It’s not very often that I’ve been tackling book reviews lately. Especially massive volumes that could be used as a bludgeoning device. I spent the last couple of months squeezing in time to read Dream of Legends by Stephen Zimmer whenever I could. I was justly rewarded with a world and story that is on par with some of my favorite epic fantasy writers of all time.
Dream of Legends is the second book in the Fires in Eden series, you can see my thoughts on the first book Crown of Vengeance. Where the first book took the unknowing characters from our world with the mist that seem to serve as a transportation device. That book was heavy on the Earth characters that had been transported to the world of Ave. The Point of Views (POV) were a large focus on those characters from our timeline. In Dream of Legends we get a focus on the POV of the inhabitants that played small parts in the first book. While I was craving to find out what was going to happen next to my worldly kin tossed into Ave, I found myself being even more excited to read about characters such as Gunther the Woodsman, Dragol the Trogan skyrider, and the character I found myself surprised in being one of my favorites, Wulfstan. That Saxon bastard won over my heart when he was finally given a chance to shine toward the end of the book.
And holy crap what a way to close out the book. Obviously I’m going to keep it spoiler free. But as I was nearing the end, and as each POV was being wrapped up for the book, I found myself almost feeling a tinge of excitement and sadness to see where they were going to be left off. Wulfstan of course, is now the king bad-ass in my book.
In true epic fantasy fashion, Zimmer has created a gigantic world full of crazy races of beings, gigantic battles (especially in the war for Saxony) and a cast of characters that you find yourself getting attached to. His writing style is highly descriptive to such a degree that on numerous accounts of reading before bed I found myself having vivid dreams from pages I had just read. I’ve said it numerous times, and I’ll say it again, Stephen Zimmer is a top tier author that is within reach of breaking out. If you’re a fan of Tolkien and R.R. Martin, you’ll find the world of Ave and the Fires in Eden series right up your alley. I love titanic struggles of Good Vs Evil locked in dreary battlefields on such a scale that it could be mind boggling. Armies that have swelled into the realm of batshit crazy amounts of participants are detailed on both sides, as well as the grizzly struggle as the wars rage on against the Unifier. Stephen isn’t a total blood-letter though, especially in concern to the Main POV characters. Though, I’ll completely understand if he starts a bloodbath to trim down the character POV list in his next book, especially with the stage set at the end of Dream of Legends.
Read this book, read Crown of Vengence if you want to start the series, but by all means, just start reading, it’s a glorious ride, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.