Exotic nighttime marvels, storytellers, and illusion permeate Vera Nazarian’s (norilana) Dreams of the Compass Ross. The template of a story within a story is classic and timeless, from Shakespeare (A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, etc.) to Ray Bradbury (The Illustrated Man), and Nazarian utilizes it flawlessly.
She displays her skill as a master tale spinner, effortlessly weaving together different character, theme, and plot threads into a shining tapestry. While on the surface Dreams of the Compass Rose is made up of a collection of short stories, when taken together it is a glittering whole that transcends its parts.
Appropriate for tales featuring mad tyrants, quixotic gods, and luminous mortals, Nazarian’s prose is rich, full of colorful imagery and fluid dimension. But Dreams goes beyond the mere trappings of fantasy, expounding upon the nature of wonder, illusion, and love. Scheherazade would have been proud of her modern-day sister-in-storytelling.
All in all, a satisfying and delightful read.