The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta is a lovely, diverse YA fantasy inspired by ancient Mesoamerica. The story revolves around two girls: Indir and Saya. Indir is a Dreamer who can foretell the future from her dreams, but her dreams can be confusing. Saya is a seer, which I guess is someone who can do the same things as a Dreamer, but has never been formally trained. With the threat of violence hanging over them, these two girls will have to use their magical powers to save themselves and those they love.
Here is an enchanting excerpt from Chapter 1, which is from Indir's point of view:
"The wail of a far-off conch shell woke me from my already broken sleep. I wanted to wail in response, in grief, in terror.
Dogs began barking on the outskirts of the city. Unfamiliar drum rhythms pounded in the distance, echoing off the stone walls of our temple. I rose, blood rushing through my body as I swung from my hammock. An answering conch blew thrice from our own warriors. Three cries for peace.
Delu and Zeri stirred. I knew they were in Dreaming, their bodies struggling to pull them back. I kissed them each softly, Singing a small waking Song, my voice breaking. Delu, two years older than me, opened her eyes first. Zeri, the youngest of us, began her languid waking stretch, but her eyes flew open as she realized what was happening. I reached to her, pulling her small body up from her hammock and into an embrace. Delu joined us. The conch horns were louder, the drums a steady beat, closer, closer, closer. The three of us held each other in silence. For all we’d prepared, we weren’t ready."
Overall, The Lost Dreamer is a decent YA fantasy that hits all of the plot points that a fantasy should. One highlight of this book is the Mesoamerican-inspired setting. I love supporting diverse authors, and it's very unique to see a book featuring indigenous characters. One of my favorite fantasy series, the Obsidian and Blood series by Aliette de Bodard, is also inspired by ancient Mesoamerica, and it's a beautiful and engrossing setting.
Unfortunately, I took off two stars, because I just didn't feel connected to either of the two main characters or to the plot. The book is told from two alternating first-person POV's, which is a personal pet peeve of mine, because I had trouble keeping the two perspectives apart. I'm sure many readers won't mind that though. If you're intrigued by the excerpt or if you're a fan of YA fantasy in general, I recommend that you check out this book, which is available now.