This MesoAmerican inspired fantasy takes readers on two journeys, each with a character who will capture your heart. The fantasy world-building is great and the characters are awesome.
Indir and Saya lead very different lives. But they have one very important thing in common: their ability to Dream. Indir is part of a group of Dreamers in the city of Alcan, where she and her female family members enter into the Dream to help the king and others know what is coming. But now, the king is dead, and his son is back in town. Meanwhile, Indir loses her ability to Dream and is on the radar of the new king, in a bad way.
Saya, though, does not have the protection of the city. Her mother takes her around from town to town, using her gift as a tool to help the people of the town. But once the people suspect something, they move again. However, Saya is making great friends in town and wants answers. These are two things that Celay, her mother, does not want. But Saya won’t let that stop her.
This book has a lot going on. There are tons of characters, and I’m not sure ALL of them were needed. The plot took a while to truly get going, but once it did, it grabbed me and didn’t let me go.
I love both of the main characters, and I spent the whole book wanting them to find each other. This book ends in a way that leaves me on the edge of my seat, in a great way. I have so many more questions to be answered, and I want to know more about these characters. The world is built in such a way that while you understand it, you just want more. The moral of this whole thing is that if there was a sequel, I would pick it up immediately.
The Dream is a bit confusing, as it is not clearly explained. From what I understand, it is a place where some people go when they sleep where they can see spirits and events to come. They also believe that when you die, you'll "return to the Dream,” so it might be some spirit land. The magic system is very vague, but I think that the characters don’t quite understand it either. Saya especially is learning about it throughout the story, and we are along for the ride with her. I really enjoyed that we did not know more than the characters. Even Indir and her female relatives don’t seem to completely understand the Dream either, and the people of the city definitely do not. This makes their presence in the city a complex one when King Alcan returns. I really like the dynamics of the city, and how the Dreamers get dragged into politics. It helped that the Dream was not over-explained to the reader, which keeps the reader seeing the Dream in the same mystical way that the characters do.
There is a smidge of a romantic subplot here, but it is not the enemies to lovers I initially was thinking we were going to get. But the pairing is still cute, and honestly more how life actually works. So not my favorite, but it will have fans.
Overall, this is a lush, mystical tale about two different women in a magical world. The story moves slowly, but this is a great introduction to the world of Dreamers. I hope that there is more planned for the future because I would love to know more!