Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Review - The Sower of the Seeds of Dreams by Bill Page

Publisher: Matador
Year:    2011
Price in sterling: £7.99 (£7.19 on Amazon)
325 pages
ISBN:   978-1848766-105

The year is 368 AD and Roman Britain is recovering from a deluge of co-ordinated attacks, carried out by barbarian hordes, known as the Barbarica Conspirito.  A soldier is searching for a horde of stolen gold and a young priestess is looking for a missing man, hoping to find him alive and rekindle her diminishing faith.  Together they begin a journey across the region known as Britannia Prima, but the answers they seek may not give them the peace or security they desire.

What Page has done with this novel is produce a work based on a solid historical platform but seamlessly weave fiction with a super-natural element, and in doing so tells a wonderfully balanced story.  The characters are rounded, believable and fit each other perfectly.  You can relate to their insecurities, you feel their internal conflicts and sympathise with their shortcomings.


I am normally reticent to accept the presence of fantasy elements in historical fiction because so many writers over-egg them, leaving me with the distinct impression that the story is weak and needs supporting.  Bill Page manages to project the incredibly superstitious world of  Romano-Britain with consummate ease.  It was an age where Pagan & Christian conflict was rife and everyone believed  that a supernatural entity guided them on their life’s journey.  Page writes these passages so deftly, that you hardly notice them as being out of the ordinary. 

Bill Page has set the bar for independently published works extremely high with this work.  If any writer is considering an assisted publishing service, or similar entity, to get their novel into print, I can offer one simple piece of advice - read this book.  Use it as a benchmark, identify why it stands out and use those findings to improve your own manuscript.  This book was a pleasure to read and I thoroughly recommend it! 

I give "The Sower of the Seeds of Dreams" 5 crosses and award Bill Page "The Golden Hammer & Anvil Shield" as this book is beautifully written and deserves to be published as a main stream title.

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