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Table of contents

You're only sorry that he got taken away from his parents who, and I won't say why, where probably the most interesting characters later on in the book--even if they are screwed up. Colby, the other main protagonist, starts off as a likeable enough character as a kid. Although, he is too naive about his mother and her habits. Although, once he meets Yashar things quickly go down hill. He wishes Yashar who is a djinn--which can be thought off as a genie without the lamp to show him the world beyond the veil a.

Yashar refuses at first, but then relents because Yashar knows for him to stay alive he needs Colby to believe in him. The problem with Colby is, unlike Ewan's innocence, is that he quickly becomes unbelievable once he meets Yashar. He meets Ewan and they become best buds in a moment's notice--I mean come on how realistic is that? Then Colby finds out the truth about Ewan and puts his life into danger to save him, becoming a sorcerer by wishing Yashar to make him so. So, you put your life on the line for someone you've known for less than a few hours?

Anyways, then there is the character of Ewan's doppelganger double who is a stillborn faeries and becomes a changeling that nobody likes. So he harbors a dislike for Ewan because Ewan is perfect and he is not. Normally, I like characters like this to have depth and he has absolutely no depth to him. He's a one tracked mind and does not change throughout the entire story.

Neither do the other characters for that matter, even Colby who's whole worldview has changed. I can't say anything bad about the plotting, which actually stands to reason to be a better part of the novel. However, there are problems with the pacing especially in the beginning to the middle, and even parts of the end. This is a problem because most of the time I read fantasies pretty quickly, and this one I felt like I had to make myself finish it.

There were parts where I was pretty sure I wanted to get rid of the book and to not finish it. I am happy I finished it, but not because I liked it--just so I could say I did. Don't try to throw everything together if it isn't going to advance the story. I didn't really like how after everytime a type of faeries was mentioned there would be a whole chapter of dumping information on the reader about that particular faerie.

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If someone is knew to the genre they might like this, but if not it's a roll your eyes moment because it's a lot of info dumping. Just like the dumping of paragraph after paragraph of philosophical ramblings by certain characters. I also don't like how much in the beginning the author was trying to paint a "fairy-tale" sort of picture, which is really annoying since you know from the blurb this isn't going to end well. Don't try to rip off the Grimms unless you can do it with style, which is where Mr. Now, this might only be me and my idiosyncratic tendencies, but I wouldn't recommend this book to fans of urban fantasy only because there are much, MUCH better books out there.

Save your money for Mr.

Of Dreams & Shadows

Or better yet, read "War for the Oaks" by Emma Bull for a great faerie urban fantasy. I also thought this book was excessively violent, and I don't mind violence but it needs a good reason. Anyways, not one of the best urban fantasy books I've ever read. Also, this was a complete let down for me. Jul 19, Liviania rated it liked it. I love faeries and I love my former home. It was much more fast-paced than I expected. Also, it centered around the Tithe, which is always a good bit of mythology to play with.

Now, it's probably paling in comparison to the other adult fantasy novels I've read recently, all of which were When I learned that there was a modern faerie story set in Austin, TX, I was there. Now, it's probably paling in comparison to the other adult fantasy novels I've read recently, all of which were masterful. Robert Cargill's writing isn't bad, but it doesn't invite one to linger. I don't remember any clever turns of phrase or particularly memorable images.

His prose went in one ear and out the other. The characters aren't well developed. Several figures exist just to give pseudo-philosophical speeches. Now, I don't think we're expected to buy into those speeches entirely. They tend to be given by untrustworthy or biased characters. But the main character seems to buy into them, which is kind of lame. The main character being Colby. He and Ewan are given equal billing in the blurb, but it's much more Colby's story. Speaking of Ewan, he more often resembles a plot device than a co-protagonist.

He's an object of desire or loathing, but rarely someone whose actions move the plot along. Knocks, the antagonist, is given zero billing, but I finished the novel knowing a lot more about what made him tick than Ewan. The first two hundred or so pages are about Colby, Ewan, Knocks, and Mallaidh a female faerie as children. They eventually all meet on a night that sets the course for their future lives. It is Colby's coming of age story and the other three are caught within it, even though none of the four know it.

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Going back to the whole faeries in Austin thing. There's a kitchen sink of fantasy creatures with no explanation of why those creatures are all together or how they happened to end up in Hill Country. Almost every other chapter contains an excerpt from an ersatz academic text explaining the mythology, but there's just as much left unexplained.

Robert Cargill never really puts his own spin on the mythology and just lets the rules crop up when they're plot relevant, often to the detriment of the protagonists.

Truth in Legend

Much of the darkness in the latter half of the novel is more miserable than fantastic. I much preferred the first half to the second. It's an extremely readable one that I expect will satisfy many fantasy fans. But despite its thick spine, it's a shallow novel. There's talent there, but Cargill isn't a rock star yet.


Fairies, changelings, angels, djinni, and Coyote the trickster, at times it's a bit of character jumble. Improves when the author chooses a couple or three to flesh out. See this review and others like it at BadassBookReviews. Dreams and Shadows was a surprisingly complex novel. What starts as a twisted fairytale becomes a story about one young man realizing his destiny and changing the fabric of the world. The story alternates between multiple viewpoints, most notably Co See this review and others like it at BadassBookReviews. The story alternates between multiple viewpoints, most notably Colby, Ewan, and Knocks, but everything weaves together to form one surprising tale.

Everything that happens drives the plot towards its eventual end, no matter how small the outcome seems. The narrative voice was quite lyrical and it is evident that C. Robert Cargill has a way with words. The prose flows like a babbling brook making you smile with its fairyland imagery and wince when you hit the small pebbles of reality. It was beautiful to read. It is hard to talk much about the characters because I don't want to give anything away; it is best to go into this novel completely unspoiled.

The cast of characters is very large and each one is distinctive and has their own role to play. Colby begins as a young boy and ends up a very disenchanted young man. I absolutely loved him. I thought he was a wonderful character and I bought in to everything he had to do to survive, no matter if I necessarily agreed or not. I would love to read more about him, but the way this story ended felt right.

We don't need to know what he goes on to do; it was more important for us to see how he became who he is. Ewan was pretty much the pivot point of the story. I think things would have been very different if another child had been chosen in his place. His story was very tragic despite his good temperament and he just couldn't seem to catch a break. I am glad that he at least had Colby as a friend and experienced love in the end. Knocks was a horrible, despicable character and even though sometimes I felt a little pity so him, it was soon dashed by one action or another.

Working more behind the scence, Yashar the djinn and Coyote the trickster fae were both powerful in their own way. Yashar and Colby complimented one another and I hope they find what they are seeking on their journeys. Coyote lived up to his name, his entire plan not being revealed until the final pages. The other supporting characters were all vibrant and wonderfully developed as well.

They populated this literary landscape with mirth, sadness, hate, love, and everything in between. Though this tale is very dark, violent, and heartbreaking it is also touching and emotional. Even through the sad times, I could not put this book down. Good, bad, right, wrong, everything becomes topsy-turvy in this book and you just have to hang on for the entire ride. I highly recommend this unique and creative novel, not only to readers of epic fantasy, but for anyone who wonders what other worlds might be hiding outside of our own. View all 3 comments. Feb 22, Victoria rated it it was ok Shelves: This book is divided into two parts, and follows two protagonists, Colby and Ewan yes, like Ewan McGregor.

Then, eight-year-old Colby is introduced as an overly curious, precocious child largely ignored by his mother. He meets Yashar, a cursed djinn, who grants him a wish. He wishes to be able to see the supernatural. The focus of this book is on the supernatural creatures that are very unpleasant and do most of the slasher film-style killings. Dreams and Shadows is a fantasy novel that is most certainly not intended for young readers. The author — who was the screenwriter for the horror film Sinister — writes scenes containing explicit goriness with a great deal of gusto.

Hence, if descriptions of people getting sliced in half, smashed against walls, having their head shattered, and having their organs spew everywhere grosses you out, this book is definitely not for you. Although gory scenes can have their place, I felt that at times, the excessive violence did not play any significant role in providing description in scenes that strengthen the plot. For instance, in Part 1 which I feel is the weaker half of the book , there are chapters pertaining to the slaughter of unfortunate characters in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The characters who meet their untimely ends are undeveloped and unlikeable, so their deaths have little meaning to the reader. In terms of nature vs. The fairies all feed on different things — not necessarily flesh. Hence, his performances in the battle scenes often left me baffled. The background facts about other creatures are revealed in non-fiction textbook-styled chapters sandwiched between chapters of the actual story. Although they were occasionally interesting, they generally felt very formulaic in the sense that something would happen in the plot, and pause!

What did we just see there? I felt like they interrupted the flow of the plot.

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  • I did enjoy, however, when the text was referenced within the plot itself. I think what this book was missing was the necessary description to make the characters and their significance more fleshed out. I understood that Colby and Ewan were friends, but I had trouble feeling their relationship.

    Dreams and Shadows

    I may simply be hard to please, but my lack of belief and investment in the story made me unable to connect to it- which is somewhat ironic considering the importance of the concept of belief in the story itself. To add, I didn't feel that this book was comparable to the works of Neil Gaiman- everything from the the prose style to the use of imagery and tone felt quite different. All in all, I did finish the book, and enjoyed some aspects of it- but I won't be rereading it or picking up the sequel.

    This has not influenced my opinions about the book in any way. Dec 10, David rated it really liked it. The story and plot were awesome, but the kicker was the prose. The lyrical writing style of the author was magnificent. There are moments of exposition that were better than some of the action. I felt like it was being told to me by 4. I felt like it was being told to me by some wise old relative, except that relative was a little sick in the head and forgot that I was a young kid and still wanted to be able to close my eyes or ever sleep again when the story was done.

    Like a fairy tale with an underlying tone of horror. This was like having Steven King read a collaborative bedtime story written by Neil Gaiman, Tim Burton, and Patrick Rothfuss, but King was allowed to ad-lib horror in the interludes.

    Truth in Legend | Burning Shadows

    You know, just to keep it interesting and make sure that you never sleep again. We start off with a beautiful love story that ends in tragedy. That tragedy causes most of the conflict and plot of the whole book. In addition to this, in another plot thread, we meet a young boy named Colby who just wants a little adventure in the way all eight year old boys do. Colby meets a djinn the mythological creature akin to a genie not an ifrit while walking through the woods near his home and has his life changed forever.

    Both Cody and the djinn want to use each other, but neither has any clue the harm they will cause by doing so. From here we watch as the offspring from the young couple introduced at the beginning and the young boy Colby encounter each other and grow up. The author intersperses interludes of text on faeries that explain a little of the fantastical creatures that are featured in the next chapter.

    This works well, because it gives insight to the characters without taking away from the pace or plot of the story. The characterization of the story was very good. I liked some of the secondary character as much if not more than the main characters. Colby is a very changed man from the child described at the beginning of the book. He was such a great character. He stole the show of this novel, and was much better than how I have seen him portrayed in most adult novels.

    Instead of being some vaudeville showman, or crafty swindler, he was a true manipulator. I enjoyed every aspect of this story. There is a part in the middle where some aspects are being set up that slow it down more than I like, and I would have liked to see more semi cosmic power from one of our other characters and the action could have been longer.

    I felt that the culminating action was really sidelined to skip to the end, and wished it was as good as some of the other parts. Polarizing opinions attract me much more than when everyone is in total agreement. I think some of the bad reviews seem to be more offended by the Neil Gaiman comparisons than the actually quality of the book. I believe that Cargill did an outstanding job with this one, and look forward to reading more from him.

    I recommend this book to you if you want to see what all the fuss is about or just want to read a good story. Oct 20, Mizuki rated it really liked it Shelves: This books does remind me of Neil Gaiman's novels, and I'm saying it in a good way. The fairy lore in the story is finely done, and the plot twists can keep you turning pages till the end. The friendship among the three main characters is finely done as well.

    Although I must complain that one of the MCs' awesome magical power and the reason why the faeries are all so fearful of him is never clearly explained. Ewan, who was stolen from his family by fairies when he was a baby, and Colby, who befriended a djinn that granted wishes which changed his life forever. The fates of both become entwined the second they meet and a battle between magical forces ensues. This could have honestly been a disastrous affair what with the strange mixture of fairies and changelings, angels and the Devil, sorcerers and genies, and the list goes on.

    This was an absolute delight and the exact type of fantasy that I yearn for. I have to make note that despite the inclusion of angels and the Devil this is far from religious and never digs in deep to that aspect; they were just supporting characters of a sort. The characters were fictitious and fanciful but managed to be extremely well-crafted and developed. The male characters were at the very least.

    My least favorite aspect of the book ended up being my favorite. Dreams and Shadows is a story full of magic and mystery and outlandish horror. Queen of the Dark Things is the next installment which is due out in mid Jan 30, Jon rated it it was amazing Shelves: Harper Voyager can keep sending me free books in return for reviews, because this one was fantastic.

    This book was one of my first batch as a HVSR, and it's only random chance that I read it before any of the others. The jacket blurb compares it to Gaiman, and that is a -very- apt comparison. Folklore and Magic blended seamlessly with action and a flowing plot, t Wow, wow, wow. Folklore and Magic blended seamlessly with action and a flowing plot, this man is an instant master. Some books are good only for their character development, some for their plot, but some hit a homerun and are a beautiful blend of imagery and truth.

    Cargill drops truths throughout this book that stick in your head and have you thinking about them long after you've turned the page. Describing a boy at play to someone who has never been a little boy at play is nigh impossible. One can detail each motion and encounter, but it doesn't make a lick of sense to anyone but the boy.

    It's as if some bored ethereal being is fiddling with the remote control to his imagination, clicking channel after channel without finding anything to capture his interest for very long. As they direct the actions of their Champions on the game board, the players will participate in a collaborative story. Scenarios introduce encounters and conflict, which are resolved through passing a test or making a choice.

    The consequences advance the storyline and drive a unique experience as part of the story changes based on each outcome. Failing a test could have dire results such as receiving one of several types of debilitating Afflictions. Many Scenarios will also present players with a moral dilemma where a decision could aid their cause, but not without sacrifice.

    Opposing the players is one of three selectable Villains. Beings of myth and legend, the Villains have their own host of deadly servants to face in combat. Developing flexible tactics and teamwork among players will be crucial as there are over 30 different enemies, each with their own special ability. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. United Kingdom United States World.

    Death and culture Parapsychology Scientific literacy. This article appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated references to popular culture. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture, using references to reliable sources , rather than simply listing appearances. Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong's Hat. Retrieved 9 February Archived from the original on September 25, Retrieved 3 October The Heavens Speak of the Battle. Coast to Coast AM.

    Florida's Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore: South and central Florida. Retrieved 14 November Retrieved 13 March Episodes 1 and 2. Night-mares, Nocebos, and the Mind-Body Connection. Retrieved 10 February In the field of sleep research, this experience is termed sleep paralysis: