- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2766.0 KB
- Print Length: 664 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01DS1S9DC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #371,924 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Dawn of the Dreamsmith (The Raven's Tale Book 1) Kindle Edition
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I have known the author for a very long time through an established community forum.
I had the book converted to & listened as an audiobook so I'm not going to write out any names of characters or locations relating to the book/story in case of incorrect spelling as well to not reveal too much information that may be spoiler for some readers.
* * * * *
After the prologue, I was interested in the alternative/inquisitive perspective to a fairy tale that author presented which had intrigued/tainted my expectation/curiosity of what was to come. From the first few chapters I felt strongly drawn in, engaged, wanting to know more about the world and the characters that made an instant impression & a few that don't.
The story or journey that you take along with the characters is like standing in a world of fog, I sometimes felt that I knew what was going to happen around the corner, only to be taken around another corner with your invested emotions laid out for whatever new emotion to consume them.
I rarely read fiction, but this was a wonderful surprise to read/listen to, even has a map of the North & South of the world which was another surprise but also gives you an idea to the detail the author put into this book. I highly recommend this book without hesitation.
I have read a reasonable amount of self-published works, and while there are some gems you have to sift through a lot of turds to find them - as such my purchase was more a show of solidarity than a genuinely interested one and I wasn't expecting much. The quality of what he has written has frankly blown me away - to put such a well crafted and coherent work out solo, with no assistance from publishers, editors etc, is staggering.
There is a little clunky prose in literally the first couple of pages, but after that there is no recurrence, indeed the prose is of superb quality overall.
**No spoilers follow** The story told is of Cole, the eponymous Dreamsmith of the title. Events take place which force him out of his monastic life, which in turn leads him to meet Raven, a swordswoman with the goal of discovering what has become of her father. The story is quite epic in scope, but stays wedged between heroic and grimdark in the telling. Cole embarks upon a journey to try to uncover the reasons behind the events which forced him out of his old life, but rather than being an A to B journey, Ratcliffe the author includes vignettes along the way that are almost short stories buried within the novel. For those readers who have enjoyed roleplaying games, think of a small side quest or random encounter. Some of these stories have links to the make plot arc but others are self-contained, something that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The world Ratcliffe has built is a compelling one, with likeable and of course loatheable characters, and the debut sets up the sequel nicely with several unanswered questions.
Any lover of fantasy literature could do an awful lot worse than pick up a copy of this - if he can maintain the quality of writing moving forwards, I would not be surprised to see a spectacular career ahead. Top marks, all the more so for having done it unassisted.
However, I was more than pleasantly surprised.
There were certainly moments for me in the work which felt immersive, which seemed to evoke place and ambience, something Tolkien achieved, but sadly lacking in so many voluminous (fantasy) potboilers. I felt the story was well-paced with a pleasing economy of writing style neither verbose or simplistic. The tale is related throughout the viewpoints of different characters in the book, which helps provide variety and "cliffhanging" moments that we can return to later.
The characters are engaging enough for a work of this kind (let's face it, as readers we spend a lot of time with them; see other reviews for description and synopsis), and there are few moments in character description and interaction that fail to add to a reasonable verisimilitude.
Overall, I would recommend this work as a welcome excursion into a created world; it is not damning with faint praise to point out how much I enjoyed this as (literally) "holiday reading" this year and a welcome break from "serious" matters, either in literature or life!
This is the first Kindle book I've purchased and I'm glad I did. I've read many self published novels and have come away disappointed, thinking I could do better.
No so in this case. This is a genuine joy to read, the characters are well rounded and the wordsmithery (made up word?) is of a professional quality and makes me want to read all of it in one sitting.
I look forward to the next few novels.
well done Alan.
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