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The Dreamstone (Arafel #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  521 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
It was that transitional time of the world, when man first brought the clang of iron and the reek of smoke to the lands which before had echoed only with fairy voices. In that dawn of man and death of magic there yet remained one last untouched place—the small forest of Ealdwood—which kept the magic intact, and protected the old ways. And there was one who dwelt there, Ara ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 1st 1987 by DAW (first published January 1st 1983)
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Daughter of the Forest by Juliet MarillierThe Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyOutlander by Diana GabaldonSon of the Shadows by Juliet MarillierPangur Ban The White Cat by Fay Sampson
Best Celtic Fantasy
15th out of 121 books — 14 voters
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94th out of 229 books — 62 voters

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Community Reviews

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Michael Fierce
I took a time out. Review NOT FINISHED :(


One of the best Fantasy books of all-time, along with the sequel, The Tree of Swords and Jewels - known as the Ealdwood Stories or the Arafel Stories - of which I've owned and cherished since they first came out back in the 80's.

These books are steeped in Celtic mythology , and all people, places and things are ripe with Gaelic descriptions and language.

A Dunsanian Fantasy for the fairy-folk reader.

Not sure if it would appeal to the fast-paced hac
Mike (the Paladin)
I hate it when this happens. I picked this up to read...and found I'd already read it! It's a fair book and a "sometimes" interesting read, but apparently not that memorable (LOL). I didn't recall it till I started it, still, it wouldn't be fair to penalize the book (solely) because I'm getting older. :)

The book opens in a sort of misty semi-mystical prose telling of the old forest and the "old ones" (referencing the Sidhe here). The conflict is basically built around the Great Forest (a mythica
Thea Harrison
Nov 07, 2011 Thea Harrison rated it it was amazing
This is the first of a duology, the second book entitled: The Tree of Swords and Jewels. These were among my favorite reads.
Eddie Davis
Jun 12, 2013 Eddie Davis rated it it was amazing
A very good book, the writing style slows you down some, but is fascinating. The main character is Arafel, an Elven lady that is the last of her people. The book is her dealings with humans and how her aid changes the lives of several humans. The book has a good feel for Celtic legends of the Daoine Sidhe and you feel the loneliness Arafel feels in her immortal watch of the communities around her. It is a good read for anyone interested in Celtic tales about the Elves.
Jun 14, 2009 Noria rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, fantasy, deutsch
It was a harder read since the writing style is quite different to those I've read in the last few months. Nonetheless it was very captivating and the more I got into it, the more fascinated I was. It is about the conflict between Elves and men and how to live when everything changes and dies in battle. Sometimes it is quite philosophical and you need to lay the book down and think about it. Now I'm more curious of reading more by C. J. Cherryh.
Nov 04, 2013 Autumn rated it it was amazing
I read this when I want to sink into another reality for a little bit. It's complex enough that I don't get bored with it. I like the way the author uses the English language. She's a very competant writer, but I haven't found that her other books have had the poetry that this one does.

I just upped my stars to four, because when I think about it, this is one of those books I move from house to house and re-read regularly.
Mar 05, 2011 Elaine rated it really liked it
reread. "Some things there are in the world that have never loved Men..." You know right away what type of world you're entering, and it can break your heart.
Bob Melgeorge
Mar 21, 2016 Bob Melgeorge rated it it was amazing
Interesting read. Part classic high-fantasy heroics and imagery, part 'The Sandman' tales of isolation and seeking to belong.
I'm still not sure who the protagonist was, but I loved the ride.
Feb 22, 2010 Raj rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Arafel is the last queen of the Elves, remaining on the earth when her kin have died. This is the story of her last battle. This book did very little for me, I'm afraid. I'm not a big fantasy fan and there wasn't enough story or characterisation to keep my interest. Interesting climax, but I'm not sure it was worth it.
Not bad, but also not spectacular fantasy tale. Can't say what I would have preferred in the book ... perhaps some more understanding of Arafel's attraction to humans?
Dec 13, 2013 Jared rated it really liked it
Celtic fantasy about the last bastion of the Sidhe. Uneven pacing, but lush atmosphere.
Mark Lacy
Nov 24, 2013 Mark Lacy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Not as good as the Morgaine trilogy by Cherryh, but interesting, with good imagery.
Nov 15, 2014 Jake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice finish.
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Currently resident in Spokane, Washington, C.J. Cherryh has won four Hugos and is one of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed authors in the science fiction and fantasy field. She is the author of more than forty novels. Her hobbies include travel, photography, reef culture, Mariners baseball, and, a late passion, figure skating: she intends to compete in the adult USFSA track. She began ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Arafel (2 books)
  • The Tree of Swords and Jewels (Arafel, #2)

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