Fearsome Dreamer by Laure EveAuthor: Laure Eve Website|Twitter
Published: 3 October 2013 (Hot Key Books)
Buy the hardback: Amazon|BookDepository
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
There is a world where gods you’ve never heard of have wound themselves into hearts, and choice has led its history down a different path.
This is a world where France made a small, downtrodden island called England part of its vast and bloated empire.
There are people here who can cross a thousand miles with their minds. There are rarer people still who can move between continents in the blink of an eye.
These people are dangerous.
And wanted. Desperately wanted.
Apprentice hedgewitch Vela Rue knows that she is destined for more. She knows being whisked off from a dull country life to a city full of mystery and intrigue is meant to be. She knows she has something her government wants, a talent so rare and precious and new that they will do anything to train her in it.
Fearsome Dreamer was a book I was really excited about, and when I got the chance to buy a copy early and meet Laure Eve at Leakycon I was super happy! The book follows Rue, a hedgewitch who has powerful dreams that transport her to new places. White also has these dreams, and is punished for them. Meanwhile in the capital city, people with the Talent are rounded up and taught to use their abilities.
I started this book whilst I was at Leaky and devoured it on the train home. It was utterly addictive and completely unique and my head is still all in a spin! Fearsome Dreamer is a fantastic mixture of genres and ideas. We meet Rue who's a hedgewitch and the book feels very much like a fantasy novel. Then we jump to White who is living in a futuristic, dystopian style city and you're whisked away to his world. As everything comes together there is just so much to sink your teeth into. Controlling governments, magic, conspiracies and terrorists. It had everything.
Fearsome Dreamer is told from three main characters' POV in alternating third person chapters. I loved Rue, White and Frith and they were all incredibly interesting people to get to know. They start out as very much separate stories, and as the book moves on they suddenly start to interconnect. At the beginning I loved being part of all the different worlds and places and I barely noticed them come together because it was so seamless!
White was the character I was most drawn to with his ability with his Talent and that sense of mystery about him. You get to see him from Rue's point of view where he's this mysterious figure who's a bit rude, but when you read the chapters from his perspective it opens your eyes to his more vulnerable side. The rest of the ensemble were great too. I loved Frith's backstory, the relationship between Rue and her woman she apprentices for - Fernie, and I also found the plotlines with Wren to be really exciting.
The plot revolves around the characters who have the ability to travel to places in their dreams. I thought it was such a brilliant concept, because it really plays on the idea of being able to escape somewhere in our sleep. I love the idea of dreams being able to transport you somewhere. I'm sure we've all dreamed of different places and people and wished for that escape, yet this book takes all of that and makes it into some real and terrifying. The characters with the ability are often vilified, and in White's case imprisoned, for what they can do. There's a real sense of fear from people who don't understand the Talent, and it really helped ramp up the suspense. All the time there's that build up of a resistance movement which is where Frith comes in. I really liked the exploration of his character and his motives for doing what he does.
The writing in Fearsome Dreamer was absolutely stunning. I adored the dialogue and how each character had such a distinctive voice. I could hear them in my head as I was reading and they really came alive. I loved the play on language with the combination of English and French, and how effective the use of simple words was at creating the world, for example the wider world outside the city of Angle Tar is just simply called "World", the virtual reality systems used in World is called "Life" and the ability of Rue and White is called "Talent".
The world building in Fearsome Dreamer was incredible and I loved learning about Angle Tar, a country isolated from the rest of World, and its history. There was a fantastic range of social issues touched upon throughout the story, where characters come from different places, backgrounds, classes and religions. I loved the mix of ideas and the way the world was so richly detailed and layered. Some of my favourite scenes were at the university where the Talents are trained, because it's where you get that mix of characters all thrown together.
The pacing was also completely spot on. You didn't get endless chapters where you were waiting around for something to happen. The book would just jump straight to the good stuff! I think the way it was broken up into chapters with different characters helped that pacing as well.
The ending of Fearsome Dreamer has me jumping up and down for the next book. I can just see so much potential in the world and the characters that I can't wait to dive right back in and explore some more! There's a sneak peak of the sequel in the back which was torture to read because I didn't want it to stop! I think it's one of those books you have to read to really appreciate. Writing this review was so hard because it's just so difficult to do the thing justice. The writing was beautiful, the idea was unique and the plot exciting. Laure Eve is one to watch and this is a book you do not want to miss!
What to read next: Fearsome Dreamer is the first book in a planned series.
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