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Talking with a wolf in dreamland
on August 14, 2013
Joran has the ability to talk to animals, including insects and birds. Early in the book, we learn that he has told his wife to leave him. (He eventually finds out that he did this unjustly, without giving her a chance to defend herself.) He then starts dreaming about her -- she is in a prison of some sort, by the ocean, and he wants to help her, but can't.
The book is well written, with few usage errors, except for one all-too-common one, which is that proper names are often not capitalized. Also, a few words are capitalized in strange places -- iSolation, for example -- for no apparent good reason.
The book clearly shows a Christian world-view, which is fine, but it's sometimes a bit preachy.
Sword fights, monsters, and terrible enchantments are common in fantasy novels. I never thought I'd say this, but this book doesn't have enough of this type of action. The action is either in telepathic dialogues between Joran and the wolf of the title (who turns out to be his father) or actual conversations between Joran and some of the other characters, or in dreams, and neither the reader, or Joran, is ever sure whether events are really taking place, or whether he is dreaming them. The non-Joran sides of the dialogues are sometimes quotations, or paraphrases, of the Bible. Some of the dialogues mention 20th century concepts, and there are apparently books from the 20th, maybe 21st century, in the house of the sun, where Joran spends quite a bit of time, or seems to. However, most of the setting seems to be the standard medieval-type setting of fantasy stories -- no gunpowder, no internal combustion, no electricity.
On the positive side, Joran stands in for me, and other readers. He is flawed, and comes to know it, and eventually asks for forgiveness.
I'm not sure whether I want to go through a second volume like this. Perhaps the second book is better.