The Queen of Dreams – Peter Hamilton (illustrated by Adam Stower)

“‘Just go away,’ Taggie Paganuzzi whispered fiercely at the grey rainclouds that we’re drawing together across the bright summer sky. She and her sister were returning from a holiday with their mum to spend a fortnight with their dad. The drive had taken hours and Taggie was seriously bored.”

Taggie and her sister Jemima are on their way to their dads for summer when Taggie makes the rainclouds disappear. She doesn’t realise then that she is the cause of their sudden disappearance but its just the first of the very weird things that happen to them over the next couple of days. By far the weirdest thing though is seeing their dad be dragged down the old well by a small army belonging to the King of Night. Following him down the well seems like the best way to get him back but soon they have to face facts; their family isn’t as ordinary as they believed. 

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This book was, well, great if you are really young… but probably not for me. 
The story was like an old fashioned adventure tale with a few references of modern life brought into it like mobile phones, ipads and farming technology. To be honest if they references weren’t there to drag it into the 21st century it probably would have worked better as it would have had the timeless classic feel to it, but nevermind. The adventure the girls go on is fun and exciting, and it was pretty much all that kept me reading. That and the beautiful and awesome illustrations of course, they definitely deserve a shout-out! 
Other than the adventure that the girls go on and the truths they uncover about their family’s past, I really wasn’t very into The Queen of Dreams. The writing was very simplified and I was expecting a young YA read, whereas this book is definitely middle grade. However saying that I got confused with the characters and keeping track of their names and who was related to who was hard for me so I’m not sure how much a 9 year old would cope either. You can definitely tell that this is the authors first step into writing for children, and that it is not his first book. I honestly believe it must be a very difficult task for a renown adult author to turn their hand to kids books, but here I don’t think it worked very well, sorry. 

The characters were also a little bland and whilst I enjoyed reading about Taggie and Jemima they didn’t have any great qualities that struck out at me. Even Felix, who I thought I would love from the look of him on the cover, was little more than a talking squirrel with glasses and a sword and I didn’t like that his background wasn’t uncovered a little more, even though it was alluded too. 

Overall The Queen of Dreams felt a little bland to me. I was expecting some brilliant epic fantasy, and if you are a reader of this blog you will know I love 9-12 fantasy, but it just didn’t happen. Maybe I am wrong and a lot of young readers will love this book but it was just a bit to plain for me to love. 
The Queen of Dreams was published on January 2nd by Random House Children’s Books. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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