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2 out of 4 stars
Review by CataclysmicKnight
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The mysterious new world is a beautiful place. When she arrives she's suddenly older, not a woman but also not a little girl. She meets four women - Song, Air, Mother Moon and Truth - and her horse Wind. The book follows her lessons from these women and from numerous others as she visits the cardinal directions, learns about Ubuntu, the power of sharing one's light with others and how to fly.
Thus is the story of Dahlia by Marcy Brandenburg. Dahlia is a precious little girl, and the unknown world she visits is full of sensory delights. Before this book I only knew of Ubuntu as a Linux operating system but it's a lovely concept - "I am; because of you." This, the lessons of how we're all connected and learning to see her brother's anger for the deep pain it actually is are fantastic. The book also explains the "cloak of worthiness" - a metaphorical cloak we're all born with that gives us inherent value at birth. We keep the cloak out entire life, but Dahlia learns many "two leggeds" (people) forget they have it, and it's impossible to find others valuable if we can't even find the value in ourselves.
While the book is almost entirely full of positivity (aside from a couple pages talking about her family's sadness and her brother's abuse of her), I kept hoping for some sort of challenge to give the book a sense of excitement or conflict. Dahlia takes to her lessons with ease and only once, for less than a page, does she have any sort of genuine worry. The book also could've used more plot; the adventure she goes on may be focused on a goal, but as far as a plot went it felt very weak. This was the case with the ending as well, it was over far too quickly and with far too little resistance. If Dahlia had spent more time in the real world between visits to the mysterious world, sharing her knowledge and seeing how it applies on Earth, I may have enjoyed it a lot more.
Dahlia was a very mixed bag. Marcy wrote very well of love, togetherness and positivity while masterfully capturing Dahlia's senses. On the other hand, I was desperate for some form of antagonist, even if it was just Dahlia herself having trouble learning the lessons or someone in the real world reluctant to learn. The book also could've used some editing, I counted 24 errors in this 126 page book. The errors were mostly minor and rarely tripped me up, but they were still blatant. As such, my rating for Dahlia is 2 out of 4 stars. For those looking to learn more about the power of love and our connections to one another or who want to learn more about the power of nature and various gemstones (the book details six), give this one a shot.
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