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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
For fans of fantasy, Dreamwander, the first book of In the Ruins of Eden series by Kildare will be the perfect escape from the doldrums of life. Eighty-six-year-old Cillian Rysgaard has just been given the most heartbreaking diagnosis of his life and he is certain that the end is very near for him. But when he walks out of the doctor’s office, shocked and disoriented, he finds himself in a very strange world, and in the prime of his youth. The adventure begins when he decides to steal a powerful sword to fight a dragon. Things don’t turn out the way he wanted and he ends up releasing a prisoner who claims to be a god, and who is about to unleash the most horrible war amongst the gods, a war that could destroy the entire creation. Follow Cillian in this adventure as he battles his way through dragons and wild beasts and creatures of myth, as well as a technology he’s never known, in an alternate life to stop a powerful and mischievous god.
Kildare is a terrific writer and Dreamwander accomplishes what the works of Rick Riordan do for fans of mythology and epic fantasy. There is an eeriness in the setting that is evocative, and the fast-paced plot is highly imaginative, filled with surprising turns. The writing is impeccable. I was pulled in by the vivid descriptions. The author transitions with ease from the world we know to a dreamland, making readers feel as though they were dreaming, and taking them on a rollicking ride through exotic landscapes. The setting is beautifully captured in the prose and there are passages that will arrest readers' imaginations and make them visualize places as well as scenes. The author makes you feel as if you are part of the setting with descriptions like the narrowed path: “...the ferns hedged in. The cedars also leaned closer, and the moss shifted from yellow to dark green.” This is a deeply satisfying read and I give it a 5-star rating on all levels.