Dreams of the Compass Rose

Dreams of the Compass Rose

by Vera Nazarian

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940011062339
Publisher: Norilana Books
Publication date: 06/08/2010
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 385 KB

About the Author

VERA NAZARIAN immigrated to the USA from the former USSR as a kid, sold her first story at the age of 17, and since then has published numerous works in anthologies and magazines, and has seen her fiction translated into eight languages.

She made her novelist debut with the critically acclaimed arabesque "collage" novel DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE (2002), followed by epic fantasy about a world without color, LORDS OF RAINBOW (2003). Her novella THE CLOCK KING AND THE QUEEN OF THE HOURGLASS from PS Publishing with an introduction by Charles de Lint made the Locus Recommended Reading List for 2005. Her debut short fiction collection SALT OF THE AIR, with an introduction by Gene Wolfe, contains the 2007 Nebula Award-nominated "The Story of Love."

Recent work includes the 2008 Nebula Award-nominated, self-illustrated baroque fantasy novella THE DUKE IN HIS CASTLE (2008), the hilarious and surprisingly romantic Jane Austen parodies MANSFIELD PARK AND MUMMIES (2009), NORTHANGER ABBEY AND ANGELS AND DRAGONS (2010), PRIDE AND PLATYPUS: Mr Darcy's Dreadful Secret (2012), science fiction collection AFTER THE SUNDIAL (2010), inspirational daily reader THE PERPETUAL CALENDAR OF INSPIRATION (2010), relationship and love advice parody VAMPIRES ARE FROM VENUS, WEREWOLVES ARE FROM MARS (2012), and the Renaissance epic fantasy COBWEB BRIDE Trilogy (2013).

She is working on a number of book-length projects including QUALIFY (The Atlantis Grail Trilogy, Book One), LADY OF MONOCHROME (a sequel to LORDS OF RAINBOW), a new Compass Rose milieu novel GODS OF THE COMPASS ROSE, and the AIREALM Trilogy.

After many years in Los Angeles, Vera lives in a small town in Vermont, and uses her Armenian sense of humor and her Russian sense of suffering to bake conflicted pirozhki and make art.

In addition to being a writer and award-winning artist, she is also the publisher of Norilana Books.

Official website: www.veranazarian.com

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Dreams of the Compass Rose 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
bluelotus28 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I recently finished reading Vera Nazarian's novel, and I found that I enjoyed it more than I expected I would. While I am a fan of the fantasy genre in general, I generally am put off by some of the "high fantasy" or classical fantasy simply because I don't enjoy the writing style. Yet this novel kept me coming back. I enjoyed the rich world she created, as well as the mythology and history the characters found themselves bound in. The story felt a little disconnected as I followed the first few chapters, but the characters kept me coming back. For some reason it reminded me of some of Ursula LeGuin's writing and worlds. By the end, I was wanting more. More stories from the land she created and more characters woven into being by the vein of magic running through the land.
Al-G on LibraryThing 7 months ago
¿All stories have a curious and even dangerous power. They are manifestations of truth¿yours and mine. And truth is all at once the most wonderful yet terrifying thing in the world, which makes it nearly impossible to handle. It is such a great responsibility that it¿s best not to tell a story at all unless you know you can do it right. You must be very careful, or without knowing it you can change the world.¿ The words of Nazarian's character reveal a profound truth about the storyteller's art. Nazarian is a storyteller. She is a weaver of words and in this book she weaves together the words of her different stories to form a tapestry that offers the reader deep insights into our own views of the world. The book is composed of a series of vignettes. The characters change in each vignette, overlap, and interact as the stories intersect. All of this revolves around the Compass Rose ¿ a dream, a state of mind, a place to which we go when we sleep. The world of the Compass Rose is inhabited by gods and thieves, female warriors and men of honor, death and demons ¿ it is reminiscent of the world of the Arabian nights. At the center of this world is Ris, a warrior queen who has been raised to god-hood, or perhaps a grandmother who nurtures her grandchildren and safeguards them from harm, or perhaps a bartender in a remote village or a ship sailing the seas. Nazarian leaves room for the reader to occupy this story and to find their own meaning in the metaphors and illustrative designs of her poetic prose.She skillfully brings all of the characters together, allowing their paths to intersect and intertwine like threads, creating a pleasing whole at the conclusion of the weaving. Yet each story gives us pause to reflect and at the same time leaves us seeking more. And again quoting from her character, "in each telling the story itself changes a little, changes direction, and that in turn changes you and me. More often than you realize it, the world is shaped by two things¿stories told and the memories they leave behind.¿Nazarian leaves us with a memory of a vivid world, filled with characters that have shape and form and evoke our sympathy and draw us into their story changing us. And in the end, there is still the Compass Rose, the navigator that leads us into our dreams.
Pebblesgmc on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Dreams of the Compass Rose By Vera Nazaarian Is comprised of 14 colorful dreams, spanning continents, and many generations. Each dream will stand alone but is also and interesting part of the whole. I loved this book and am so glad I had this chance to read it.
roadway2000 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This was a good story with multiple lives and times. It evolved as the people lived their lives. A very interesting read, it will keep your interest throughout the book.
LaRay on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Received through LibraryThing member give away.I absolutely loved this book. The style in which it is written appeals to me, as does the way the stories circle around one another, touching, and returning from different angles and times. They were not all pleasant, but life is rarely ¿pleasant¿. There were some stories I would have liked to go on, but at the same time it might have ruined the flavor of the book. There are some (few) situations that, while not graphic, would have me not recommend this for younger readers (maybe PG13). This is the second work I have read by this author and I have enjoyed both thoroughly. I will defiantly be keeping an eye out for more of her work.
lesleymc on LibraryThing 7 months ago
The content more than lived up to the great title and lovely cover art. Really liked this book. Drew me in from the beginning. I particularly enjoyed the way characters reappeared in other stories making a cohesive collection of stories, each of which stand well on their own. Recommended.
DoskoiPanda on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Dreams of the Compass Rose is old fashioned storytelling in the grand style of Arabian Nights or Catherynne M. Valente's "Orphan's Tales". There are tales within tales that overlap and create a rich tapestry defining not just the story, but the history of a world. Each "dream" is told as a separate story, and can stand alone, but they are much richer when taken into consideration with the surrounding stories. The overarching tale is that of the creation of the goddess known as "Risei" and her subsequent dealings with humanity, but there are also the stories of the king who took an eyeless woman to be his queen; of an unsinkable ship and its peerless captain; of the thief of Death's scythe; of a city of no sleep, where dreams of a mad king alter reality; of desert and sea journeys; and of a young man's life as it is intertwined with the strange nobles, a goddess, Illusion and the lessons of servitude, truth and blindness. The storytelling is a bit like a spirograph - you think you've seen the last of a character and they pop up again, and you learn more each time as the circles twine and build. There are lessons in each, like fables, and the lessons instruct morally, but also add a layer to the view of their world. The language is slightly stilted, and occasionally a bit too flowery for my tastes, but this is in keeping with the narrative form the author chose, and doesn't obscure the tales. If anything, it may lend them a cadence that mimics that of a spoken story. Characters are illuminated, and explored, but kept in a manner of legends - intimate thoughts are only exposed where necessary to propel the story and its lesson, leaving space for the reader's imagination.I really loved this. I'd recommend it for readers who enjoy storytelling in layers and told with the feel of those normally given in an oral tradition. The price for this is a little steep for an e-book, but the author delivers a whole world, complete with peoples, legends, history and oral traditions. Overall: 4.5 or 5 starsReview copy supplied by the author as part of LibraryThing's Member Giveaway program.
MarFisk on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Dreams of the Compass Rose by Vera Nazarian is a wonderful collection of intertwined stories that explore humanity, godhood, what is right, and what is illusion. It drew me in with a strong storytelling voice, sometimes using an overt narrator and sometimes just the tale unfolding.In a way, the style reminds me of the older fantastical fiction like Tales of the Arabian Nights, at least in the beginning. This isn¿t a modern fantasy where the magic has its own physics, and yet much of it follows conventions and laws within its own world, whether it¿s demonstrating the dangers of acting on too little information so though your intent is good the results are bad, or the risks of letting arrogance make you believe yourself smarter than gods. It¿s a world where horrible acts have consequences, and horrible suffering sometimes offers a faint reward.At the start, the characters are all strangers, but as the book progresses, some of those strangers become familiar, even welcome. The narrative style changes too from an account of distant times brought to life by a storyteller to a tale unfolding before your eyes through the lens of a first person actor within the events. The choices made are ripe with conflict and often not what the character deserves, and yet as the stories come full circle, it works out. Things make sense, and even offer elements of happiness.This is a skillful, complex world peopled with compelling, three-dimensional characters that offer their dreams and nightmares in the hope that you, the reader, will walk away changed. My only regret is that it took me so long after getting the book to read it.
ghilbrae on LibraryThing 7 months ago
The book is a collection of stories set in a world with reminiscences of our own but with its own mythological feeling. Although each tale is a story on its own, they are all connected and they contribute to build a world only hinted in each one. The intertwining of the stories goes beyond the plot as many characters appear in more than one story and sometimes a character with a brief appearance in one is the main one in a subsequent one.The narrative has a dream-like quality that at times reminds me of Lord Dunsany's tales. Although it never attains the same level of marvel and strangeness that I find in Dunsany's books, they are certainly evocative and vivid.Despite the book has all that I find appealing, I never get immersed in it as I would have liked. I put the blame mainly on myself for reading it just after a horror book and when I am mostly reading rather violent books. I will read it again, when I am done with this period, because I know that I can enjoy it much more.
cat8864 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Wonderful imagery and philosophy blended with fantasy creating something akin to parables, but if you're looking for an easy read or actual fantasy-fantasy then this isn't for you.
AlexDraven on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I loved how these short stories looped around each other, interlinking and reflecting each other to build a really magnificent whole. This firmly inhabits the ground between fantasy and mythology - I must admit I found the language a little rich for my tastes sometimes, but the overall balance of the whole is masterful. Beautiful.
kristincedar on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Dreams of the Compass Rose is a fair book combining all the elements of fantasy, desire and conflict. Intertwined stories touching on every facet of family life of many generations. This book was very good; a little confusing to follow the themes of every member of the tribe, but I could see Hollywood using this story and making a multimillion dollar block-buster. Translating the words in the visual would be the only thing to make this novel better.
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