SPOILERS GALLORE YOU HAD BEEN WARNED. Sorry there is absolutely no way I can explain what annoyed me so in the plot of this book without using spoilers, lots of them.
This is part of the Dreamspinner Fairly tales series and so far I have read and loved every book in these series, lovely adult twists on the familiar fairy tales be it Amy Lane, or Heidi Cullinan's fairy tales or Abigail Roux, I found all those books to be incredibly entertaining. I guess there is bound to be an exception to every rule. I felt as if I am slowly going crazy when I was reading this book, I did not feel pulled in "fairy tale reality", but was feeling as if "our", every day recognizable reality went nuts.
SPOILERS TO FOLLOW. LOTS OF SPOILERS.
I open this book and start reading and there is this eighteen year old young man Damien and one of his twelve fathers walking to Mouline Rouge to celebrate his coming out party. And yes the year is 1900 and it is France. The name of the older gentleman is Tolouse Lautrec. Sounds familiar? If not, I am sure it will sound familiar soon. Oh there are random insertions of simple French words in the book. It is not hard to figure it out even if you do not know French at all. Anyway I digress, turns out the boy is an adopted son of twelve artists, who call themselves Dreammongers, and among those artists are Degas, Monet, Manet and all other guys known to the normal world as Impressionists. And yes, this is a very important part of why I decided that I need a stiff drink after I was done with this book.
See, I think that when you decide to incorporate very real and very famous group of artists in the fairy tale, you should call them as they had been known to the world.
You may tell me that maybe "Dreammongers" are proper translation from French and I will tell you it is quite possible. I tried to google it and I could not find it, but it is possible, however besides random Non, qui, mon pere, ma mere, the book is written in English and no, they are not called Dreammongers in English, sorry but they are not.
They are having little orgy/ coming out party for their adopted son there, because they are all gays you see (and who knows maybe they were, but again, I kept wishing that group of artists would have been completely imaginary?) and then the boy poses for them nude. By the way, he saw at one time or another all of them with the lovers, but they refused to explain the mechanics of sex to him. They were "prudish" and encouraged his modesty. I guess letting the kid see you with the lover does not count.
At the party he is allowed to drink the green drink for the first time (I am not sure if it is meant to be like light drug, but it looked like it. Its name is absinthe?)), but after he tries it, it is clear he is poisoned. The bad guy is there. One would think we would be told what it is that those Dreammongers did to him, but besides muttering something about excluding him, he does not make it any clearer for this reader.
And then green fairy appears. Yes she does, she cannot counteract the poison, but she can make him fall asleep till his true love will find him.
So I am sure by now you see that it is a twist on Sleeping beauty, but to me it is the clumsiest Sleeping beauty ever written.
Fairy says she needs to hide him. Why??? Could she maybe mention that there is some sort of danger if she does not hide the boy? At least in the classical tale she puts all the castle asleep, but why she takes the kid away, I have no idea and what the hell is fairy doing in the 1900 France, I have no clue either. I mean those Dreammongers seem to be real people, not creatures of fairy tales and thus I am getting a vibe that I am reading a historical and here we go, fairy appears.
Anyway, we are now in our times and Damien starts coming to another guy from Germany in his dreams who is visiting Paris with his cousin and day dreams sometimes. Of course this German guy Jacob figures out how to save Dorian from Dreams with the help of Jewish Rabbi of his friend. I guess fairy stuck him in the Dream world, no idea why she did that.
Oh and while Jacob tries to figure out Dorian's story he is trying to research the Dreammongers, but librarians in Paris never heard about this group of artists which included Degas, Monet, Manet. Librarians in Paris do not know them. RIGHT. Does my main gripe with this book makes sense?
I never felt that the writer successfully blended fairy tale reality and “real” reality. It felt more like a historical, where the history part of it became something else.
And they lived happily ever after and I want my money back now.