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The Dreamstone (Arafel, #1)
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The Dreamstone

(Arafel #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  622 ratings  ·  23 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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3.80  · 
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 ·  622 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Thea Harrison
Nov 07, 2011 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.
Michael Fierce (Gandalf the Red)
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
May 03, 2012 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.
Eddie Davis
Jun 09, 2013 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.
Nov 07, 2009 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.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, fantasy, favorites
If you're like me, the following passage briefly is enough to love this book. I can't decide if I want more about of the gods of mankind in book 2. It could be amazing, but it could also be terrible. It's a C J Cherryh book, however, so I have high hopes for it however it goes.

He dreamed of groves, vast trees; and of a hill. This was Caer Wiell; but he called its name Caer Glas, and there was no well, but a clear spring bubbling out over white stones, flowing unhindered to Airgiod’s pure wafers
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, fantasy
I like Cherryh most when she does her ethnographic thing--submersing readers in a culture she's created down to the most minute detail (but in very few words). I read her Morgaine & Vanye series (the first three, at least, there might be another) and enjoyed parts of it, but Dreamstone is better than those books.

The world she creates here is primarily Celtic, though there's a lot of carryover from Morgaine's milieu. The story is multi-generational, but as ususal, Cherryh provides an immense
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was a complete slog of a read for me. Throughout I felt like I was hovering over the text never fully engaging with it. The writing style was similar to her Morgaine books, which I do enjoy, but this lacked the strong, intuiting characters those books had to draw me in. I was reading the Dreaming Tree omnibus, but given my lack of interest, l decided to bail out at the end of this first volume.
William Leight
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Because this is a Celtic-themed fantasy, set in alternate version of ancient Ireland, World Fantasy Association regulations require that it be written in a heavy-footed, vaguely epic-sounding style, full of sentences like “O man, the Gruagach weeps for you.” (At least, I assume that’s the reason, as Cherryh doesn’t usually write like this and it doesn’t really add anything to the novel.) However, though the writing is ponderous, the story is not. Aided by the fact that the central character, Ara ...more
Jonathan Spencer
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I picked this and the sequel up in a cool shop in Minneapolis. Ann Leckie had recommended Cherryh, and these looked more fantasy than her other works. The writing was great, and she built a thorough and enjoyable world in a very short space. There isn't really a plot; this is more of a telling of interconnected stories that happened in that world. I am interested to see what the sequel does.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: unfinished, fantasy
I feel so conflicted about this book. I really wanted to like it, but I just couldn't. I feel like this book would appeal to people who like their fantasy very soft, mellow and slow - like a giant pink marshmallow. I'm not the type of person who demands fast-paced action from books, far from it, but I need at least something to keep me interested while reading, and I found nothing in this book.

The setup is strange. We're told how humans have taken over this world, destroyed the forests, built th
May 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The writing here was quite beautiful but alas, the book just couldn't hold my interest past the first few chapters.
Feb 22, 2010 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?
Bob Melgeorge
Mar 21, 2016 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 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice finish.
Mark Lacy
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Not as good as the Morgaine trilogy by Cherryh, but interesting, with good imagery.
(I read the short story version of this? idk if this is the right book but w/e)
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Julie Sandel
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Aug 14, 2013
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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

Other books in the series

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