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Fearsome Dreamer Kindle Edition
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The narrative focuses on two very different protagonists Vela Rue (from Angle Tar) and White (formerly of World). Despite the obvious chemistry between these two characters when they finally meet, their backgrounds, personalities and prejudices clash violently. Can they reconcile their differences and work together for the sake Angel Tar? You'll have to read it to find out.
What neither of them appreciate is that their shared mentor Frith, an enigmatic spy (my favourite character who is two parts ninja to one part Dumbledore) is concealing his true motive - there is a much greater threat to life than Rue and White know and its name is the Castle. And the Castle has teeth.
Think Philip Pullman meets Laini Taylor meets Stephen King and you're somewhere near Laure Eve and Fearsome Dreamer.
I can't wait to read the rest of this brilliant trilogy.
The main characters of the book are Rue and White. Both of them where complicated characters and not always easy to like. Rue's need to tell herself that she's special, and consequently better than others, became wearing quite quickly. Coupled with a teenager's tendency to think she knows better than the rest of the world, it was a clearcut recipe for trouble in the offing. And trouble certainly finds Rue by the end of this first book. In the reverse, White starts out quite likeable. A traumatised young man, he flees the continent for Angle Tar and gets drafted into the school for the Talented run by Frith. His is the more traditional magic school narrative, at least until circumstances elevate him quite quickly to the position of teacher instead of student. And it is here that White becomes harder to sympathise with; he's clueless on how to handle Rue as a student and how his treatment of her might be interpreted. And instead of talking about it, he hides behind a wall of hurt and anger, which serves to remind the reader that he is still a youth, despite being an old soul in some ways.
White and Rue's friends and classmates reflect the class-based society of Angle Tar, which is divided by large gulfs between classes. Especially the differences between country-born Rue and some of her more high-born classmates are clearly depicted. The difference between life in the City of Parisette and life outside of it is huge, as well. At the start when Rue and White aren't yet both at the University and Rue is still an apprentice to a hedge witch out in the country, it almost seems as if she lives in a different world. One that could almost be, but isn't quite, a secondary fantasy world. And Angle Tar is again a world away from the rest of the planet, where countries have reformed into new nations such the UCRI, the Hispanic Federation, United Russian and Chinese Independents. But in Angle Tar they are just referred to as World. Life in World largely takes place in a virtual space appropriately called Life. This virtual space seems more real and is definitely more colourful than the physical version. Yet we see curiously little of it, something which I hope will be different in the second book. I also hope we'll learn more about the mysterious organisation that is located in Castle, a secret meeting place where Frith travels regularly for meetings and where there seems to be a huge threat to humanity about to escape.
While I found the concepts and world building of Fearsome Dreamer fascinating, there were some elements that bothered me. The pacing feels off sometimes, with the build up for Rue's leaving for the city taking a relatively long time and other events happening seemingly quite sudden. In addition, the apparent time shift between the two story lines, which only becomes clear once they join up at Parisette, felt abrupt as we miss a couple of months of White's story time and the White Rue meets is a different White than the White the reader last sees at the end of the first part of the book. Lastly, and perhaps most bothersome to me, the fact that Rue doesn't tell anyone about the silver-haired boy in her dreams. This drove me nuts, especially once I realised who he was. I dislike this trope, the one where people keep secrets for no good reason and get into trouble as a result, and while it was completely in character for Rue to keep this secret, I still wanted to shake it out of her.
Despite my qualms, I really enjoyed Fearsome Dreamer. The romance in the book is understated, yet palpable, and the focus is far more on the intricacies of the politicking between Angle Tar and World. I'm looking forward to learning more about the mysterious Castle and the menace it's trying to defeat and to discovering whether Rue and White will ever learn their true feelings for one another. Fearsome Dreamer is an interesting debut and a fun read. I recommend you pick it up soon, as the sequel The Illusionists is out on August 7.
I love the world of this. Laure’s English/French heritage shows through in this, as Angle Tar is quite French with language, titles and the name (somewhere near the end, I realised Angle Tar is a derivation of Angleterre) but there’s some things that are decidedly British. World is totally different, a wonderful vision of overreliance on technology. Both worlds are excellent.
I liked Rue. She’s clever, makes realistic mistakes, talks back, sometimes to the point of annoyance , and is a very intriguing character. White, I didn’t like because of his arrogance as a teacher, but he was nice in between his first appearance and his arrival at the Capital. Wren I didn’t mind. Frith was awesome.
I think some things at the Castle and World can be explored further. I look forwards to it.
Laure has a very distinctive writing style that’s hard to describe. If I had to put it into words, I’d say gently descriptive. It fills in all the details really well.
For something described as brimming with unresolved sexual tension, I didn’t see it. I say that as someone who’s pretty good at seeing it. That doesn’t make the book bad, in my opinion. Just the marketing. Rue and White infuriate each other to start with, and dancing a dance of intent doesn’t change it that much.
It’s a slow book, a lot of build up, then the end happens when everything happens,
I love the dreams and the idea of being able to jump. It’s a new take on teleportation, and this scifiy-country fantasy mix works well.
Overall: Strength 3.5,very slightly a 4, tea to a book with a great setting and mythos.
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Highly entertaining and wacky.Read more
Laure Eve writes beautifully. Her descriptive voice is rich with detail - to the point I could almost be in the scenes presented.Read more