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Publisher's Summary

The classic fantasy duology, combining The Dreamstone and The Tree of Swords and Jewels in an omnibus for the first time.

It was that transitional time of the world when man first brought the clang of iron and the reek of smoke to the lands which before had echoed only with fairy voices. In that dawn of man and death of magic, there yet remained one last untouched place - the small forest of Ealdwood - which kept the magic intact and protected the old ways. And there was one who dwelt there, Arafel the Sidhe, who had more pride and love of the world as it used to be than any of her kind.

But fear of the world of Faery ran deep in the hearts of men, and when Ciaran Cuilean, Lord of Caer Wiell, a man with Elvish blood in his veins, found himself the object of increasing distrust and suspicion from his men, his king, and even his own family, he knew he must once again put his humanity aside and return to Ealdwood.

For shadows of a newly awakened evil swarmed across both lands, and unless Ciaran reclaimed his haunted weapons from the Tree of Swords and joined Arafel, he would see this evil overtake not only the warm hearthstones of the mortal keeps but the silvery heart of Ealdwood itself....

©1997 C.J. Cherryh (P)2018 Tantor

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story and performance

No, my eyes were watering, those weren’t little tears. I enjoyed the story As one would enjoy echos of JRRT. Towards the end of book two before the big battle there seemed to be some filler chapters with Branwyn generally being a B and just saying “no” to everybody, and the honor of loyalty in the heroes being lengthily reestablished. I put it to 2x speed during those few chapters.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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mysterious, authentic, beautiful

This book harkens back to Gaelic folklore and has a real sense of mystery and beauty in it. In terms of deeply exploring the relationship between humans and the Fae/Elves/Sidhe, this book is really the true master work in fantasy literature.

in short, this piece follows a few generations of humans in a small kingdom that borders an ancient eld forest. when the world of men is broken by chaos and war, the gods and fair folk of the forest may be their only salvation, or perhaps their undoing. dark and ancient things live beneath the mountains.

we've all seen the fantasy tropes and we all know about elves and magic and cold iron and the like. but rather than feeling like a rehash of the old tropes, the Dreaming Tree really feels like it digs deep into the past of folkloric fantasy and has such a sense of wonder and beauty in it. the writing is absolutely exquisite and the narrator is perfect.

I have read dozens of fantasy books. this one is not only Cherry's best work, but one of the finest books in the genre. if anyone tells you that fantasy is childish or not literary or too predictable, this book is the perfect counter argument. a masterpiece of prose. hearing this audio version is like visiting an old Gaelic storyteller and hearing an authentic ancient tale of the fair folk. it just sings. I love it.

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unsure

this book was confusing to me I had to start it twice. the narrator kept putting me to sleep. maybe this just wasn't my kind of book.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful