Thursday, October 13, 2016

Book Review: The Dream (The Rahtrum Chronicles) by R.K. McLay

I received a free ecopy of this book from Netgalley and Fifth House in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Dream
Author: R.K. McLay
Series: Rahtrum Chronicles #1
Publisher: Fifth House
Publication Date: October 15, 2016
Genre: middle-grade, anthropomorphic
Length: 224 pages
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley

The Chronicles of Rahtrum: The Dream is the first book in a tension-building trilogy by R.K. McLay. A work of literary fiction, this young adult, fantasy, adventure story is unlike any before it. The Dream transports readers into the far north of the Yukon Terrioty (where the epic journey begins) and envelopes them in the vastness of nature. Once there, readers inhabit a harsh and natural world that is faithfully rendered, but also delicately infused with magic. A world that is populated by reimagined mythological creatures that feel every bit as real as the animal protagonists they travel and struggle beside. The Chronicles of Rahtrum tell the story of a peculiar young Caribou that is chosen by Rahtrum, the Binder, to set forth on a heroic journey to awaken the Cargoth (human beings) to their true place in nature and the World. 

The beautiful and dangerous north unfurls as Bou follows an age-old migration route in search of the Breschuvine. Only after finding the Breschuvine does he learn the shocking reason he has been chosen by Rahtrum; and that for himself, his friends, and his enemies, the greatest of all journeys has only just begun. 

My Thoughts: 
Bou is a yearling caribou that is more than the others in his herd. He can see farther, can remember things much longer, and acts differently. He was chosen by Rahtrum to set out to find the Breschuvine. His mother, Taiga travels with him as he is still so young and together they journey across the frozen tundra of the Yukon, helped along the way by a pack of wolves, messenger hares, and the mighty vulture, Windsham. But another is also after the Breschuvine and trails Bou across the North, wreaking havoc along the way. 

Fans of David Clement-Davies and animal lovers in general will enjoy this anthropomorphic tale of a young Caribou chosen to do the impossible. There are fantasy elements (fairies and trolls) thrown in that really add to this story but the animals themselves are all the more worthwhile. 

The author did an amazing job at making these animals come to life. Instead of picturing cartoonish types of animals (perhaps wearing pants), I pictured real animals speaking in their own animal languages and doing things that real animals do. I'm pretty sure I learned a thing or two from reading this. I had just recently watched Frozen Planet and learned a few things about caribou but reading this took my knowledge of this animal much farther. I absolutely love when I can read an enjoyable work of fiction and get some tangible knowledge from it. 

At the same time, the story veers from being entirely factual by giving us relationships between predators and prey. In The Dream, a wolf pack is 'bound' to guide and protect Bou and his mother even though it goes against their nature. Friendships are built between the unlikeliest of animals and that is what made this especially fun to read. 

The villain is truly horrifying though I had a hard time really understanding what kind of creature it actually was. Also, despite the friendships between the wolves and caribou, there is still quite a bit of death involved, as is natural with animals when there are predators and prey. For this reason I would recommend to mature young readers. There are some rather sad scenes in this book. 

My Rating: 4 stars


  1. I'm glad that you enjoyed this book! I'm not the biggest fan of animal based books, but if I see this one I might give it a try. Thanks for sharing your review!

  2. Stacy, thank you so much for taking time to give book one a read. I really appreciate your thoughts and feedback. Book two is coming...and things are just warming up!

    1. I really enjoyed it. I'll be keeping an eye out for the sequel! :)

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