The Dream Traveler: The Cardonian Chronicles Book One
This book does not start off slowly. As soon as you start it you’re thrown into this new world without explanation, and then everything is explained to you as you go. I actually preferred this instead of having information dumps without anything happening.
The story takes place in Cardonia, a land that is filled with extraordinary people. Everyone in Cardonia has a power, and not just the typical ones you’d read from in other books. However, not everyone with powers is accepted, or was. Many centuries ago, the ones who had the gift of telepathy were exiled from Cardonia and now their spirits are coming to make everyone pay.
I always love it when authors are willing to make their characters unlikable at moments, because the truth is that no one is perfect and that characters can be complex. They can make mistakes, despite being an overall good character. In this case, Raven, the main character was not always lovable and at times could be a bit childish, but it was clear that she is still growing and learning. This journey that she takes throughout the story definitely made the character grow, but I’m excited to see more development in the coming books.
This book is just packed with so much, from the characters to the overall story. It’s pretty much impossible to get bored in a book like this. Nothing is 100% certain throughout the whole story, you don’t know what will happen and who’s lives are at risk or aren’t. By the end of the book you’ll be dying to get all the answers… but just a warning, if you read this book you’ll probably be dying to start the next one!
It’s a great fantasy overall and I definitely would suggest giving it a try :)
Spirits have escaped from the badlands, pushing everyone in Cardonia to leave their homes in search of safety. Cardonia isn't just any land - it's people are far from what we would consider normal. They have talents, powers. These vary and range from animal speaking to persuasion to dream traveling. Raven is our main character. She travels far from home with her family. After a while, they get settled and begin to create new lives for themselves. Only Raven seems to see that not everything is as it seems. Can you trust even yourself when there are people with the power to guide your mind? As she is coming into her dream traveling powers, she meets a group of people who want just what she wants. Freedom to know their own minds. Loyalty to their queen.
What I liked:
Most of the secondary characters are very well done. They provide a diverse cast that is only going to do great things in subsequent books. The world is fascinating and the danger felt very real. Towards the end, I was on the edge of my seat. I'm probably not the target audience as I think this is more for the younger side of YA, but it was enjoyable all the same.
What was just okay:
I didn't feel like much actually happened. It wasn't that the pace was slow, because it wasn't, but after the spirits escaped and the journey began, there were very few ups and downs to get me excited. Raven seemed like a very young sixteen. She did things like whine and stomp off - almost like a brat. She had her very strong moments, don't get me wrong, but I would have liked more of them. There is also very little world building. It's a great world that could be expanded upon and I hope it is in the sequel.
I'd definitely recommend this to pre-teen or young teen readers who love a good fantasy world with the potential to be a great series!