The series started with Crown of Vengeance (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-0983108627]. To read my review follow this link.
Dream of Legends stands for 723 pages and is a real "door stopper".
There is no break between Crown of Vengeance and Dream of Legends. The story continues seamlessly. That makes it slightly difficult for new readers.
But I think the following blurb offers enough spoiler free information that you can start to read without problems.
"Dream of legends, and soar across the world of Ave…It took me some time to decide how I wanted to arrange the review. Dream of Legends is no run-of-the-mill book. Neither from content nor from size. And therefore it deserves an unusual review.
For Janus and the other exiles from a modern world, finding themselves in the fantastical lands of Ave was just the beginning. The assault upon the Kingdom of Saxany and the tribes of the Five Realms ignites, as the eyes of The Unifier turn southward, across the seas towards faraway Midragard. A desperate, dangerous time looms, when all will be swept up in the tides of war rippling out from Avanor.
Yet in the heart of the maelstrom, several lights begin to shine through the darkness. Some are on a path of discovery, to uncover the power that lies within, while others will brave perilous journeys, to seek out the things said to exist only in the faded mists of myth and legend. In the face of monstrous adversaries, massive armies, and even horrific entities summoned from infernal depths, courage and honor become the sword and shield in the hands of those who choose to resist." [Source]
You will not get more details about the story than offered in the blurb. In fact I would like to give you an insight of my reading process combined with my statements what I liked/disliked.
When I read a book there is always a pen and a sheet of paper beside me. I make notes whenever I think it is necessary.
I made a lot of notes in case of Dream of Legends.
After a moderate beginning (the first quarter) the story explodes in nearly sheer madness of scope and detail (second and third quarter) and turned to be more focused in the final quarter like the first part of Crown of Vengeance.
You may understand that I got in trouble with my notes especially in the middle of the book. I was afraid to get lost in information. I read a lot of pages twice or thrice because I was afraid to miss something and I added more and more notes. That was the time when I wrote a mail to Stephen Zimmer and explained that
"I feel buried in information. I can't memorize all the factions, their history, their insignia, all these people. So I have often to thump backwards through the book or to check my incomplete notes. As soon as I loose concentration I feel to get lost. I hope I did not miss anything important for the story. Dream of Legends is like Lord of the Rings trilogy and all four A Song Of Ice And Fire (ASOIAF) books focused in one book."Stephen Zimmer replied and gave me some advice. He explained to me that Dream of Legends is a book you can read again and again and every time you will discover something new. Not every single description of insignia and other things are important for the on going of story. All these details are for the pleasure of readers who like to get descriptions of nearly everything. It all depends on your reading habits. I changed my reading habits a bit which helped me a lot.
Don't get me wrong. Dream of Legends is a great read. I do not know many books where you get descriptions of nearly everything in such detail. That is epic depicting fantasy.
There a some characters which I like a lot: The mysterious Wanderer, Gunter and his Jaghuns and not to forget the forward-thinking Wulfstan.
As in book one the story is told from different character's point of view which gives you a great overview of all the factions and characters who follow their own plans.
Beside that you take part in the development of a lot of characters. On the surface we have a good versus evil story. But as we all know the world is not black and white. Even Dragol is not one of my favorite characters it is fascinating to read how he is changing from an ardent worshiper of the Unifier to a doubter. Nobody knows where this change will end.
After the promising end I look forward to read book three in the series.
Like Crown of Vengeance the Dream of Legends is definitely a book for people who like character driven stories with gorgeous and detailed descriptions of a fantasy world and their inhabitants mixed with beings who follow devious plans who will face more resistance than expected.....
For more information about the publisher, the author and his books then please visit following websites:
www.seventhstarpress.com, www.stephenzimmer.com, www.firesineden.com, www.risingdawnsaga.com
As any author Stephen Zimmer is keen to read comments and reviews of his book. So feel free to comment here or to contact the author by MAIL: stephen at stephenzimmer dot com, or at FACEBOOK.