Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Gargill is one of those delicious books that begins classically, “Once upon a time.” That beginning has always sucked me in and was a phrase I instructed my scholars to use when stuck with how to start an essay. The scholars were instructed to erase the phrase once the essay was written, though some cleverly used that phrase as a way to introduce something from what was read as a hook to the essay. “Once upon a time,” is a grand way to begin.
I’m not a real fan of Sci-Fi, so this choice was a chance. A good chance with a passage like this: “He’s (a vizier) the king’s most trusted advisor. If the king has a question or a command, the vizier tells him whether it’s a good idea or not. Sometimes the vizier tells what he should do, but he does so in a way that makes the king think it was his own idea.” Just like real life, haha.
We encounter fairies, monsters, supernatural beings, and genies make this a very clever fanciful adventure. Bouncing between expert essay excerpts on the supernatural, fairies, and more that provide the science of the shadows and dreams and the very world about which these excerpts speak is an attempt to make it all real. Dreams have always fascinated us, but it is the shadows that have always concerned me. Tricks of the eyes or stuff in the eye that make us think we saw something flit in front of us or to our side confounds us. Not any more, this book helps explain all that to me and that I’m not seeing things, I’m seeing things that can’t be explained. I like that.
At first I had trouble getting onto this novel and then it kicked in and was fun.