Today my blog is like one of those walking and eating meals – stop at one place and have an appetizer, walk on to the next spot and have a crispy salad, stroll further along for a main course, and finally end up somewhere else for coffee and dessert. I’ve never actually attended such an event, but I would love to. Especially if it was outdoors and there was a great view of Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Bay from a bench on the side of the road in Sausalito. But I digress, first things first.
Let’s get started with the appetizer, which takes the form of a book review of Dreamer, Patrick O’Scheen’s recently released novel, the first of a series entitled The Chronicles of Marithe.
First reaction – this book is a marvellous read. The dual themes of love and fealty penetrate the relationships of lovers, friends, and some special families created by necessity. Bonds are forged that refuse to be limited by species, gender, time or space.
Two main characters go back and forth from a “real” world where Scheen is a wealthy man who has never known the love of a friend. He has formed a strong relationship with Magic, a man whose health and strength are slowly seeping away. They enter a world of gaming that carries the reader right along with them into the fantasy land of Marithe. In this gaming world, Magic is a dragon who can shape shift to human form, a creature of perception and allurement. Scheen is the steadfast captain of the King’s guard. A soldier with a conscience, a man who constantly gets himself caught between his loyalties in his own rigid beliefs.
Throughout the book, the author moves us effortlessly between these two worlds, as adventures of life and death play out in each. In Marithe, we encounter an evil sorceress, a magnificent crimson dragon, lesser dragons called morgiths, kings, queens, and children (dragon, morgith, and human). All these characters weave their way into our thoughts and emotions. The author never allows us to fall into the trap of shallowly judging anyone’s actions as good or evil. As humans are challenged in their belief that all dragons are inherently evil, so too is the reader challenged in what they may deem the faults or missteps of the various characters. The reader is invited to become part of a constantly shifting and complex game where the stakes are high.
I have always been a sucker for a book with a dragon as a main character. Dreamer did not disappoint. The idea is original, the writing is smooth and clear, the characters appealing and well-drawn.
I invite you to come back next week and enjoy an interview I’ve done with author Patrick O’Scheen. I throw him on the grill with a good coating of my insatiable curiosity related to a few of the finer points of his book (like who sleeps with who and why) – perhaps he’s the main course.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Run along now to Gwen Stephens’ blog at the 4 A.M. Writer for your choice of salad or soup, which will be served up to look a lot like an interview Gwen did with me (Part 1) The Scoop on Self-Publishing. I go into the ups and downs, the good, bad, and the ugly.
I’m confident you will enjoy getting to know Gwen. She’s a terrific host. Bon appetite.
Do stop back here and let me know what you think. The cook always appreciates your comments.