Dream Magic by Joshua Khan
Summary from NetGalley:
Things are dire for the inhabitants of Castle Gloom and the surrounding villages. The undead are leaving their graves in droves, a troll army is on the march from the north, and people are mysteriously disappearing from their homes. The people of Gehenna are blaming their misfortunes on Lilith Shadow, their young queen. They believe she has cursed them by using magic, a practice forbidden to women. With her trusty executioner among the missing and her blackguard soldiers busy battling trolls, it is up to Lily and her friend Thorn to root out the real cause of all the trouble. Their search will uncover ugly truths and eventually lead to a nightmarish confrontation with nothing less than the rulership of the realm at stake. Zombies, ghosts, trolls, dream weavers, a black-hearted villain, and a giant hero bat are only some of the imaginative delights that await readers who relish a soaring adventure combined with a hair-raising mystery.
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I am so enjoying this series, and so far every student who has read it has asked when am I going to get the next book. They are also excited about it which is always a good sign that the author has hit all of the right notes with a book. This book comes out today in fact, so I will be adding it to my school library very soon.
The author continues to amaze me with his imagination. Those spiders on the cover are quite creepy and the main cause of all of the issues in this story. I’ve never been a big fan of spiders, but now I’m even more wary of them, especially if the glow and look like crystal. The dream magic is also fascinating and something I haven’t encountered before, although references to Sleeping Beauty are made, there really is very little that is the same.
Thorn and Lily continue to tell the story from their points of view and their friendship continues to grow. I have to remind myself that they are only 12 and 13, as they often act more mature. The differences in their social status doesn’t bother them at all either which I really like and I think sends a nice message. Also Thorn comments every now and then that he isn’t smart because he can’t read or write well, but can you can tell that he really is smart in his own way by how he figures things out. He is also very kindhearted even to zombies, considering that the country he comes from is so totally different from Gehenna.
We learn a little bit more about the history of the different countries in this world and we meet some more people from some of them. I hope at some point that maybe Thorn and Lily will get to journey to the other countries as well. A nice addition to the story is Dott, a troll girl that befriends Lily and is sort of her maid and bodyguard. I hope she sticks around and we see more of her in the next book.
Speaking of next books, I am hoping there is one or more than one. This is a very imaginative world with some great characters that kids really seem to enjoy. I will definitely keep my eye out for the next one.