Shattered Dreams is the first instalment in an Epic cycle that deserves the title. It takes place in a world and a landscape that is hauntingly familiar, yet different in many, many ways. There are more than humans in this world, different ways in which each perceives the world, but ultimately they are all bound to the same narrative.
Lehmann introduces us to a broad selection of characters and colours each with careful painting of their hopes, fears, aspirations and memories. He uses language as a clever additional colour on his palette, showing that character’s position, heritage and even origin through careful choice of both the words that they utter; and the way they choose to speak them.
The book weaves a rich tapestry of individual stories, each one a self-contained snapshot of an event or interaction, but slowly binding together to tell the much bigger tale that winds its way in and out of the book.
You are left wanting more, wanting to understand more of the bigger picture and, of course, know how the stories play out. Invest time in this book, it will repay your attention with an engaging saga that might develop in many different directions.
The author draws us in through the accounts of a scholar reminiscent of Gene Wolfe's Severian telling us the tale
of how his time in the world came to be what it is. He engrosses
us in a vivid history of wizardry from his own perspective. His witticisms and analysis of his world at times left this reader reflecting on our own world and the nature of mankind.
As we move into the story proper, we are quickly introduced to very human, fully realized characters. As an omnivorous reader of science fiction and fantasy, I find some authors are good at building a world, but not at peopling it with compelling
Mr. Lehmann satisfies on both counts. A complex world of elves, wizards,otherworldly creatures, with a human race struggling on. Individual characters who we feel hope and pathos and empathy for that we can see ourselves in.
Some of the best science fiction and fantasy is that which provides us both an escape from the mundanity of day to day life, but also a funhouse mirror reflection on ourselves and our nature. This book does that.
I would say more but I don't want to ruin what I promise you is a captivating tale that honors the genre while finding its own legs and exploring parts of the map that have perhaps been less than fully charted by other writers.
I dearly look forward to seeing more from this author. Keep writing Mr. Lehmann.
A large but intriguing cast are revealed one by one until their lives begin to intersect into a whole. The shattered mercenary hunted by the demonologists and knows not why. The gifted young thief who suddenly finds himself surrounded by war and espionage, The nearly immortal Chosen, warriors of the god of sun and war who are guarding something ancient and powerful. An awakened but untested wizardess finds herself the last of her kind. And the Elves who are living beyond the veil of dreams, but for one of their kind summoned back into the real world to attempt to right a terrible wrong unleashed upon the world when they left behind a terrible knowledge and power.
As the human world begins yet another war for power, a greater evil grows from within a forgotten tomb.
Highly recommended. You will find yourself hooked and pulled into this world from the first chapter.