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The Treasured One: Book Two of The Dreamers    by David Eddings & Leigh Eddings order for
Treasured One
by David Eddings
Order:  USA  Can
Aspect, 2004 (2004)

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*   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I still remember the authors' Belgariad series fondly, as the first fantasy that introduced a variety of engaging characters (many with magical powers) who bantered their way through extraordinary adventures. Recently the authors have modified the formula to give their protagonists godlike powers; indeed in this Dreamers series, quite a few main characters are actually gods. Along with chief deity Dahlaine are his brother Veltan and two sisters, Zelana and Aracia.

Zelana's realm came under attack in the first in the series, The Elder Gods. Now it's the turn of Veltan's peaceful farmers. The 'Dreamers' of the title are younger (replacement) gods, who have been awoken early by Dahlaine, and are being raised by their elders (some of whom have to seek parenting help from those who worship them). Each Dreamer has a special gem. The Elder gods can't take life, but the younger ones are free to destroy enemies in their dreams - making a good night's sleep occasionally vital to release earthquake, fire and flood. The evil to be vanquished (what's a fantasy without one?) is an army of venomous bug-men and hard-shelled spiders dispatched by the Vlagh, an evil entity that engages in wholesale genetic experimentation. There's also a human bad guy, ex-priest Jalkan, who's perpetually greedy for gold and willing to betray anyone to get it. He's manipulated into bringing an army after fool's gold; these rather pathetic villains end up fighting monsters instead.

Though I still enjoy the easy banter, I don't like what the ongoing deus ex machina interventions do to recent Eddings' plots (there's even a super-god here, masquerading as a human and manipulating minds at every turn). Many of the character types are getting old after regular reincarnations in slightly different versions in a multiplicity of series. And I admit that I skimmed over the repetition of the same events in this episode from far too many points of view. I can only recommend The Dreamers to the most ardent of Eddings fans; to everyone else I suggest re-reading the authors' brilliant Belgariad one more time.

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