When most people ask me what Dreams of Beautiful Whisper is about, I tend to say “Elves, Magic and Romance – it’s a YA Fantasy novel”. But when I really stop and think about it, the entire series deals with problem solving – a fundamental skill that all teens (actually everyone) should have a strong grasp of. But teens in particular, with all the many issues they face often for the first time, are so much more equipped to deal with issues as they arise if they have strong problem solving and analytical skills.
There’s the obvious bigger issues addressing sexuality, substance abuse, disorders and bullying, but also in the areas that may not be so obvious yet affect far larger percentages of our teens such as relationships, activities, peer pressure (even when it doesn’t seem negative), personal image, attitude, general behaviour – even the best behaved most well adjusted kids have bad days or make bad choices.
I think it’s great that there are so many books out there that deal with the heavy topics and give certain teens something to relate to and ponder, maybe even learn and grow from. But my focus is more on the ordinary, the teens who aren’t dealing with bigger than life issues, they are dealing with the regular, everyday issues. I think that because they are generally seen as being incredibly lucky, well adjusted, average kids that they often get left to their own devices.
The purpose of The Elves of Eytherfel series wasn’t to teach, it was to entertain and perhaps provide a small escape from the grind of day-to-day life. But I am who I am and without even realizing it or intending it Dreams of Beautiful Whisper ended up with a healthy dose of problem solving mixed in and it depicts teens who are compassionate, considerate, respectful and loving. Armed with this awareness I can say that the second book of the series will build on this.
The result is that besides being YA Fantasy novels, they are also part of a somewhat more rare genre mix that would be identified as “Reality Fiction Fantasy Crossover”. The reason it is rare is due to the oxymoron “Reality Fantasy” – it’s rather contradictory. However, the truth is that the Elven World in this series are hidden areas of our current modern world; there is a tremendous amount of similarity between the Elves and the Humans; there is even a bit of friction between the two “nationalities”; but more noticeable are the parallels in the issues that the characters face throughout the series – parents forcing a teen to move away from the town she grew up in and her boyfriend; questions surrounding matters of the heart; dealing with the introduction of unsettling information; questions of identity; struggling to see themselves for who they are meant to be; struggling to see the strength and beauty of themselves as seen by others; facing the frustration and challenges of learning new skills.
Learning to master a new magical power is really no different than learning to master a musical instrument or a sport – it requires the same amount of effort and dedication. Whether a teen is being moved to a different town, province, country or hidden realm is ultimately redundant – it isn’t any easier regardless of the destination.
The beauty of linking Fantasy with Reality Fiction is that readers are still able to relate to the characters and the challenges they’re facing, but they’re also able to enjoy the escapism and entertainment that fantasy provides. It’s not as heavy and is often more enjoyable to read.
While Dreams of Beautiful Whisper is not overloaded with problem solving activity, it is unquestionably present, we get to see a deeper glimpse into how Amanda handles and deals with everything life has to throw at her. This thread will be expanded upon in the second book.
I hope you choose to buy Dreams of Beautiful Whisper and embark upon the journey with Amanda, her friends and family.