Friday, February 5, 2016

Dreamwielder by Garrett Calcaterra Review

"In a world shrouded by soot and smoke, young Makarria has literally been forbidden to dream.

Legend has foretold the demise of Emperor Thedric Guderian at the hands of a sorceress with royal blood, and the Emperor has made it his legacy to stamp out all magic from the Sargothian Empire in favor of primitive coal fired smelters and steam powered machines. When Guderian’s minions discover a Dreamwielder on a seaside farmstead, a chain of events forces Guderian’s new threat—the young Makarria—to flee from her home and embark upon an epic journey where her path intertwines with that of Princess Taera, her headstrong brother, Prince Caile, and the northman Siegbjorn, who captains a night-flying airship.

Dogging their every step is the part-wolf, part-raven sorcerer, Wulfram, and Emperor Guderian himself, a man who has the ability to stint magic and a vision to create a world where the laws of nature are beholden to men and machines. Only by learning to control the power she wields can Makarria save her newfound companions and stop the Emperor from irreversibly exterminating both the magic in humans and their bond with nature."

YA Fantasy, Dreamwielder surprises me with a lack of romance. Given that the main character is very young, the book isn't shocking when it doesn't dive into a (possibly cute?) romance plot. Still, the book's synopsis misleads me a little bit and I end up predicting a much different plot than the book actually has. Is it a bad thing? No. Despite my wrong predictions, I do end up being taken away to a whole new world. 

The magic of the book is most definitely in its world building. It's a story full of magic, strangeness, and power-hungry dictators. It's a tale involving lies and deception and horror. There are creatures, princes, and princesses. Sorcerers interestingly tend to be female than male, so there's a little bit of tipped scale in this particular world. All of this is great; however, there is only so much the author can cover and he did cover the parts that are necessary to the plot. Still, I would love for some more (background) information for a much richer reading experience. 

The main character, Makarria, is about fourteen years old, and she is on the start of a brand new adventure. She is special thanks to her magic and the fact that she is the subject of a prophecy. She is destined to overthrow an evil dictator, but like every adventure character with a mysterious past, she doesn't know anything about that (until much later in the book). To be perfectly honest, she is indeed a bit like the "average" adventurer-who-turns-out-to-be-special-all-along except for the fact that she isn't alone in her struggles and that she doesn't make mistakes. This girl has the power of luck. I'm very serious. 

I must also mention the other characters. Mararria's grandfather is impressive for a man of his age (but not for a man of his body). Caile is a character who needs more development to make him more outstanding, and Taera is pure shades of awesome and has bigger guts than a cow. 

The plot features a struggle between an oppressive force and the oppressed class. The oppressed class (which includes anyone who is not Emperor Guderian and Wulfram) fights against the evil empire, and though everything seems desperate and hopeless, they are willing to fight. And who will win? We shall see.

In conclusion, Dreamwielder is an excellent fantasy novel for those who love adventure with multiple perspectives and a Goliath-vs-David-like war. 

Rating: Three out of Five

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