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Sunday, June 8, 2014

#AudioBook #Review: Sower of Dreams by Debra Holland - 4 Wine Glasses

21596303Title: Sower of Dreams 
Series: Gods' Dream Trilogy #1
Author: Debra Holland 
Format: audiobook/ebook
Published: August 1st 2011 by Smashwords Edition (first published July 29th 2011)
ISBN: 139780983579229
Narrated by: Noah Michael Levine
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins 
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Audible | B&N
Source: Author
Reviewer: Linda
Rating: 4/5

A Fantasy Romance Endorsed by Andre Norton, The Grand Dame of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

On present day Earth, Khan Laenser is on the run from a death threat and stumbles across a secret shrine in the desert. Inside the shrine, the goddess Withea sends him to the ancient world of Kimtair to reclaim the wasted land that was once a flourishing civilization.

When Princess Daria of Seagem spurns the marriage proposal of Thadis, the king of a neighboring country, he invades. Daria flees into the desert, only to fall prey to a marauding beast. When Khan rescues her, they join forces to defeat their enemies. But will his vow to the goddess and her royal responsibilities tear them apart?


Thoughts:
A Mesmerizing Excursion to Mythological Kingdoms!

SOWER OF DREAMS by Debra Holland is an emotionally riveting science fiction fantasy with wonderful characters and a plot replete with romance, magic, danger, intrigue and explosive action sequences.  In the beginning, the story was a little confusing as there was so much to absorb and it was such a change from the genres I have been listening to.  I actually listened to the first couple of chapters twice as I wanted to make sure I had absorbed it all.  As I quickly became acquainted with the narrator, the initial settings and the characters, the pace picked up rapidly and I totally forgot the prior slowness I had experienced getting into the story.   

Noah Michael Levine is the narrator for SOWER OF DREAMS.   I began listening to audio books in March of this year and SOWER OF DREAMS was actually my first audio with a male narrator.  At first, it was disconcerting, but, again, after a few chapters, I developed a true appreciation of his voice.  He doesn't read the story, he performs it.  His voice was very clear and he raised and lowered his tone and inserted pauses and needed emotions at the appropriate times.   He did a great job differentiating between the characters.  I'm very glad that he will be narrating the next two books in this series.  I would definitely pick up other books that he has narrated in the future.  

This novel is set in multiple worlds.  Princess Daria of Sea Gem is our heroine.  She is able to communicate telepathically with and sense emotions of those close to her.  She can also dream walk.  The story begins with Daria as a very young child.  We relive when she lost her connection to her oldest brother while he was on an adventure.  The time then jumps to present day as Daria and her family are preparing to travel to the funeral of a neighboring kingdom's kind monarch.  Daria has disturbing vibes before she and her family depart but, because she has received little training in interpreting her gifts, the proper importance is not placed on her misgivings about the new king, Thadis.  When Thadis asks for Daria's hand in marriage, Daria refuses his proposal with resultant dire consequences.  

Meanwhile, on earth, our hero, Khan Laenser, is a master gardener at heart.  Nothing thrills him more than developing new plants, watching them grow and providing necessary sustenance for his kingdom.  One day Khan overhears his brother's plans to kill him.  Not wanting to confront his cruel and powerful brother, Khan flees his home into the desert with just two horses, a few essentials and a map to direct Khan to safety.  As a terrible storm approaches without the purported safe portal in sight, Khan's life seems to be nearing an untimely end.   

Both Daria and Khan shined as characters.  They were realistic and relatable.  Daria was beautiful, spirited and devoted to her family and people.  She didn't realize how strong she was until she was faced with horrors that I can only imagine.  Khan was handsome and caring.  I appreciated his connection to the earth, his ingenuity and his trust in his abilities.

The chemistry between Daria and Khan was electric.  Each was strongly drawn to the other but with their physical bodies in different worlds, neither knew where the other truly existed.  Daria has dream walks in which she has fallen in love with a dark-skinned man.  She knows he's in trouble as there's a dark cloud overtaking him.  When Khan sleeps, he meets a beautiful princess who warns him of the black cloud in his future.  He can sense that his lady is in danger.  Any romantic relationship between Daria and Khan seems doomed from the start.  Both have life threatening issues that must be addressed before they can explore what-might-be in their relationship.  Neither are experienced in the ways of the other sex.  I laughed out loud when a frustrated Khan said:  “Women! Whether human or divine, what man can ever truly understand them?”   Obviously, some things don't change whatever world we reside in.  :-)))

There are multiple supporting characters that contribute much to the story.  There are gods who reminded me of our Greek gods.  I hope to learn more about them and their politics in future installments.  I want a pair of monkey bats of my own!  They were so cute!  Terrible and sinister villains abound too -  both human and animal.  

I would recommend this book to new adults and older as Daria's and Khan's relationship was yearningly sensual.  There are no hot sex scenes in this book.  There was violence in this tale that a younger reader may find disturbing.  

SOWER OF DREAMS is a great start to Debra's Gods' Dream Trilogy.  Debra's writing is top-notch.  Her word building and character development are both first rate.  The story was riveting as I listened with bated breath for what was happening next!  It held my attention all the way through to the last words uttered.  I was a happy camper, blissfully happy with the ending, until an "Oh My" cliffhanger occurred that I never saw coming.  Luckily, the next book in this trilogy is available.  REAPER OF DREAMS is already loaded on my phone and ready to go.  I can't wait to find out what happens next!

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