmly, to step out back and settle the matter for the duration of the trip?

Or swat them upside the head. Obviously, these two are living a bit in the past and what happened between them.They really should share this with the group, and by sharing with the group I mean me, so that way we can all move on. Actually, I’m really curious about what happened between these two. I feel as though Ellion let Amien down but I think it goes slightly deeper than that as well.

3) The Tanaan suffered a great loss in the past, calling it The Deluge, believing it to have been brought upon them by a wrathful goddess. Do you believe this Deluge was due to a goddess striking a disobedient people? What could the Tanaan have done to warrant such action?

I greatly dislike the idea of a god this vengeful but it makes for interesting reading. Would a god do this to its people? I don’t know but let’s just say that if I were the Tannan, I’d avoid this place and never bring up anything having to do with it. Ellion, blundering his way onward, brings it up and can’t seem to let go until scathing looks are sent his way — the only clue as to his social inadequacies. I actually wanted him to keep asking questions because there’s something very interesting about a god like this one but he was stifled, after stepping on a few toes.

4) The Tanaan are use to fighting in tourneys, one-on-one, and not in formations with team goals. How do you think they will take to Ellion’s attempts to school them in real combat tactics?

If he can convince them that learning fighting tactics will help them protect the Mora, then I think they’ll be open to learning. Of course, that’s if Ellion can keep his mouth shut and treat everyone with respect while doing it. I’m not so sure he’ll be able to keep his mouth shut. It opens before his brain starts the processing.

5) Letitia has been wearing her mother’s diamond on her torc, which turns out was a gift from Amien. He crafted it himself and says it is a tool. What kind of tool do you think it is?

I’m suspicious of Amien and Letitia’s mother. Obviously, they had a close relationship but now I’m wondering how close. Amien thinks Ellion isn’t being honest but he needs to knock off the games too and come clean.

6) What is up with the Tuaoh Stone having a strong reaction to Ellion?
Ellion is much more powerful than he lets on or, me thinks, understands. I’m not sure he can handle the power either and maybe that’s why Amien is pissed at him. Obviously, Ellion has some power not even he’s aware of at this point or he’s aware and trying to avoid. I think he’s hiding a lot.

Review – The Wise Man’s Fear

The Wise Man's FearRound two at writing this review… Obviously, round one was not a success.

First, warning time. This is the sequel to Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind (review here) and while I will do my best to avoid spoilers, I will tell you upfront that it might still happen so either stop reading or go on. Your choice.

We are back with Kvothe, Baste, and Chronicler sitting at a table at The Waystone Inn discussing, or rather, Chronicler is listening and writing down, Kvothe’s life story. While the first day spent with Chronicler focused on his life at the university, on day two, Kvothe takes his story outside the world of scholarly learning and into the actual world — a place he did his best to avoid and no one can blame him. As we learned on day one, Kvothe was orphaned at a young age and managed to stay alive with little help. He was accepted at the university with almost no prior training. We come to learn that he is an extremely gifted individual, someone to be admired, and we soon find out on day two of his storytelling, one to also fear. Letting both Baste and Chronicler in, he talks of his love interest, Denna, a relationship he blunders beyond words time and time again. Eventually, he takes a position in Severen with the Maer Alveron (King of Vint) in which he agrees to help do some matchmaking. It’s during this trip that he meets a mysterious Adem warrior, and after a slight debacle, ends up studying the Adem’s warrior philosophy. After his time in Ademre, and a few more successes and debacles, he returns to the university, a place he can’t seem to do without, with the promise of tuition paid. Sadly, even after all the information Kvothe shares, we’re still left to wonder. And it’s a great thing.

There’s a reason the description is so long and that reason is that I don’t know what to say about this book. What I want to do is tell you everything but I said I wouldn’t so I had to stop. Truthfully, it’s one of those books that when you finally get around to picking it up that you can’t, and don’t want, to put it down. It’s also a huge book — mine counted in at 1,000 pages exactly — so it’s also a commitment.

Kvothe is telling this story to Chronicler and the whole time it feels as though he’s speaking directly to the reader. It’s intimately told like you’re in on some sort of secret. In another post where I rambled on about long books, I mentioned this one because I had just finished it, and mentioned that I wondered how editors let long books like this one through without major editing. And plagiarizing myself, I say again, Rothfuss is a talented writer and the way he tells this story cannot be told any other way. Well, I imagine it could but the impact wouldn’t be the same. Epic. Yes, it is. Meandering. Yes, that too. Engrossing. Most definitely yes.

This is not a book to be trifled with. By that I mean you won’t be able to simply put it down and pick it up at random. You’ll want to continue reading it, and when it’s over, you’ll want to it to continue. You’ll want Rothfuss to write faster but you won’t want to pester him about it because you want the last book in this trilogy to be just as good as the first two. Obviously, these things can’t be rushed. They shouldn’t be rushed. A story like this one doesn’t appear overnight. It’s a labor and I’m willing to wait that out.

The Wise Man’s Fear – The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two
By Patrick Rothfuss

Daw Books, Inc.

 

The Shadow of the Sun Read Along – Part 1

The Shadow of the SunA group of us bloggers are participating in a read along of Barbara Friend Ish’s The Shadow of the Sun. nrlymrtl of Dab of Darkness is doing the hosting and if you’re interested in joining us (and you are, you just don’t know it, but now that I’ve informed you, get on it) you can find a schedule here and more stuff here.

We’re also spreading of a bit of bloggy love for Mercury Retrograde Press so there will be giveaways, interviews, reviews, and some other interesting stuff this year.

This week, chapters 1 – 7.

Straight off, our hero Ellion Tellan insults one of his few friends, Coran Mourne, the new righ of Ilesia, by refusing his offer to become his War-Lord. What do you think of Ellion’s choice?

I understood why he said no. He is technically royal, even if he does his best to avoid having anything to do with his lineage, and I can see how it would have caused problems for him. I think he would have been great at the job though.

Also, I find it sort of amusing that one of the reasons he uses to say no to the War-Lord position is his royal standing but he goes out of his way not to act royal and travels as a bard. However, when someone doesn’t pay him due respect, he might not show any particular annoyance externally, but internally he remembers when someone doesn’t note his standing. It’s an interesting conflict.

Throughout these first few chapters, we have hints of Ellion’s past, which are wrapped up in his desperate attempts to avoid the summons of the Aballo Order for the Grand Moot. Any guesses about what is driving him to avoid the Moot?

I have no idea but I have a feeling it’s going to be good. Ellion is an interesting character and the little bit you see of his past only alludes to something much more complex than he wants people to see or know about. Also, I want to know more about the Order because that promises to be good.

In many ways, Letitia is the most approachable of the Tana. Yet, still Ellion feels like he is swimming through foreign territory, never certain of where the taboo sink holes are. As a reader, how is this working for you?

Amusing and very humanizing. I’m the type of person that can’t walk out of a place without knocking something over (I’m a joy to shop with) and his blundering all over the place, even though it’s more socially than physically, it’s entertaining. Also, I sympathize. There were a few cringe worthy moments in there and I predict more.

Two assassination attempts in 7 chapters, in the same house. First, what do you make of Tanaan security? Second, it’s early, but what are some of your guesses as to who or why someone wants Ellion dead?

Why, why is he still there? Ellion’s self-preservation mode needs to kick in! When someone attempts to kill you once, you run. When it happens twice, you run really fast! Also, Tanaan security kinda sucks.

The Tana have telepathy. Ellion is left to guess whether or not Rishan and his daughter Letitia are broadcasting on purpose. What do you think? If our society had the same ability, do you think you would get caught up in a telepathic shouting match across a crowded room?

I would so eavesdrop on everyone. This is the main reason I don’t write in coffee shops. I end up pretending to type so I can listen to all the people. I’m not even a nosy person but I can’t help myself in situations like that. If I could hear telepathic conversation I’d be done in. No work ever from me.

It’s funny because at first I thought that maybe Rishan and Letitia didn’t think anyone could hear their conversation. Then I thought it might be something other Tanaan block out as a general rule. Social courtesies, if you will. If everyone is able to speak telepathically then it wouldn’t seem odd to have the conversation the way they did. Now I’m wondering if they wanted to be overheard, specially Letitia. Although, no one knows Ellion can listen in so forget that theory. Unless maybe Letitia can sense he can hear. Or maybe I should stop with the zen typing and move to the next question…

The Tana have a different reproductive cycle than us humans. How do you see this affecting Tanaan-human relationships?

This is an interesting aspect of the Tana and I love that the women aren’t shy either. If this only happened once a year, um, yeah, lots o’ excitement.

Although, if one of the assassination attempts takes, Ellion’s not going to be in luck, in any way, where the Tana are concerned.

Letitia and her retinue are attacked twice by Basghilae – the walking dead – once near the river on her way home and second at home as she is readying to depart. Are you convinced that they are the work of Banbagor due to some nebulous, unknown grievance?

I don’t know where these things are coming from but they happen to be creepy. They’re the zombies of the fantasy world. If Banbagor is to blame, they are obviously pissed about something. What? I have no idea.

As part of the read long, a few of us are throwing out questions for the author. My question for Barbara: I ‘see’ this world very clearly in my head. In fact, I tend to read in pictures, active imagination and all that, when reading fantasy. When you’re writing, what do you picture and how do you keep the world so vivid? There is a map at the beginning of the book as well. Do you use maps to picture the world?

Review – A Crystal Time

A Crystal TimeSmith wakes up to find himself dirty and in an unknown place. Realizing the gravity of his situation, he decides he must get to the nearest town to clean up and find out what has happened. He begins his journey but recognizes nothing along the way. When he comes upon a group of people, a funeral in fact, he makes himself known and they take him home with them. During his time with the people kind enough to take him in, he begins to fall deeply in love with a woman named Yolette. His inability to understand his new situation and new home, lead to dire consequences.

It’s a great anthropological sort of story. Smith doesn’t understand the culture he’s now a part of. In some ways, he doesn’t want to understand it either and makes no attempt to figure things out with the exception of basic language skills. What he’s learned is all to his advantage though, it’s not to understand or even be able to thank the people who have taken him in, fed him, clothed him, and cared for him. He makes no effort to embrace this new life even after it’s clear that he isn’t going back to his world or time. While there, he becomes obsesses with a woman named Yolette. The love he professes to her is more an all consuming obsession and possession which she doesn’t understand, and by all rights, should feel uncomfortable with. I was uncomfortable with his weird obsession with her as the reader and wouldn’t want to be the receiver of those types of feelings. Smith, however, doesn’t think any of his actions are outside the bounds of normalcy.

There’s no explanation as to how Smith got to this new place or what happened to his old world. Smith doesn’t seem overly curious about it either which is rightly frustrating. He wants so much for things to be what they were but he doesn’t seem to miss the old place just what was familiar and understandable to him. He’s a very odd character that way which is frustrating because it would have been wonderful to see this world through his eyes. Instead we’re stuck with his complaining and pining for what he knew.

I kept thinking of The Left Hand of Darkness with the anthropological aspects and the story of an explorer who comes to a new land that is very different from his own. I liked that Smith was somewhat interested (even if it was only to get something to his advantage) but didn’t on some level have the ability to understand whereas the character in The Left Hand of Darkness did understand but didn’t, to me anyway, seem interested as he was supposed to be observing and not getting involved per se.

The ending, while not giving it away, is a total cop out. In dealing with his feeling for Yolette, Smith succumbs to a depression. The black wolf that follows him and waits patiently for him to wake each morning to become his shadow is the physical embodiment of this depression. It’s effective but letting that get the better of him felt wrong to me. It’s also a matter of his ignorance and the culture he has become integrated with. All around, Smith was a frustrating character and somewhat unlikeable.

It’s an interesting story though and I’m glad to have picked it up even if I can’t say it was a great book. It has its moments and there were more than enough appealing bits to keep me reading.

A Crystal Time

W.H. Hudson

Gutenberg Project Ebook

Review – The Anubis Gates

The Anubis GatesWhen a book comes highly recommended, I want to love it. Sometimes I like the book just fine but I don’t love it but I wholeheartedly wanted to. This is the case with The Anubis Gates. It’s a good book, don’t get me wrong, but I had such high hopes for it that I think it just didn’t live up to my very high expectations.

So what’s this book about? So many things. The contentious relationship between Britain and Egypt in the very early 19th Century, powerful Egyptian gods, time travel, body swapping, magic, and a few historical literary figures all mixed up in a plot that can go anywhere.

Let’s start at the beginning… The early 1980s, an aging billionaire discovers a gate, for lack of a better word, that allows him to travel back in time. He organizes a trip with several other wealthy individuals, and a lone English professor, to attend a lecture by a well-known poet. A magician who happened to open the time travel gates way back when, happens to spy the travelers and kidnaps Brendan Doyle, the hapless English professor brought along for some educational tidbits. Brendan ends up stranded in 1810. Completely unequipped to deal with life in 1810, he ends up a beggar, a rather bad one at that, in a beggars guild, and manages to get caught up in a body swapping scheme being perpetrated by the billionaire who brought him back in time. In a new body, Brendan, now a well-known poet, or at least a poet who will become well-known, lives out an unexpected life.

I hope you understand that description because that damn thing took forever to write. There are so many plot lines in this book that at one point I needed to go back a chapter just to figure out who was in what body and, well, what the hell was going on. Now, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t entertaining, it was (there are many good things about this book), but there was more than one time when I found myself confused. To be honest, I read fast sometimes and I think this was one of those moments when that habit didn’t help me at all.

I want to say read this one because there are some really great parts of this book. And I think I will say that because I wasn’t disappointed with this book, but I think I picked it up at the wrong time and we weren’t a good fit.

One thing I loved about the book, and the reason I’m telling you to read it, is the way the travel was incorporated into the story. Having magical gates that transport people in time is just cool and I want one. I also liked the body swapping for all that it threw me off at one point in the story. I guess at that point if you’re going to go with time travel, why not swap a few bodies too.

So tell me, is there another Tim Powers book I should read? I want to give him another try.

The Anubis Gates
By Tim Powers
An Ace Book

ISBN: 9781101575895

Review – Dreams and Shadows

Dreams and ShadowsWhat happens when a wish comes true? What happens when that granted wish is cursed? Colby Stevens and Ewan Thatcher meet as children, and what seems on the surface to be a needed friendship for both, actually turns out to be a harbinger of death and destruction. When Colby and Ewan reach adulthood, the world hidden behind a magical veil appears for a battle on the streets of Austin, Texas.

In Dreams and Shadows, Austin, Texas is a strange place. A place where the magical and non-magical worlds collide and where knowing where a path will lead is invaluable knowledge. This version of Austin is where we pick up the story of Ewan Thatcher and Colby Stevens, two children who meet at the fairy court in the Limestone Kingdom and whose lives are forever changed by a wish Colby made.

Ewan Thatcher was the perfect baby, wished for and loved like no other — his doting parents wanting only the best for him. When Ewan is kidnapped and replaced with a magical child doppelganger, his parents’ lives come to a dramatic close on Earth. Ewan, safely stolen away and cared for in the fairy realm, is meant to live out his fate as a sacrifice for the everlasting lives of the fairies that rule in the Limestone Kingdom.

Colby Stevens is a forgotten child of an alcoholic mother and long gone father. With no friends to speak of and little family life, he spends his days playing by himself in the nearby woods. It’s in these same woods that he meets a djinn named Yashar, and a cursed djinn at that, and makes a wish to see all there is to see. After much discussion and unsuccessful convincing by Yashar that another wish would be better, Colby gets his way and a whole torrent of problems rain down.

Colby wants to meet a fairy and as it turns out Ewan is that fairy. When the powers that be in the Limestone Kingdom find out about Yashar and Colby’s visit, they ban them from the realm but not before Colby finds out that Ewan is to be sacrificed. Going back to rescue Ewan sets off a battle that will be played out long in the future on the street of Austin. A time in the future when Colby is a hardened 22 year-old wizard working in a vintage bookstore and drinking his evenings away with fallen angels in a basement bar and shortly after Ewan finally meets the girl of his dreams and becomes the rock star he always wanted to be.

Colby starts off so innocent, but with a cursed wish, all that is gone and he spends the rest of days attempting to protect Ewan from a fate he doesn’t know about. The mythical world fears Colby not only for what he knows but what he can do and has done. Those fears have kept Austin, Texas and the Limestone Kingdom separate but that could all change with thought and a bit of meddling. And Ewan, he’s a shadow of his former magical fairy self, a self he didn’t even know existed until he was told about it. The intersection of these two lives becomes a battleground where no one is willing to concede.

To readers of fantasy I say, read this now. If you don’t think you like fantasy, read this because it will change your mind. Dreams and Shadows is thoroughly engrossing. It’s fantasy full of all the gritty details you want and need from a story like this. The setting, which seems ordinary on the surface, is perfect because it allows reality to seep into a story that brings together so many mythical elements and characters that it feels grounded. That might sound odd, but I happen to like my fantasy mixed with reality. It makes it more enticing for me as a reader. Really, I want to tell you all about this story, but this is one you need to read to see how brilliant it is.

Dreams and Shadows
C. Robert Cargill
Harper Voyager
ISBN: 9780062190420