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Dreams and Shadows Paperback – 23 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (23 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575130113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575130111
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

As a noted film critic, there is evidence that C. Robert Cargill draws inspiration from urban legends tackled by the big screen. After reading the first chapter, you will be left wondering how on earth the remaining 359 pages are ever going to live up to the the ones just turned. C Robert Cargill's debut crams so much into its first chapter, can there be any more story to tell? Emphatically, the answer is yes. (SCI FI NOW)

For a first novel, it's phenomenal. Deliciously moreish, expect Dreams and Shadows to become modern horror fantasy legend and Cargill's lore to soar. (SFX)

Writing a story that has the capacity to both frighten and capture an audience takes a rare talent, but Cargill's characterisation and humour, sparked by genuinely terrifying moments, makes this one of the best debut novels of 2013. (WE LOVE THIS BOOK)

The author has created a world where genies argue philosophy and complain about booze, and angels use rooftops as a place to perch. Though none of this is terribly original or subtle, it is very well put together and the narrative is multi-layered and clever, but not so cunning as to be a difficult read. If you liked American Gods and Some Kind of Fairy Tale, then this will be right up your alley. Undoubtedly one to watch, C. Robert Cargill has penned a thoroughly enchanting debut novel. (STARBURST)

Dreams and Shadows has elements of Gaiman, Rothfuss and the Brothers Grimm themselves. But make no mistakes, this is Cargill's novel - a majestic tale of love in the shadows and death in bloody dreams. It's an astounding novel, and hard to believe this is Cargill's debut. If he ever decides to return to the world of the Limestone King, I'll be there. (FANTASY FACTION)

Dreams and Shadows examines humanity - the imperfections and the tenacity of the human spirit. Imaginative, alluring with astoundingly enhancing writing, if you are a fan of urban fantasy or contemporary fairy tales Dreams and Shadows will blow your socks off. (Antony Jones SFBOOK.COM)

All in all, this was a fantastic book - as strange at times as the characters within its pages, but ultimately satisfying and an excellent exploration of the delights and horrors of the fairy world. Superb reading, highly recommended. (THE BOOK BAG) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A stunning debut. A twisted modern fairy tale in the style of American Gods.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 21 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is a total delight, a mature fantastical morality tale which deftly weaves a credible reality where djinn, sorcerers, fallen angels and a myriad mix of fae (fair and foul) exist unseen alongside the modern mortal world.
It took a little while to get going - so do persevere through the early, dense and slightly confusing chapters which feature all manner of weird characters with Gaelic names - and then this artful story completely captured my attention and swallowed up whole hours at a time. There are few books which can transport an adult to an imaginary environment with any great degree of success, but I happily submerged into insidious forests and the depths of dark lakes.
Not since I met Morpheus and entered the kingdom of Dream has a 'fairytale' story gripped me so successfully. Inevitably, the author is being favourably compared to Neil Gaiman. That compliment may be a little premature (this is only one story arc, after all, not an entire universe which took a decade to reveal) but the scope of the story, its counter-intuitive twists and its all-too-flawed heroes evoke echoes of Gaiman's flair and creativity.
Like the Sandman stories, 'Dreams and Shadows' examines the frailty - and the strength - of humanity, using supernatural characters to lay bare our shared ambitions and fears. Parental love, abandonment; romantic love, betrayal; envy, despair, revenge and redemption: the themes are all relevant to the real world, but here they are seen in skewed and distorted form as the killer goats of the Great Hunt stampede ever closer, and murderous Red Caps skewer their prey, while a succubus literally loves the life out of her beloved, the Unseelie and Seelie courts unite in outrage, and one young boy might grow to be a wizard who could undo everything.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christian VINE VOICE on 26 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Generally I try not to read the gushing tributes to the authors by the publishing houses as I figure that unless they love the author they wouldn't have published them. The back of the copy that I reviewed did have a suitably glowing tribute with a particularly bold question: is this your new favourite author? (I have rephrased it a little; the actual question is whether you have been introduced to your new favourite author, I felt the editing was acceptable).

This is a fantasy story deeply routed in the tradition of mixing the real and the unreal worlds together. You can tell the love for the genre that the author has with a really deep and faithful understanding of the types of faeries that are introduced. It is essentially the story of two boys and how their paths intertwine as they grow up. That sentence doesn't really give much away as it is much more than that, a modern fantasy set in and around Austin, Texas.

The writing is of a really strong quality from the start with a great deceptive first chapter that starts you one way before sending you the other. I did like the intercutting of the narrative with 'cut chapters' from an in world book. This particularly helped to ground what I had just read and to add further background to the characters.

I can't remember a book that has quite grabbed me for such a while. I really enjoyed the simplicity of some of the ideas, where lots of questions that we have about the world are seemlessly woven into the tapestry of this book. Halfway through it I wanted to write about it, and towards the end I didn't, as that would mean I had finished it.

Tragic, well written and with a really good imagination, this is a book I will probably read again and again. Really looking forwards to the next book. Thoroughly recommend to fantasy fans who don't mind it a little twisted.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By kara-karina (Nocturnal Book Reviews) on 23 April 2013
Format: Hardcover
It's an extremely beautiful, strange, terrifying and addictive read. I have a feeling that the author managed to grasp the essence of old fairy tales and distill it into this story.

I would call it a contemporary fantasy, because it's not what we're used to seeing in our urban fantasy, and it describes the life and destiny of two human boys.

Colby is eight when he meet a Jinn in the forest and makes his wish to see every miracle, every monster and every hidden creature in this world. The weary, cursed jinn tries to persuade him to take on an easier wish, but like all stubborn eight year olds, Colby would not change his mind. The couple of such unlikely companions starts their long journey into the world of magic, angels and dragons.

Ewan on the other hand grows up as an enchanted child in a fairy forest, snatched from the cradle, replaced by a changeling, who drives his mother and father to their deaths. He does not know that he is a fairy sacrifice to the devil they make every seven years to keep their immortality. Fae world surrounding him is brutal and deadly to the humans, but Ewan grows up surrounded by love and completely unaware of his pre-destined death.

Enter the unknown chaos particle, - Colby. He meets him on his travels and two boys quickly become friends, but when Colby finds out that Ewan is going to die, he does everything in his power to prevent this.

Years later as young men both weary Colby and miserable Ewan are still friends, but only Colby remembers why, as fairy magic wiped Ewan's early memories. However you can't cheat your destiny and you can't cheat Jinn's curse, and one wily Coyote sets a catastrophic chain of events in motion to resolve the situation to his satisfaction.
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