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Reviewed by Patricia Reding for Readers' Favorite
For those younger readers and their parents looking for a clean fantasy story based on Christian philosophy, Kristen Reed offers Eirwen’s Dream: Inside Snow White’s Sleeping Mind. Based loosely on the traditional fairytale of Snow White, Eirwen is to assume the throne upon the death of her father. Young, beautiful, and in love with Prince Roderick, she expects great things to come. But when her stepmother, Nerys, who is concerned there will no longer be a place for her, poisons Eirwen, she “awakens” in a faraway land, Edwig. There, Lawen befriends her. Together the two surmise that Eirwen may be the one awaited in Edwig — the one prophecy identifies her as Snow White (which happens to be Eirwen’s parents’ childhood nickname for her as well.) As trouble unfolds in the form of an evil Siren who kills beautiful young women to maintain her beauty and power, Eirwen, Lawen, and their newfound friends, seek to outfit Eirwen with the armor she will require to defeat the evil Siren and her reapers.
There is a growing desire for Christian fantasy reads and the rules for the genre seem to be changing. In the case of Eirwen’s Dream, Kristen Reed pushes the boundaries a bit in that she is not telling a story only of faith and redemption. Rather, she is portraying through Eirwen’s journey a series of principles that a believer endeavors to follow. When Eirwen masters each of them, she is provided with one of the elements of the armor of God (i.e, the “shield of faith,” the “helmet of salvation,” the “breastplate of righteousness,” and so forth). This story is unapologetically Christian in nature, including references to the Bible, to Jesus Christ, and to forgiveness and salvation. Thus, it hits all the points necessary for those looking for a story set in a fantasy world, with unreal creatures and elements of “magic,” while also promoting the Christian faith. Sure to be enjoyed by late-middle grade readers and up, Eirwen’s Dream is a well-written page-turner.