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Dreamwielder: The Dreamwielder Chronicles - Book One (The Dreamwielder Chronicles, 1) Paperback – Illustrated, March 5, 2013
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"I enjoyed this book immensely. It's fast-paced, colorful, and richly detailed. It'll pick you up quick and won't let you down again until it's over. My kind of book." ―James P. Blaylock, World Fantasy Award winner, author of THE AYLESFORD SKULL and THE LAST COIN
"Good solid fantasy adventure." ―Tim Powers, multiple World Fantasy Award winner, author of HIDE ME AMONG THE GRAVES and ON STRANGER TIDES
About the Author
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1626812543
- ISBN-13 : 978-1626812543
- Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.65 x 8.5 inches
- Item Weight : 13 ounces
- Publisher : Diversion Books; Illustrated Edition (March 5, 2013)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,178,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Dreamwielder effortlessly blends genres. A chosen child navigates a grimy steampunk world lit by the fading glow of high fantasy. Although this is only the first book in the series, it's epic in its own scope, following multiple characters through rural backwaters, icy wastes, smoke-filled cities, and even aboard a mighty airship.
This was a real treat. The characters are fun and interesting, the action is intense, and the story moves at a fast pace—with lots of twists, and lots of dark corners to explore. Highly recommended!
Dreamweilder's dialogue is plainspoken and avoids extensive rhetoric. The novel's voice is very prosaic and not indicative of any particular time period. Calcaterra nods to conventional fantasy in naming characters like Caile and Makarria; and in the christening of mythic lands like Pyrthinia and Sargoth, but there are few "Thees" and "Thous" and no made up languages to discourage a tentative audience. His dialogue could use a little work.
Calcaterra takes the sharpest turn away from classical fantasy by integrating a steampunk component. The beginning of Dreamweilder reads as medieval, but once the audience travels to the realm of Sargoth, where Emperor Guderian has established his throne, we understand this story takes place at the turn of an era, the ending of an agrarian society and the establishment of an industrial one. While Prince Caile from Pyrthinia gallops around on horseback and Makarria and her grandfather voyage the oceans on a sailing ship, the residents of Sargoth travel in steam powered carriages and traverse the skies in airships. Phillip Pullman did something similar in the His Dark Materials trilogy. Calcaterra's juxtaposition, however, falls short of Pullman's mastery of nuanced political and religious commentary.
Most of Dreamweilder's characters, like the Emperor, are categorically good or evil. Wulfram, the Emperor's henchman is cold and vicious. Makarria is sweet and adventuresome. Her grandfather is brave and loyal. There are no sympathetic villains or anti-heroes harboring uncertain loyalties. Never will a character leave the reader guessing of his or her intentions.
Dreamweilder is ultimately an adventure story that will appeal to a broad age group. The main heroes are young, the language is mild, and the violence is moderate. I may have wished for a little more sophistication and complexity in character development and world building, but action adventure fans will be pleased with Calcaterra's knack for cutting away flab and getting straight to the plot.
With a creative magic system and well-written action sequences, Dreamwielder is a fun, pulp-style adventure. Add in elements of steampunk and a political world in turmoil, and the book has enough hooks and twists to keep readers thoroughly entertained. Recommended for anyone who loves YA fantasy.