Genre: Fantasy Age Range: YA Star Rating: 5 stars Series: Standalone
A curse plagues the realm of Azenor—during each new moon, magic flows from the nearby mountain and brings nightmares to life. Only magicians, who serve as territory wardens, stand between people and their worst dreams.
Clementine Madigan is ready to take over as the warden of her small town, but when two magicians challenge her, she is unwittingly drawn into a century-old conflict. She seeks revenge, but as she secretly gets closer to Phelan, one of the handsome young magicians, secrets begin to rise. Clementine must unite with her rival to fight the realm’s curse, which seems to be haunting her every turn.
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to get around to this book in 2021 (I know this is going live in 2022, scheduling is time travel!) There were a few false starts to getting my hands on the book, but it arrived in time to be my companion while waiting for my booster. It was the perfect thing to distract me, sucking me into the magical world.
The premise of this book is so much fun. Nightmares coming to life that have to be fought, sometimes completely changing the surroundings (the flood sequence, the first dream we see, really showcases the scope of the magic.) I loved this premise so much, and the imagination it brings to the magic system (plus the battles against nightmares were really great. The final nightmare/dream is so sad!)
There is also the mystery of what happened in the mountains – and why Phelan and his family were hunting for Clem and hers. It’s a mystery, as well as a romance and a semi-quest all rolled into one. Plus there are stories laced through it, all of which hold a bit of truth for Clem to find.
Does this book go where I expected it to? Absolutely not – it kept me on my toes, weaving through all sorts of locations and events I hadn’t thought were coming. And the tensions between the various families (and within them) was great. I particularly loved the uncertainty over the Vespers. And the Duke was such a hard character to pin down (beyond “yeah, he’s not trustworthy at all and definitely playing his own game.”)
DREAMS LIE BENEATH has made me very eager for the next Rebecca Ross book (her adult debut, A RIVER ENCHANTED, which I was already super excited for!) Very glad there’s not long to wait (and that there’s a new YA duology announced too!)
Read my reviews of other books by Rebecca Ross:
The Queen’s Rising:
The Elements of Cadence: