#Book Review #The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta #Fantasy #YA @ Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) @Macmillan

From the blurb:
In this stunning YA fantasy debut, first in a duology, Lizz Huerta introduces us to a fantastical version of an ancient Mesoamerican world and a lineage of women seers defiantly resisting the shifting patriarchal state that would see them destroyed.Indir is a Dreamer, able to enter the Dreaming and see beyond reality. But when a new king takes the throne, he plans to end the time-honored tradition of Dreamers—and he’ll have the opportunity if he discovers the two secrets Indir keeps.

Saya is a seer without training. Her mother exploits Saya’s talent, passing it off as her own. When Saya discovers she has more gifts, she begins to suspect that her life is a carefully-constructed lie. She will risk it all in search of answers.

With a detailed, supernaturally-charged setting and topical themes of patriarchal power, female strength, and the horrors of family separation, The Lost Dreamer brings an ancient world to life, mirroring the challenges of our modern one.

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: March 1st, 2022
384 pages
Purchase

My thoughts:

Delicate, dream-like, powerful, full of songs and stories- one of a kind!


When the blurb promises you stunning, it doesn’t lie- the Lost Dreamer is as beautiful as it is unique in the genre of YA Fantasy which is overcrowded with strong, ‘sassy’ heroines and battle magic.


The two protagonists/narrators of this gorgeous epic, inspired by Mesoamerican tradition, are Indir and Saya. Both have to undertake a journey – both a physical journey and that of self-discovery and sacrifice in order to save their world which is about to succumb to chaos.


Indir’s mother, her aunts and her sisters are all Dreamers- women who enter and communicate with a special magical realm (think a parallel world full of spirits) called the Dream. The temple is the only life Indir has ever known. She is asked by the dying king to keep the last dream she entered in on his behalf secret. Now the old king’s heir Alcan, sent away to enemy tribe to cement the peace talks, arrives in their secret city Alcanzeh and is threatening the traditions and the whole tapestry of their society, the Dream itself. Indir must flee her secret city and face the wider world she knows so little about in order to find the legendary Lost Dreamer.


Kind and selfless Saya is used to being controlled and punished for a slightest mistake by her mother Celay. Their life is harsh and they are always on the move to escape an unknown and unmentioned threat. The only safe place for Saya is… the Dream, which she can enter and where she used to roam and play as a child. Changes are coming into her life too. Saya’s mother has been passing Saya’s gift to Dream as her own and has been profiting from it. Now it’s time for Saya to discover the freedom of making her own choices.

Indir and Saya are both young and inexperienced. They have been leading ‘protected’ lives and both of them need strength and courage to face the changes. Indir’s strength comes from her family and their love, while Saya is much more curious and trusting- she isn’t following any script or any tradition, just her instincts and what she perceives to be true, she is writing her own story.


To tell you more is to give away the plot which deserves being discovered step by step, chapter by chapter, image by image.


The worldbuilding is gorgeous and so well-thought-through. Among different kinds of gifts that belong to these people are shapeshifting, wielding Fire and using Songs for healing and as a means of connection to all the living world. The Dreamers themselves are also different- Indir dreams in truths, while her sister sees possibilities. Lizz Huerta creates a beautiful, magical world with stunning, rich imagery.

Fabulous debut from Lizz Huerta! Can’t wait to read her next book!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

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5 Comments

  1. This sounds like such a beautifully written story, Toni. I just added it to my TBR. I am not big on YA fantasy, but it sounds like such a wonderful story. Great review, Toni.

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