"Ristau's writing is dramatic and poetic . . . The work invites examination of universal themes . . . In the classic tradition of heroic adventures, Ristau richly textures the story with obstacles of sibling rivalry, peer pressure, and bullying, while paving the way for thematic explorations of good vs evil, love and hate, honor, guilt, and forgiveness."

Foreword Clarion Reviews


"A Hero Dreams is a stunning blend of the all-too-real life of little Ricky, not yet ten years old, and the surreal world he creates for himself to survive . . . Beautiful images and scenes contrast with the hardness and brutality of real life to create a montage of what existence and survival is like for one, lonely little boy. A fine read for the drama, and the poetry will stay with you for a long time."

–Judith Koll Healey, author of The Canterbury Papers and The Rebel Princess and the forthcoming Becket: The Murder Book

"Mark Ristau has written a lovely book that tantalizes us with the line between reality and all that might be beyond."

–Mary Logue, author of the Claire Watkins mysteries and Sleep Like a Tiger

"An elegantly written and heart wrenching tale that transports readers to a time not so long ago, and yet a lifetime away. Ristau leaves us wanting to devour the next installment in the series."

–Stephen Yoch, award-winning author of Becoming George Washington

"In the pages of "A Hero Dreams", novelist and consummate storyteller Mark Ristau takes his reader on an epic journey along the furthermost frontiers of human consciousness and into a miraculous realm where anything is possible. An inspiring tale of hope, faith, courage, and profound self-discovery, "A Hero Dreams" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community library Contemporary General Fiction collections."

–Midwest Book Review