Dreams and Shadows by Robert C. Cargill

October 25, 2013
Dreams and Shadows by Robert C. CargillDreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill
Published by HarperCollins on 2013-02-26
Genres: Contemporary, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, Fantasy, Horror
Pages: 464
Source: Gollancz Geeks

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A brilliantly crafted modern tale from acclaimed film critic and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill—part Neil Gaiman, part Guillermo Del Toro, part William S. Burroughs—that charts the lives of two boys from their star-crossed childhood in the realm of magic and mystery to their anguished adulthoodsThere is another world than our own—one no closer than a kiss and one no further than our nightmares—where all the stuff of which dreams are made is real and magic is just a step away. But once you see that world, you will never be the same.Dreams and Shadows takes us beyond this veil. Once bold explorers and youthful denizens of this magical realm, Ewan is now an Austin musician who just met his dream girl, and Colby, meanwhile, cannot escape the consequences of an innocent wish. But while Ewan and Colby left the Limestone Kingdom as children, it has never forgotten them. And in a world where angels relax on rooftops, whiskey-swilling genies argue metaphysics with foul-mouthed wizards, and monsters in the shadows feed on fear, you can never outrun your fate.Dreams and Shadows is a stunning and evocative debut about the magic and monsters in our world and in our self.


Dreams and Shadows by Rober C. Cargill will open your eyes to the darker side of the fae as it illustrates a very interesting take on fairy tales. The creepy, disturbing, and frankly terrifying nature they bring to the human world.  The story follows the life of two boys. Ewan, who was raised among the magical and mystical creatures in the Limestone Kingdom and Colby, who lived a more normal human life. Each boy lived in a separate world than the other has ever known. That is until their paths cross.

Cargill has crafted an eerie setting where familiar beings of folklore are introduced to and interwoven with a world that on the surface appears much like ours.  In this world however, a suspicious look, a glimpse of movement in the shadows, or just a feeling that something is terribly wrong could be much more than just your imagination.

Ewan, born to an idyllic family should have led a normal happy life surrounded by love and nurtured by his adoring parents. But, that was not the path his life took. Instead that picturesque life was stolen from him after he caught the eye of someone from the fairy world. He became part of their grander plan, knowing nothing of the life that he was born to, the life he should have had.

Colby had a less than ideal life within the human world and when the opportunity presented itself, he grasped at his chance to learn all he could about the world unknown, the world that inspired fairy tales.

This book is full of familiar creatures, beings, and tidbits of folklore. But they are all twisted and given a more sinister side. Even when there is not ill intent, if a fairy touches a human life, odds are the human will be much worse of for it. When Colby and Ewan cross paths, they each begin to learn of the other’s world, learn of unbelievable things and that one’s folktale is the other’s reality. The story follows the boys through adult hood and clearly shows the price that they each must pay for their time spent amongst the fairies.

If you are in the mood for a dark and dooming take on fairy tales, this would be a great choice. I think if I had not read Faerie Tale by Raymond E. Feist earlier this year, I may have enjoyed this one even more. They are similar in that Faerie Tale was also a haunting look at how Fairies could exist in our world. Certainly not the same story, but a similar overall feel. Personally, I think Cargill did a better job in Dreams and Shadows and I would certainly recommend reading it. Just make sure to not read it on a night where you might be wondering what is lurking in the shadows.


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