The Lost Dreamer is a vibrantly unique YA fantasy with dual perspectives and a meticulously realized world. The concept of dreaming (or “seeing”) is weaved through the story in an interesting way that is pretty easy to grasp. The world-building in general is rich and ancient but utilizes an approachable language. I never felt too lost, even as the story and its setting stretches the boundaries of what I was familiar with in fantasy and YA fiction. I did enjoy that feeling of wonder though, particularly in comparison to more formulaic fantasy.
The two heroines, Indir and Saya, live in a world where descending into meditative, fantastical dreams can indicate past and present events. They can also peek into the future or interact with people they know, or mythological creatures. The “dreaming” scenes were some of my favorite moments of this book and descriptions of nature are illustrious and full of magic. I could also see how this special ability became a burden on the characters, a responsibility that leads easily to more harrowing plot developments. Losing the ability to dream brings great misfortune while dreaming at crucial moments can expose the characters to dangerous information.
The book shifts seamlessly between perspectives. Chapters are clearly marked as being told from Indir or Saya’s first person perspectives. The heroines complement each other well. I found their inner voices to be quite similar but their storylines are markedly different.
Indir lives in the heart of Alcanzeh, with her family and amidst other dreamers. A villainous figure is rising to power and her homeland is at risk. Saya on the other hand is more of a wanderer. Her powers are put to use by her controlling and toxic mother, but friendships that she forges along the way help in giving her to strength to break away and uncover important secrets along the way.
The ending of this story takes a while to build up but it’s an impressive one. Without delving into revealing details, I do want to say that there is a memorable revelation and its handled nicely. I would urge anyone who gets a far way through to see this story to its end.
My reasons for deducting one star- the writing style can get bogged down by details and descriptions that weren’t moving things forward at a brisk enough pace. The conversations between characters are often dry and noticeably less captivating than the world building. Many named characters aren’t given noteworthy things to do or say. This book is well held up by the power of its passionately realized story and inspired ideas, but there are several slow moments and the lack of impactful conversations stood out to me.
In summary, The Lost Dreamer has a lot to offer. A dynamic, fresh setting steeped in history, nature, and magic. One that is illustrated with an approachable, inviting writing style. Two eventful storylines with a satisfying resolution. Easy to recommend if its premise piques your interest.
Disclosure : I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of review.