Review: The Book of Stolen Dreams

The Book of Stolen Dreams is an exceptionally powerful fantasy adventure that immediately drew me into the magic of the story with the intriguing introduction, and kept me gripped throughout. A story of love, courage and sacrifice in the face of hatred, cruelty and fear:  a story that reverberates the past and the present with the hope of a better future.

The story opens with twelve-year-old Rachel Klein escaping from the City of Brava in Krasnia, under the despotic rule of tyrant, President Charles Malstain, whose paranoia and hunger for absolute control has dulled a once vibrant City.  She is travelling by airship to Port Clement to find her brother, Robert.  She is alone:  her mother is dead and her father is in prison.  She is on a mission, but so is the person who befriends her …

What an intriguing start to this incredible adventure!  I was completely captured as I devoured the details that led to Rachel’s escape from Brava, as I learned more about the cruel rule of Malstain and as I learned about a magical Book at the centre of the story, The Book of Stolen Dreams.

On Rachel’s eleventh birthday, she and her brother are taken to the North Brava Public Lending Library by their librarian father who entrusts them with the Book, a theft that leads to his imprisonment and separation from his children.  A year later, Rachel and Robert find themselves alone, waiting to be taken to an orphanage, but they open the Book and their lives change forever …

Let the true dreamer awake …

Can they uncover the secrets hidden within the Book?  Will they be able to find the missing page that will allow them to reveal the magic of the Book?  But, most important of all, will they be able to stop the Book falling into the hands of Malstain who will stop at nothing to possess its power?

This is an incredible, tense and exciting adventure, intricate and powerful, that kept me on the edge of my seat, utterly enthralled, as I followed both children’s journeys, through a parallel narrative, as they are relentlessly hunted by Malstain, desperately hoping that they will find each other before Malstain finds them. 

Robert and Rachel are incredibly strong, determined and courageous children.  Born during a cruel dictatorship, and living in fear, their father shows them what it is to dream, to love, to play and to imagine.  They must learn who to trust, what to reveal and how to make sacrifices.  Rachel, in particular, has a strength of character that engenders trust, kindness and loyalty in others.  Both are determined to see a new Krasnia, free of the chains thrown around it by Malstain, and take perilous risks in the hope of ensuring that freedom.

This is a scintillating adventure that swept me into a richly imagined world of daring and danger, a world of loss and hope, and a world of hatred and love.  An unmissable, unforgettable adventure!

Thank you to Fritha Lindqvist and Usborne for a proof copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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