Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
Though Zimrah has always been treated well by her Jewish master, the people of Chasah ridicule and reject her for being a “favored slave” who looks so different, and she suffers in silence many nights in the presence of unseen enemies. She doesn’t know how much her discovery of a musical instrument, and the arrival of a Roman soldier, will change her life in Zimrah, Dream Singer by author Susan Valles.
I couldn’t pass up this book after seeing its stunning cover: the sunrise, the city, the lyre, and the woman with a hint of mystery, seamlessly blended into it all. The image gives a remarkable sense of time, place, and atmosphere, as does the author’s fluid style, revealing the unusual life of a troubled but gifted young woman. It’s as if her journey isn’t just a story but a song, verses of darkness and pain that give all the more significance to the light that breaks through and makes the music a love song.
This is a weighty and deeply spiritual book, some of it reminding me of This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti and Paradise Lost by John Milton. While I was captured by the overall story here, it seemed like it was put on pause in places for commentary that didn’t quite blend into a novel flow and that was sometimes redundant. I also think the story could have benefited from more subtlety at points, trusting the reader’s discernment, as sometimes it’s more impactful for a reader to catch or interpret what a story doesn’t dwell upon or directly spell out.
Still, this is a lovely illustration of the trying but ultimately triumphant awakening of a worshipper. I’d recommend it to anyone who’ll appreciate a tale of spiritual battles, unlikely romance, and lives transformed by love.