The Dreamers

Paul King, Author, Donald Moffitt, Author Domain $5.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-29242-8
The first volume in the pseudonymous King's Discoverers series doesn't even try to stand as a complete story. But set in an impressively detailed--and by no means pretty--15th-century landscape that ranges from Bristol, England, to China's Forbidden City, it introduces a cast of fascinating characters who seek their destinies at sea. Prince Henry of Portugal launches a search for a mysterious lost island; his motley crew includes Zarco Goncalves (a pirate), Martim Alves (a gentleman) and Pedro Costa (a kitchen boy). On the other side of the world, Admiral Cheng Ho tries to outmaneuver China's powerful Anti-Maritime Party and to find a sea route to the West. In Venice, Sandro Cavalli, son of a prosperous Venetian merchant, is abducted and sold as a galley slave, while in England, lusty young apprentice Tom Giles flees to the waves when he's accused of seducing his master's wife. The only complaint to be made is that the jumps between these scenarios can be irksome. For example, after Sandro is sold into slavery, the text cuts to Tom, Martim and his family, back to Tom, and then over to Sandro, still sitting where he was chained two years (and more than 100 pages) earlier. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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