River of Dreams (Nine Kingdoms Series #8)

River of Dreams (Nine Kingdoms Series #8)

by Lynn Kurland
4.8 8

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River of Dreams 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Kathleen_MacIver More than 1 year ago
We are now up to Book 8 in the Nine Kingdoms series. My review is below, but here's where we're at right now: Two Prelude short stories, found in anthologies with other authors: The Queen in Winter ("A Whisper of Spring" When Symon, the first king of Neroche, woos and wins Iolaire) To Weave a Web of Magic (The Tale of Two Swords where Mehar and Gilraehen fall in love) Miach and Morgan's story is told in: 1 - Star of the Morning 2 - The Mage's Daughter 3 - Princess of the Sword. Ruith and Sarah's story (which OVERLAPS Miach and Morgan's story in the timeline) is told in: 4 - A Tapestry of Spells 5 - Spellweaver 6 - Gift of Magic Rùnach and Aisling's story is being told in: 7 - Dreamspinner 8 - River of Dreams (this book) 9 - Planned for Jan '15 Both Dreamspinner and River of Dreams take place over a time period of only a few weeks, and these few weeks fall between the final chapter of Princess of the Sword and the epilogue of that book, which is almost immediately after Gift of Magic ends. And wow.  This book is exquisite.  That's the best word I can find, and it falls so very short! Yes, this is the third Nine Kingdoms trilogy that centers around a prince who was hiding who he was and a woman who didn't know who she was or what she could do. It, like the others, is also a journey of discovery (happening amidst lots of journeys all over the 9 kingdoms.)  But there the similarities end. The progress of the romance is different, the characters are different, and even the magics are different. In fact, once more, the new book has expanded the world of the 9 Kingdoms and its beauty and possibilities even more! By the time this book opens, Aisling knows that Rùnach was an elvin prince who had his magic stolen by his evil father years before. She and Rùnach have also discovered that she has some pretty amazing abilities, though neither of them understand what she can do, how she can do it, or why she can do it. Rùnach is constantly asking her, "Who ARE you?"  And Aisling's answer is always "no one," for she saw her parents only weeks ago... their actions proved that they were no one of consequence. Aisling is a remarkable character.  She is beginning to believe that most of what she was told growing up was a lie. Elves actually do exist... and she's falling in love with one. Magic does exist after all... and she is somehow able to do inexplicable things with it. Dragons do exist... at least where shapechanging and magic is concerned. So maybe the curses hanging over her head aren't what she thought either.  She is very, very sweet, unfailingly polite, yet unafraid to follow her instincts when they urge her to take the magic threads surrounding her and.... but no. I will not spoil some of the most beautiful and amazing word-crafting I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying. Rùnach is... wow. How to describe this man who was the envy of his brothers for his skill with magic and his skill with the sword... before magic was taken and his hands were ruined of course.  I was so pleased to find that his skill with magic fit so perfectly with the hints given in the other two trilogies.  Somehow he still carries that skill, even though he can't use it, having no magic anymore. His character portrayal was so very much the combination of an elvin prince of rare skill, power, and high standing and a cripple affected by 20 years of hiding and affliction - a tricky combination. The story doesn't end there, of course. Rùnach and Aisling together were already something quite special in the beginning and through the first half of the book.  But then things begin to unfold in earnest... and the story becomes even more beautiful.  You are missing something amazing if you haven't read Chapter 17 yet! But their quest is getting more dangerous and uncertain. Soilléir is involved (as much as he'll allow himself to be, of course, which isn't much, though we learn a bit more about him). The book ends with not-quite-a-cliffhanger.  It's rather a fitting resting place before the next book (which we have to wait a whole year for) launches Rùnach and Aisling into their fight to save the world and the dreams woven through it.
sandyqw More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Lynn Kurland's books and just can't get enough. They just get better and better. I have read all of the Nine Kingdom books and they are all just great. I love the way this world and the characters were created to get you to use her words and your mind to create great images while you read. My only problem now is waiting for the next episode. Always waiting. Sigh!
kk_71556 More than 1 year ago
Can be a bit slow at times but over all very enjoyable books.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Author Lynn Kurland continues her Nine Kingdoms series with her latest book, River of Dreams. This is a fantasy novel that will draw readers in with Kurland's phenomenal powers of description and superb world building skills. A mix of both romance and magic, this is a tale of woman trying desperately to save her kingdom and an elven prince who joins her quest. It is a journey of self-discovery and most of the weaving and welding of magic in a magical land.  A great addition to the series! What I liked:  Kurland has gift for description that doesn't often come along. She can put words together that seem to flow like poetry. This book is worth reading just based on that. If you love words and how the can bring to life scenes that you may never have seen before, this book is amazing. Kurland is a skilled wordsmith.  Another things that really stands out about River is Dreams is the world building. Fantasy and Science Fiction writers have either a challenge or a curse when it comes to dreaming up and writing about worlds that the reader has never heard of or that don't exist. They can either be horrible at it or very good at, as Kurland is. I haven't read the other books in the series, but it obvious from reading this one that Kurland has created a world based on magic and magical principles. It doesn't work like our world and wasn't meant to. The people and even the objects don't operate as most readers would expect them to and that can be frustrating if you are not a fantasy enthusiast. But I think Kurland did a fantastic job of bringing Aisling and Runach's world to life.  Aisling was an interesting character. She was very strong and courageous, but she had a lot of self-doubt. She was vulnerable where Runach was concerned. She didn't feel worthy or important enough to be with him and that give their relationship the needed conflict the story hinged on. What I thought was interesting was that she did not have a concept of how she was able to do what she did, how she got her abilities or why she had them. That was another angle of the story that was not only captivating but riveting. Kurland character development in Aisling's case was circumspect but very clever. Runach was a wonderful hero. He had been stripped of his magic but it is easy to tell that he had a commanding presence, a regal bearing that was unmistakable. He is prince in hiding, who wants nothing more than to be left alone as a simple swordsman, but he is drawn to Aisling and her quest to save her country. I thought he was sensitive and thoughtful in regard to her and he knew she was special even if she didn't know it herself. What I didn't like: I think it took a bit too long for Aisling to discover exactly who she was. Not only for the other characters to know but for herself. I'm not always fond of a character who is self-deprecating or down on themselves. But Kuland does turn that around and brings the character full circle to the point that she sees her worth and value, so in the end it's not really a criticism. Bottom Line: Fantasy fans you don't want to miss this one. Romance readers, this is an example of a good clean romance that is set in a magical world. Lovers of words and descriptions, this novel is truly magical. 
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