I was yet again going to bemoan the niggardly vagaries of the five-star system… However, this is a definite 5 star read as the only real solid reason for NOT going to 5 stars would have been because I have no children (even grown up ones) to share the first of this lovely fantasy series with. If I had, then my reading experience would have been even more rewarding because this is one of those rare books that informs as it entertains. The story may be about a child with very special skills, but it’s appeal is much wider as there’s much for adults to enjoy as well, even if they’re not particularly into fantasy since there’s all kinds of themes running through this that bring back memories of childhood, cult sci-fi TV series, family holidays, first day at school and secret friends.
So – Mr. Chambers gave this childless fantasy pedant a lovely trip down memory lane to discover anew the joys of reading Celtic and Arthurian myth anew, all mingled in with a little boy who’s growing up ‘different’ with a benevolent invisible guardian to stop him getting too puffed up with himself, and a mum and dad who love him no matter how strange life with him gets. The many references and notes are interesting in themselves for putting younger readers in the know about things baby boomers take for granted, and reminding the older ones of bygone pleasures as well as topping off proper use of grammar and other things we should know but don’t. In fact, as well as being highly recommended clean reading for self-reading children, I think it also makes a wonderfully entertaining read for those whose first language is not English (or, indeed, American English!).
The story itself is simply charming, without being overly naive for older readers, and easy to read in the best sense, as you keep thinking ‘just a little bit more’ and end up reading far past your usual bedtime! I recommend A Wizard of Dreams wholeheartedly and am looking forward to growing up with Gordon a little more in his next adventures very soon!