The Elder Gods
David & Leigh Eddings
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Buy *The Elder Gods: Book One of The Dreamers* online The Elder Gods: Book One of The Dreamers
David & Leigh Eddings
400 pages
October 2003
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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In the Wasteland at the center of Dhrall, That-Called-the-Vlagh has created and refined an army of monsters to destroy and devour everything in its path. The four gods who guide, nurture and protect the humans of Dhrall have only a little time left before they sleep and leave the future of humanity to their fate. Only the Dreamers can save Dhrall and the rest of the world.

The Elder Gods, Book One of The Dreamers, launches David and Leigh Eddings’ latest fantasy series. With typical flair, the Eddings introduce a family of gods who, but for one exception, are intricately involved in the lives and futures of men.

Zelana of the West is more involved with creating music and poetry than in the lives of her charges, but her brother Dahlaine comes to the pink undersea cave off the island of Thurn and reminds her of the growing threat from the Wasteland and the prophecy of the Dreamers. Dahlaine gives her a gift, a baby named Eleria. She reluctantly allows the baby to stay and finds in the growing child a rapt audience for her art when Eleria does not explore with the pink dolphins that are Zelana’s favorite companions. Nevertheless, Zelana must give up her solitude and face the coming storm.

Mother Sea and Father Earth have unleashed the Vlagh’s servants earlier than expected. The first battle will be fought in Zelana’s domain, and her people have neither the strength nor the resources to turn back the tide. The only answer is to buy mercenaries, but will they be in time?

In David Eddings previous sagas, The Belgariad and The Mallorean, he followed Tolkien’s lead. Although Eddings’ main characters had close ties to the gods and derived their powers from their ties, the domains and lands through which his protagonists moved were drawn directly from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. In The Dreamers, the Eddings have taken a similar route, but instead of opening by placing the reader in the midst of intrigue and action, they took a page from Tolkien’s Silmarillion, giving the history of Dhrall, the gods who care for its people, and the enemy at the heart of the wasteland. In the second chapter, Eddings parts ways with Tolkien and begins a brand new journey through uncharted territory.

The character of Eleria is very similar to Ce’Nedra in her steel wrapped in velvet touch, and Long Bow is reminiscent of Durnik’s solid common sense from the previous Eddings’ sagas, but the remainder of the characters is fresh and realistic, and at times irreverent.

The first book of The Dreamers is the promising tip of a rich and exciting tale, intricately interwoven characters and plots that show David and Leigh Eddings at the top of their game. The Elder Gods is fantasy at its best and brightest.

© 2004 by J.M. Cornwell for Curled Up With a Good Book

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