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"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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In her first novel, "The Braided Path," the world in question was a loose confederation of indigenous villages arrayed up and down the side of an immense cliff. In her new novel, "Dreamers," it's a feudal desert oasis ruled, not by princes or dukes, but by a council of dream interpreters. They, in turn, watch over an oracular maiden whose nightly dreams are recorded and used as raw material for decisions of state. It's a stable system - except for the young women themselves, the Dreamers. Each takes the dreams of the whole village on her shoulders, and is tossed aside as soon as she crumbles under the burden, to make way for the next unwitting victim.
You'd expect a novel about dreams to be rich in Jungian archetypes, and they're not hard to pick out - like a weaver or a water-bearer who turns out to be an incognito prince. The Dreamer herself has had her name and most of her personal history erased, and though she works side by side with villagers, they treat her as deferentially as a demi-goddess. Her encounters with the water-bearer will change both of their destinies, as well as that of the whole village.
There's magic, too, in the understated poetry of the writing. "Awe is not the same as fear; young Scribes need to know this. Awe keeps you awake in the presences of the mystery, alert and ready through the long hours in the dark, your pen in hand, listening hard: listening to the breathing of the Dreamer, the rustling of the bedclothes as she turns in bed, the quality of her tossing, the subtle changes in all these sounds as she rises towards wakefulness and speech."
Passages like made me feel comfortably at home in Williams' imagined world. I look forward to visiting the next world in which her imagination will serve as tour guide.
Most recent customer reviews
It's an interesting story that unravels just slowly enough to keep an reader reading.Read more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.Read more