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Dreams of the Compass Rose (英語) ハードカバー – 2013/3
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This is the 10th Anniversary Edition of the critically acclaimed mythic fantasy classic "collage novel" DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE by two-time Nebula Award Nominee Vera Nazarian.
The world is shaped by two things -- stories told and the memories they leave behind.
The Compass Rose universe -- an ancient milieu where places have no names, cities spring forth like bouquets in the desert, gods and dreams walk the scorching sands in the South, ice floats like mirror shards upon the Northern sea, islands that do not exist are found in the East, death chases a thief on the rooftops of a Western city, immortal love spans time, and directions are intertwined into one road we all travel....
You come to this place when you wonder, and sometimes, only when you dream.
What is the nature of evil?
When a young warrior of a dark race finds himself bound in servitude to a beautiful cruel princess, his loyalty becomes entwined with something more horrifying and mysterious than endless night falling over the ancient desert.
When a courageous young servant reveals her hidden wisdom to the madman conqueror of the world, her fate is joined to a nightmare suspended beyond death and outside the universe.
Two souls from different times -- their destinies connected through hundreds of other lives and generations, through soft whispers of the wind, through ancient truths that lie buried in an island between worlds.
Both souls enslaved through dream and desire in an endless conflict between truth and illusion.
They can only be set free by the wonder of the Compass Rose.
"A clever concoction of vignettes and short stories knitted into a morality tale about the temptation of illusion and the price of truth... an exotic setting reminiscent of Tanith Lee's Flat Earth series.... The author's sumptuous language will resonate with Lord Dunsany and Clark Ashton Smith fans... Nazarian's vital themes and engaging characters are sure to entertain."
"The colorful strong writing style that Vera has worked on for years has come to full fruition."
-Marion Zimmer Bradley
"I love this book. Dreams of the Compass Rose is a story-cycle in which we keep coming back to the same characters, except from different viewpoints and different times in their lives. It's set in a land of desert empires that never was, though it could easily be our world-far in the future, or deep in the past. Some of the stories are brutal, some are like dreams. All of them are engaging and resonant, creating a new mythology that feels so right one might be forgiven for thinking that it's the cultural heritage of some forgotten country or people that have been lost to history. It reminded me of those wonderful, dream-laden story-cycles that Clark Ashton Smith and Lord Dunsany were writing around the turn of the last century. Dreams of the Compass Rose has a similar stately lyricism, a compelling and visionary voice that speaks to the heart of the reader."
-Charles de Lint
"Nazarian's story cycle treads the borderline between the episodic novel and the short-story collection... her imagery is rich, vivid, and memorable, not to mention being remarkable because she realizes it not in her native language, Russian, but in English.... this is a singularly appealing book by a new voice in fantasy."
"An intricate multi-level story... a kind of Aesop's Fables... spoken with a voice from the Far East, hypnotic as the desert sands."
Vera Nazarian left the former Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War as a refugee at the age of eight and arrived in the United States a month before her 10th birthday by way of Lebanon, Greece, and Italy. As soon as she figured out the English language, she started to write in it and sold her first short story at the age of 17. Since then she has published numerous works of short fiction in anthologies and magazines such as the Sword and Sorceress and Darkover series edited by the late Marion Zimmer Bradley, and has seen her work translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and Czech. She is an active member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
Ancient myth, moral fables, and her Armenian and Russian ethnic heritage play a strong part in all her work, combining the essences of things and places long gone into a rich evocation of wonder.
Reading Level: I'd recommend this for any age that can read it
Recommended for: I'd recommend this for anyONE that can read it
Trigger Warnings: Some minor violence
Disclosure: I won a copy of this e-book through the LibraryThing Members' Giveaway program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis: When a young warrior of a dark race finds himself bound in servitude to a beautiful, cruel princess, his loyalty becomes entwined with something more horrifying and mysterious than endless night falling over the ancient desert. When a courageous young servant reveals her hidden wisdom to the madman conqueror of the world, her fate is joined to a nightmare suspended beyond death and the universe. The destinies of two souls become connected through ancient truths that lie buried in an island between worlds. Both souls become enslaved through dream and desire in an endless conflict between truth and illusion. They can only be set free by the wonder of the Compass Rose.
My Thoughts: The language in this book is lyrical and lovely, comprising a montage of stories and legends about the world of the Compass Rose. It's a fascinating exercise in true world building, from the ground up. Not only are the parameters of the world culture being built through these loosely connected tales, but we're also seeing the physical world being built up, literally before our eyes.
The story itself is sort of disjointed, but as you read the various legends and fables, it all starts to come together. All the stories connect in the end, although you need to be paying attention as you read to keep track of each level. However, it is well worth it. The stories are each wondrous gems, brilliant and scintillating, and absolutely lovely to experience. Definitely a book to be savored and enjoyed over and over. Highly recommended.
Dreams of the Compass Rose really does leave you wishing for more. I think there is a sequel in the works.
I was able to pick this up for free. Well worth paying for. Due to one specific scene, would recommend for adults only.
She has a stellar vocabulary which aids her in tellings; her vocabulary is so awesome that her writing is both intellectually and emotionally satisfying. I want more, more and more. Let me read more dreams from Compass Rose.