- Series: Children of the Drought (Book 3)
- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Solaris (December 27, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1781084882
- ISBN-13: 978-1781084885
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.5 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,247,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dreams of the Eaten (Children of the Drought) Mass Market Paperback – December 27, 2016
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About the Author
Arianne "Tex" Thompson is a home-grown Texas success story. After earning a bachelor's in history and a master's in literature, she now works as an instructor, public speaker, and "rural fantasy" author. Tex is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and the DFW Writers Workshop, and serves as editor for the DFW Writers Conference.
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As with all great authors, Thompson is a master at the subtle gut-punch. That is, once all the cards are on the table, you as the reader see the delicate machinery that lead to that point and are left to marvel at the showman-like reveal. I cried a few times while reading, and this speaks to Thompson's ability and knowledge of her characters. She makes you care about them deeply and that only enhances the story arc. Her world-building is top notch too. I never once thought to myself 'well, it doesn't make sense that they would do that' when shown the actions of gods and men (tribal or Eadan). Too often in fiction, a moment appears where the hero is miraculously saved by coincidence and it happens to be consequence-free. Each action in 'Dreams of the Eaten' has consequences, even ones we can't see, but the rules are solid. Even the gods are bound by them.
As a final novel in a trilogy, 'Dreams of the Eaten' satisfies on many levels. It ties up many loose ends while leaving just a few there to leave you wanting more. It ends the journey in such a way that you're satisfied, hungering for more, happy and sad, all at the same time. True to certain modalities of fiction, we circle back on where we've been and see the difference in what we already know. The circular fiction model is immensely apt in this case as it's not just a closure, but also a new beginning. Will we see where those beginnings lead? I fervently hope so.
The questions that Thompson leaves us with are just as important as the answers. While mostly this novel ends a story, it begins many more in just the ways that keep the story world alive in your mind long after the last page. A good novel finishes its story. A great novel does the same but plants a seed of the story world in your mind where the epilogue continues. You continue to digest the themes, understand the motivations, ask some of the same questions the characters did. In short, it stays with you and leaves you changed as if you'd journeyed with the cast. And in a real way, we as readers did with 'Dreams of the Eaten'. We suffer and strive, want and ache, hope, despair, stand tall and move forward with each rich character. There is something of Tolkien in Thompson's final novel for Children of the Drought: a question of whether or not the journey means you can ever find home in the same place again after it's all done. And it's the best open question to end on.
There is one sub plot introduced around halfway through that I was like "who are these people?" but once it all connects, the tapestry is beautiful. Well done! This is definately my favorite of the three. Unlike other trilogies where the first is often the best and they get more lackluster as it goes on, Children of the Drought builds off each previous installment to give you more and more awesome.
The ending is satisfying like eating something smothered in butter. It just sits nicely, letting you go "aahhhh." There are a few loose ends, but nothing that will bother the reader. I think it's leaving the world open to write more. Yes please. :-)
There's a thing great writers do, where they've got something coming and they want to prepare you for it a bit. And Tex does that - she gives you all the pieces to this puzzle, and gives you a chance to put it all together for yourself. Well I got those pieces in all the right spots just as she revealed the whole picture, and it still left me jaw-dropped, mouth-opened stunned.
There are so many cool moments in this book, so many surprises and great bits of language and dialogue and characters that will stay with you. Read these books.
Non-spoilery review: This series possibly only gets better with each book. While the first book does so much in introducing the world, the races and the themes, the second and third books are really where the story is at. Dreams of the Eaten is engaging, emotional, and simultaneously full of slow revelations and shocking events at the same time. The Western fantasy setting only continues to get more and more enriched as the story rotates between different characters’ points of view and pieces of information that were dropped here and there in the first two books come together in this one.
Each of the main cast of characters clearly goes through an arc of development which feels genuine and grounded for the world that they’re set in. Even if some of those arcs didn't end as I would have ended them (my favorite characters got the roughest end, in my opinion!), the ending is still such a satisfying conclusion. You understand why each character makes the choices that they do and you get just enough information that it feels like a conclusion, while simultaneously leaving each story open just enough that the endings don't feel forced or wrapped up too neatly.
The themes of race and friendship from the first book only grow and deepen from the second book into this book, going further into layers of duty and autonomy, kindness and obligation, and the needs of oneself vs the needs of others. Tex does an amazing job weaving all of these elements together and I'm sure that I'll discover more in my rereads of this book.
This book makes you think, makes you feel, and is definitely worth reading the whole series. Don’t miss it!