Verdict: SHATTERING DREAMS is a fun romp that should satisfy most fantasy fans and sets the tone for an intriguing series to follow.
Prince Alex, fourth child of the King, and his two best friends, Lord Kyle and Lady Jess, live a life of decadent privilege. Their days are spent practicing the sword, their nights rarely end in the same person’s bed twice. They are each cursed with the Taint, which gives them power to access the Veil and abilities others only dream of, but comes with the looming threat of impending madness. A failed kidnapping attempt sets the three companions on the path to learning more about their abilities, while trying to determine who wants them dead.
SHATTERING DREAMS by Catherine M Walker is set in a pseudo-medieval world filled with courtly intrigue, dangerous magic and shadowy assassins. As the first installment of THE BEING OF DREAMS fantasy series, it provides a good introduction to the world, the characters and the greater threat facing the kingdom, and one can’t help but wonder what lies in store for the threesome in further sequels.
However, there are some niggling issues that detract from the overall enjoyment. Firstly, the novel is quite long, mostly due to a lack of proper editing so that needless repetition and a few unnecessary scenes bog the story down. Secondly, the characters, although interesting, are very cliché: the misunderstood prince, the lady’s man, the huntress, the mistress. Thirdly, the threat of madness is very real and very well-depicted, but the Sundered themselves and the havoc they cause outside the safety of the castle walls seem trivial in comparison and makes the prophesy of the Fourth feel like an unnecessary complication. And lastly, for a world that looks and sounds and smells very medieval, one does wonder how advanced their indoor plumbing is, since everyone seems to have a private bathroom or a steaming cup of coffee waiting for them.
All these little gripes aside, SHATTERING DREAMS is a fun romp that should satisfy most fantasy fans and sets the tone for an intriguing series to follow.
~Suneé Jones for IndieReader