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Dreams and Shadows
by C. Robert Cargill

Overview -

A brilliantly crafted modern tale from acclaimed film critic and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill--part Neil Gaiman, part Guillermo Del Toro, part William S. Burroughs--that charts the lives of two boys from their star-crossed childhood in the realm of magic and mystery to their anguished adulthoods

There is another world than our own--one no closer than a kiss and one no further than our nightmares--where all the stuff of which dreams are made is real and magic is just a step away.  Read more...


 
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More About Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill
 
 
 
Overview

A brilliantly crafted modern tale from acclaimed film critic and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill--part Neil Gaiman, part Guillermo Del Toro, part William S. Burroughs--that charts the lives of two boys from their star-crossed childhood in the realm of magic and mystery to their anguished adulthoods

There is another world than our own--one no closer than a kiss and one no further than our nightmares--where all the stuff of which dreams are made is real and magic is just a step away. But once you see that world, you will never be the same.

Dreams and Shadows takes us beyond this veil. Once bold explorers and youthful denizens of this magical realm, Ewan is now an Austin musician who just met his dream girl, and Colby, meanwhile, cannot escape the consequences of an innocent wish. But while Ewan and Colby left the Limestone Kingdom as children, it has never forgotten them. And in a world where angels relax on rooftops, whiskey-swilling genies argue metaphysics with foul-mouthed wizards, and monsters in the shadows feed on fear, you can never outrun your fate.

Dreams and Shadows is a stunning and evocative debut about the magic and monsters in our world and in our self.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062190420
  • ISBN-10: 0062190423
  • Publisher: Harpercollins
  • Publish Date: February 2013
  • Page Count: 433


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Fantasy - Contemporary
Books > Fiction > Fairy Tales, Folklore & Mythology

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-11-12
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this beautifully written debut, Ain’t It Cool News Web site contributor Cargill chronicles the friendship and adventures of Ewan, stolen as a baby by the fairy–goblin crossbreeds called Bendith Y Mamau, and Colby, an eight-year-old who encounters a djinn, with an unhurried storyteller style that provides total immersion. The two boys travel from the faerie lands known as the Limestone Kingdom, a realm filled with creatures of myth—Coyote, changelings, the Wild Hunt, and more—to Austin, Tex., where they must learn to navigate the often treacherous path to adulthood. Legends and faerie lore are given a dark urban twist with a raw, honest, sometimes violent edge. The universe is richly detailed, and issues of destiny and sacrifice give the story depth. Readers with delicate sensibilities should leave this one for those who enjoy a roller-coaster ride into the depths of strangeness and despair. Agent: Peter McGuigan, Foundry Literary + Media. (Mar.)

 
BookPage Reviews

A dark tale of faerie mythology

In Dreams and Shadows, a boy and his djinn try to save a doomed child from the faerie court that stole and raised him. In doing so, they receive a lesson in the nature of the world and of the supernatural that one of them, at least, couldn’t begin to anticipate.

The debut novel of film critic and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill, Dreams and Shadows is the most existential, world-weary of faerie tales. Cargill’s myth-making is unrelentingly dark in tone, more Mignola (Hellboy) than Gaiman (American Gods, Coraline, etc.). In his world, silver linings are fool’s gold, and happy endings are more the stuff of fantasy than nixies, boggarts and their kin ever could be.

This tone is established from the beginning with a prologue so dark that, by the time 8-year-old Colby Stephens extracts a wish from a stranger to “show [him] everything supernatural,” the reader knows that nothing heartwarming this way comes. As the destinies of two children—Ewan, a human child, and Knocks, the changeling who takes his place—become intertwined with that of Colby and his djinn companion, portents pile up as quickly as the supernatural cast of characters expands.

Fortunately, a dark read doesn’t mean a bad one. Cargill’s world-building is methodical and consistent. The pace is brisk, the plotting assured. Though his take on the nature of faerie is not really new or inspired, it is deliberate and codified in a way that yields a satisfyingly focused vision of a fantasy staple. Though remarkably diverse in form and comportment, the fae of Dreams and Shadows share one trait: Each is a walking (or crawling or flying or swimming) embodiment of the moral from the fable “The Frog and the Scorpion”—for good or ill, each fae behaves as its nature demands. As for the supposed mystery and inscrutability of the fae? In this world, it stems less from innate complexity than from the stubbornness of our attempts to ascribe human motivations to their behaviors. All in all, it’s a persuasive vision of what makes faerie tick that in turn provides a convincing, fascinating backdrop for Cargill’s foray into contemporary fantasy.

As a result, Dreams and Shadows is a potent introduction to a world where the wondrous is rarely wonderful, the best intentions are guaranteed to roam farthest astray, and the reader is destined to keep turning the pages until the (somewhat) bitter end.

 
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