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*Dreamquest* by Bill Pottle- young adult fantasy book review

Also by Bill Pottle:


by Bill Pottle
Grades 7-9 352 pages Writers Club Press March 2003 Paperback    

As the title indicates, the book begins with a quest to interpret a visionary dream that a young boy named Tarthur receives. Small rural village life, ruled by a Baron and his son, Morty (who is a constant source of trouble for Tarthur and Derlin), is beautifully put together in such a way that village life becomes real to the reader.

Unique wild go far beyond the typically typecast goblins, dwarves and elves. Oh, there are golden-skinned elves with black hair, and black-skinned dwarves that live underground - but how about transparent, shape-shifting dragons and a wizard from the merfolk? Mix that with interplanetary travel and ancient magic that goes back more than three centuries that involves the four elements - Water, Earth, Wind and Fire - and the orbs that host these powers.

Dreamquest is certainly an emotional tale. Sadness and joy, righteous anger, and bittersweet moments of humor are speckled throughout the pages. My first impression of Dreamquest was that it was going to be another entry in the King Arthur genre, due to the two lead character’s names: Tarthur and Derlin. Indeed, there is a magical sword, several in fact, but not the kind we’ve heard about in other fantasy tales. Indescribable courage, realistic battle scenes, the experience of first love, strong friendships and espionage follow along as Tarthur and Derlin become men. In particular, the decimation of two villages was so disturbing that I was genuinely moved.

Author Bill Pottle has been working on this book since sixth grade. As a Tae Kwon Do martial artist with a fourth-degree black belt ranking, Bill and his friends were able to enact the battle and fight scenes to ensure realism.

However, Dreamquest lacks in the way of an index for the extensive list of characters. A little information about each species in this book would have made it more complete and fulfilling for the reader.

Besides the two aforementioned main characters, there are nearly a dozen other secondary characters, including Tustor, the merwizard; Yonathan and Kandan, the Freeton survivors; Dalin, the elf prince companion, and his beautiful sister, Valena; Zelin, the human wizard; and the unforgettable twins, Yvonne & Yvette, street thieves who have higher connections than one might think. Best not to forget Marhyn, the Dark Lady, and Darhyn, the Death Lord, siblings who possess two of the elements of power.

Despite this lack of foresight, I gladly give this book a five-star rating due to the excellent storyline, superb development from scene to scene, and a cast of characters I will remember for some time.

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