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on 24 August 2005
I totally agree with the majority of reviewers on this book, particularly 'sarjs' - I too bought only the first book then borrowed the second and this one, then I went one step further and gave 'The Elder Gods' away.
The characters are exactly the same as those featured in other of Edding's books (The Belgariad, Mallorean, etc.) just under new names, the plot for this series has dragged out far too long and it's hard to believe there's still another to go. Eddings once said in reply to a fan who wanted to know why he ended the Elenium/Tamuli series where he did that 'The fact that you wanted more is a fair indication that we hung it up at just the right time. The next logical step would probably have been, "Another Sparhawk story? Oh, God, can't he find something else?" ' ([...]) and this is exactly how I (and many others, it seems) feel about the Dreamers series.
It's disappointing to see work like this apparently just churned out by Eddings when there are so many other fine novels he's written, and whilst I acknowledge that there's only so much you can do in the fantasy genre before you start repeating themes/characters this really is dire. If this series and this book in particular were my first experience of Eddings then I would never have bothered buying another of his books.
I think I'll take sarjs' advice and go reread classic Eddings - I would highly recommend the Belgariad!
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on 17 June 2005
Nothing like Eddings used to be! I think even "The redemption of Althalus" was a bit better, although already very light. The second part of the book seems to be just cut and paste from previous chapters.
I loved The belgariad (and Malloreon), where the characters really looked like real stuff. I read all Eddings from then on, including the non fantasy. (by the way, High Hunt is excellent and features very much pre-Belgarion characters).
Unfortunately the books have now taken a more "commercial" tune ("the redemption" and now "the dreamers"). The descriptions stay superficial, just on the humorous side, the issue comes too quickly and frankly I found it quite boring. I liked the chapter from the Vlagh though, but that's not enough.
And yes, I agree with rabbit999, it is so predictable! I nearly regretted buying the book. I wonder what the next one will be. I think there will be one more book at least (the last war). Hey, maybe the Vlagh will win, that would be fun!!! (but not very Edding-esque). I need something more like The Belgariad to stay on the fans' side of the Eddings.
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on 22 June 2005
I've read all of David Eddings books since I first came across The Belgariad over 15 years ago, and while I have usually enjoyed them a lot this is easily his poorest effort so far. The story was dragged out far to much, and on occasion you find yourself reading this book and thinking to yourself "Wait a sec, didn't I just read that" The characters are as usual described in great detail, but I think he spends to much time describing the history of new characters and not enough time getting on with the story about the war against the Vlagh.
I will read the final book to see how it all ends, but I will not buy it in hardback.
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on 28 August 2005
David Eddings is much more capable of writing better than this. I was dissapointed with the story and the way the book repeats, some of the characters remind me of Garion and his friends in the Belgariad. I was hoping that the Dreamers would unleash the classical magic that is his. This book, like the other two before have nothing new to offer it's the same with different names. His other books are far more superior to this latest collection.
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on 24 June 2005
Liek many other people I have read all of Eddings from the Belgariad through to the latest Dreamers and I have to say this is the poorest of the lot. The books are very formulaic and like other reviewers there is a lot of going back over the same part of the story again and again from different points of view. Whereas Belgariad, Mallorean, Elenium and Tamuli seemed to flow as stories the Dreamers sequence seem very disjointed. I wonder whether David and Leigh are writing separate parts of the novel and therefore have to cover the same ground as thought they are catching up with the story. I feel loathe to buy these books although now that I have the first three I will no doubt buy the fourth and final book in the series but if you are an Eddings fan this is nowhere close to his best. The front of the Cystal Gorge has the tag line - 'There is myth. There is Legend. And There is Eddings' - maybe it should have read - there was Eddings
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on 29 July 2005
Like many of your reviewers I have been following David Eddings since the Belgariad. This series started well, got a bit stuck in the Treasured One and then completely lost its way in this third episode.
The characters have started to merge into a single character who is too smart for his own good, the plot was missing, the climax was bypassed with a cop-out solution and I don't even see my self buying the final episode just to find out what happens.
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on 10 July 2005
Having waited eagerly for this latest book, I can only say how cheated I felt once I had finished reading it. The Eddings pair spent most of the text re-hashing the same events from different character viewpoints, and re-telling the same stories and same pieces of information. If I'd have read one more time why a new character was given the name "two-hands" I'd have screamed (or launched the book out the window). Why did they do this? Their readers are not stupid. I can only think they are running out of plot lines and ideas.
Someone at their publishers needs to be honest with them. I only hope the next (concluding? or will they drag it out and take the fight to the Vlagh in a fifth book?) instalment is better than this.
To remind me why I like The Eddings and get rid of the cheated feelings I had to re-read Belgarth, and the difference is amazing. If you've never read Eddings before, don't start The Dreamers, read the Belgariad instead.
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on 13 June 2007
First of all, let me say that I am generally an Eddings fan. I enjoyed the Belgariad, the Mallorean, the Elenium and the Tamuli. Some of my favourite characters and sequences occur in some of those novels.

Which really should mean that I would have enjoyed this series rather more than I am doing. After all, basically they are the same characters.

The first problem with this series, which becomes even more exposed in this particular novel, comes from Eddings' appalling lack of a new idea. Pretty much every named character in this novel has exactly the same dry sense of humour, and spends much of their time making sarcastic comments at anyone who will stop to listen. It worked in previous novels because a few characters were like that, and those characters were more engaging for it. Having all of them be like this is, however, a dreadful idea.

Secondly, several of the characters are simply transplated from previous efforts, and had their names changed. Anyone with more than about three brain cells can see that Polgara the sorceress (from the Belgariad) and Ara are fundamentally the same person. Longbow, Rabbit, Sorgan and so many more all seem to be direct characters from a previous novel, or a compression of two or three characters from a previouis novel. One entire race (the Tolnedrans) seems to have been transplanted as well (the Trogites).

Third, Eddings has always liked powerful characters. Half of them have had a God in tow. He's now taken this to the extremes; four Gods (several of them rather on the dopey side, and none of them really capable of doing anything), four more masquerading as children (capable of doing something but not particularly consciously), and one bring who is rather more powerful than all of those Gods put together (who in the previous novel in this series solved the whole problem with a deus ex machina that meant none of the other characters really needed to have bothered turning up - makes you wondered why they bothered in this one when they've got that sort of power on their side).

Finally, Eddings seems to have rather overlooked the fact that he only really had about 80 pages of actual action drafted for the novel. To get around this, several entire chunks of the novel are told from the perspective of different people. At one stage, I found three entire paragraphs, less than about 20 pages apart, that were word for word exactly the same, apart from the name of the character who was viewing the scene. Still, at least events there were the same. In places it seems as if David had written one viewpoint of a scene, and Leigh another, and they hadn't bothered to check with each other that their stories tallied, because there are places where different characters have a storyline play out in different ways.

In the end, I guess I'll probably buy the last in the series at some stage. But mostly because I don't like having partial series on my shelves. I would probably have been better off if I hadn't bothered buying the first novel in this series. The characters are too uniform (and too repetitive of earlier works) to be interesting. The plots are weak in design and execution, and the writing increasingly seems to display an indifference to his work. If you don't know Eddings work, buy the early stuff and ignore the later stuff. If you do know it, you don't really need to read the new stuff because you've already come across everything in the earlier work.
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on 27 July 2005
I am (or was!) a big Eddings fan - I loved the Belgariad and the Tamuli and was really looking forward to a new series - but I have been incredibly disappointed in all three of The Dreamers books. Fortunately I have only bought the first one and borrowed the other two! As other reviewers have said, one of the most irritating things about the books is that the same information is repeated over and over by different characters. Also there seems to be a limited number of stock dialogue phrases that were repeated over and over again. Considering the books are supposed to be about epic wars, they are almost entirely dialogue with no action...the "unknown friend" always steps in to solve the problem before any real fighting takes place.
There are way too many characters all at the same level of importance, with the result that none of the characters are developed at all. It is impossible to care about any of the characters, as they are all completely interchangeable. Also, on the rare occasions when you are starting to get interested in a particular character, the viewpoint invariably changes to someone else!
I really had to force myself to finish this book (I'm incapable of not finishing something I've started). I have to admit that I'll probably read the 4th book, hoping that it will be a lot better than the first three! I'll actually be taking the unprecedented step of getting rid of the first book, though, because it was bad enough reading it once and I can't imagine ever wanting to read it again :(
I'm now going to reread the Tamuli to reassure myself that I do like Eddings!
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on 28 July 2005
This book repeated itself far too much,if it had stuck to the story it would only have been about half the size. I'm starting to find the characters very irritating and shallow. You would never know the same person wrote the Belgariad and the Elenium series, all of which I have read several times, but I certainly won't be rereading this. This has none of the magic that keeps me going back to the Belgariad, and I feel cheated because I know Eddings is capable of far better than this latest offering.
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