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A Multitude of Dreams

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A Multitude of Dreams by Mara Rutherford
Publication Date: September 26, 2023

Princess Imogen has been locked away for years in a castle along with all the other nobles and servants as a result of the mad king’s orders. A plague moved through the Kingdom decimating the population not lucky enough to have been locked in the castle. What the castle inhabitants don’t know is that the plague is mostly over and survivors are starting to come out of hiding. The question being how exactly did they survive? And what does this mean for the castle’s inhabitants?

I thought this book was about a deadly illness (which if I’m being entirely honest still feels too soon to be reading about) and the political fallouts set in a fantastical world. *Here comes the spoilers* What I wasn’t prepared for was the vampires. It was at that point that book just fell apart for me. I was prepared for political maneuvering and maybe some romance. I was not prepared for bloodsucking, bloodthirsty creatures. On the bright side, at least these ones didn’t sparkle?

There were also just a ton of plotholes and again *here comes the spoilers.* How did NO ONE realize she wasn’t Imogen? Not one person threatened to reveal the truth to gain standing?! What kind of court is this?! If the plague was a great equaliser, why was Nico acting as a servant to a person who saved him? Were the other kingdoms also affected by this plague? Do they also have vampires? Why did no one ever correspond about this issue? Why would a foreign prince agree to enter a territory they knew to be affected by a plague? Surely Imogen would have had to go to him?

Imogen was also unremarkable. She had no standout characters. She didn’t possess any special abilities. The fact that she would run head first at danger and get mad when she left behind resulted in my frustration over her nativity.

The book briefly touches on the treatment of Jews during the outbreak of the plague (how they were blamed for it and what happened to them as a result). The main female character is also Jewish. There was too much going on in the book and I don’t think it appropriately handled the topic. It just didn’t feel right to me that antisemitism was being used as a plot device without any real exploration into the matter. Perhaps if this hadn’t ventured into vampire territory it could have been more meaningful but there was just too much going on.

Thank you to Inkyard Press for providing an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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A Multitude of Dreams contains a compelling plot with lies, conspiracies, political machinations, religious prejudice, and vampires. The writing and atmosphere in this novel was exquisite, and I was drawn into the world of Goslind right away. This book's gloomy and ominous aesthetic was amazing and jump scares, high stakes, cleverly scripted terrifying situations, and narrative surprise and suspense were all beautifully delivered. The small story twists, the hints, the well-written villain with concise and clear motivations fit together so perfectly. The ambience was suspenseful and slightly eerie since everyone at Eldridge Hall has something to cover up. The characters were well-developed and had rich backstories. I could sense Seraphina's optimism, wants, longing, worries. She is persistent in making her own decisions, particularly given how long it has been taken away from her. I always love hidden identities in books so I was really intrigued by that element in this book. I also admire how she proudly upheld her ethnicity and identity while never losing sight of it. I adore how sharp and perceptive Nico is, he is so brave and devoted to helping people. I loved both Seraphina and Nico's points of view equally because both of them are incredibly likeable and realistic characters. The relationship between them was so tender and sweet. Being able to see the plague’s aftermath from their two very different points of view was truly fantastic. I especially loved how the author included her Jewish history, illustrating how they were both disproportionately impacted by the plague and blamed for it. There are also elements of fantasy incorporated into the story and the vampires and monsters were written in such an interesting and creative way. This book centres around the peaceful, intimate feeling of the power in learning about oneself, in knowing who you are and hanging on tightly to that and about the personal journeys of identity.

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⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️/ 5 stars
Thank you to the author for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

A Multitude of Dreams is the fifth book written by Mara! It is a Poe retelling of Mask of Red Death, in a land that has been tortured by a bloody plague. Imogen, the princess locked in the castle to keep the disease out and Nico, a grave digger who is immune to the disease. When Nico is sent to the castle to see if there are survivors, he and Imogen meet and discover what the plague did.

“But the fact is that the circumstances of our birth don’t really matter, do they? You and I may come from different worlds, but we’re both here in this one now”

I have been part of Mara’s Street team for over a year and I love every minute spent with the amazing group of people who are part of it with me. I fell in love with Mara’s writing while reading Luminous and every book since!

The very first pages of this book gripped my and sucked me into the story! While I was sucked in, I did feel this book was a slow read for me. Instead of the slow read making the book boring or hard to get through, I just really sucked the words in. I feel like the slow reading made me really appreciate the atmosphere and ambiance that was created. It has a really dark, rich and gothic feel and really made me want to keep on reading and really take my time.

The plot is very engaging! I love the idea that this plague brings on three types of survivors, the immune, immaculate and the vampires who are more like zombies. We’ve taken to calling them zompires hahaha!

Aside from an engaging plot, it really brings a historical aspect of Jewish persecution to the table. I actually applaud Mara for taking on this topic. It brings the belief from the Middle Ages, that the Jews were responsible for the plague, which is of course a load of bull, but this way of thinking is also present in the book.

The characters are super different from each other and soooooo loveable! I have to say that Nico, my smoll bean Nico, is my absolute favorite. I just love his understanding and calmness, but also his fearlessness and loyalty! Seraphina is such a strong character who had to endure way too much. She comes across as mature beyond her years with a fierce longing to be free. I love how both fight for what they want!

I love the progression of the romance in this book. There was a sort of hint of a love triangle, but with the stakes and everything happening it really took a seat on the background. I love how the romance never overpowered the need for survival and how it wasn’t some Insta-love between the characters. The progression feels natural and believable and fitting for the events happening in this book. At the same time, the desperation of being free and wanting to survive does push them together more quickly, but still in a very believable way. I also love, love, love the fact that the girl is bold and claimed the boy! On the other side, the friendships have been growing for years and the deep connection that the characters have with each other is equally beautiful to read.

One thing I also really love that this book has is the non-romanticized way that vampires are portrayed. I really like to see the vampires truly be “the bad guys” in this case. It is a fresh and different take on the many vampire stories out in the world.

There is a moment that I really had a jump scare and honestly screamed out loud because of what happened! I love a book that can take me by surprise like that and made me feel my heartbeat in my throat! The stakes were so high, nobody could be trusted and I loved every second I sat in suspense reading on to find out what would happen next!

Overall, A Multitude of Dreams is a beautiful and unique story that is a perfect read for the spooky season, with the dark, rich and gothic atmosphere created!

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inspired by “the masque of the red death” by edgar allan poe, a multitude of dreams is a YA gothic fantasy full of strong female characters, found family, vampires, disguises, secrets, suspense and a sprinkling of horror and I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!😭🖤

i absolutely flew through this book!! the plot kept me on my toes and guessing what the hell was going to happen next, the character growths were *chefs kiss*, the writing was beautiful and i loved the Jewish rep within this story☺️

Seraphina and Nico have my entire heart and so does Jocelyn!! the friendships within this story are top tier and i wanted to protect each and every one of them (i still do)🤺

the book comes out on 26th september 2023 just in time for spooky season🕸️

thank you so much mara & inkyard press & netgalley for sending this to me!

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I loved The Poison Season and loved this!! 4.5/5! Thank you so much for the ARC, I cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy of this book :)

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"Besides, what the girls back home thought of any of this didn’t matter anymore. All the girls back home were dead."

🥀 Goslind has been the victim of a deadly plague
The mori roja has ravaged the kingdom and there are only two ways to survive it: pray for blood immunity or lock yourself away and avoid any contact with the outside.

🏰 Eldridge Hall is a palace built on lies
To escape the disease, Princess Imogen has been trapped in the castle for years with the rest of the nobility.
But the princess has a secret: the real Imogen has been dead for three years.

🫀 Cozy dystopia
The fact that much of the story takes place inside the castle makes this book have a warm and cozy tone, which reminded me a lot of the cozy fantasy that I love so much, and I thought it was a great decision 🤍
It does not pretend to offer you the most complex plot but if you enjoy quiet books (and adorable romances) and want to try something new I highly recommend this one.

🐦‍ Edgar Allan Poe references
Truth is, I have never read Poe before but there are many references to "The Masque of the Red Dead" in this book that and you will surely love them if you have read it. 🖤

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I unfortunately just couldn't get into this one. I absolutely love Mara Rutherford so this was highly anticipated for me. Unfortunately it just fell flat for me.

I found myself getting bored, I didn't feel like the flowed very nicely, the magic system wasn't for me, I'm just slightly disappointed. That's not to say the book was bad at all.

I appreciate that it was brought to a bigger light the old thoughts that Jewish people were thought to have spread the plague. That's not widely known. I also loved the omens, the symbolism, and the details when describing settings.

While overall for me this book was just okay, I definitely recommend you read and decide for yourself.

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A MULTITUDE OF DREAMS is an Edgar Allan Poe retelling that involves a plague and a masquerade. In the dual POVs, we follow Princess Imogen, who holds a deadly secret, and Nico Mott, a rich boy turned peasant. Princess Imogen has spent the past four years locked away in the palace with a mad king and a bunch of royals who would rather pretend than face his wrath. What she longs for is freedom, but she has no way to gain it due to the boarded up windows and doors that prevent anyone from leaving. Nico Mott works for a man who is a monster (in the literal sense and not figurative). When he discovers that his master does not have good intentions, he immediately decides to warn those trapped with the palace. Though both of them have different reasons, their goals are the same: escape the palace.

Rutherford does a remarkable job with world building and establishing characters who are a wide range of manipulative and controlling to sweet and uplifting. Character development, on the other hand, is a different story. These characters are very static, remaining unchanging throughout the entire plot.

This book has Jewish representation, a strong female lead, and… vampires(?). Overall, I would give this book 3.5/5 stars.

*Thank you NetGalley and Inkyard Press for providing an e-arc*

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Thank you to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for the eARC!

This book just wasn’t my cup of tea. I found it slow and hardly any character development. I missed the mystery and intrigue that came along with Masque of the Red Death which the author said inspired her. It read like a children’s bedtime story, which is fine but again, it was just too slow for me and the plot barely existent.

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#AMultitudeofDreams #NetGalley
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an E-Arc copy of this novel.

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First off, I adore her books! When I got an eARC from NetGalley, I was jumping up and down. If you LOVE YA fantasy, then her books are for you. I do recommend reading the author's note and acknowledgment before reading this book. You will see her heart for this story.

This story was beautiful and unique. Rutherford added her religion into fantasy setting, and I personally thought it fit wonderfully. This book comes out in September. I will be getting it along with The Poisoned Season in hardcover to go beside my Crown of Coral and Pearl duology.

❤️Princess with a secret
❤️Hidden identity
❤️Jewish Characters
❤️Force proximity
❤️Gothic vibes
❤️Poe retelling

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Another fantastic book from Mara Rutherford!!! We also get this stunning cover from artist Elena Masci, and it could not be more perfect for this story.

A Multitude of Dreams is a gothic fantasy retelling based on the infamous Edgar Allen Poe’s Mask of Red Death. This story brings all the spooky, gothic, plague vibes and I am absolutely living for it. In true Mara fashion, the atmosphere is rich and the romance leaves you wanting more. I actually loved seeing a darker side to Mara’s books, and would love to see more romance from her in future works.

This books brings the historical aspect of Jewish persecution, and the Middle Ages belief that Jews brought disease, to a whole new level. We have a bloody plague called the Mori Roja which leaves only 3 types of survivors. The immune, the immaculate, and the zompire! Hahahaha

People, if this book isn’t on your TBR for spooky season, then you are slacking!!

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This is basically a Edgar Allen Poe retelling with monsters and a Jewish heroine!

I don't want to spoil anything because I always think that is half the fun of reading so you'll have to read the story to figure out what type of monsters are featured in this book and I think you'll find yourself on the edge of your seat when you do!

I like it and would definitely read a sequel!

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This was a super interesting story that kept me captivated from the very first page! I devoured it quickly and loved the writing and dialogue! And the characters! Loved them!

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I have read and enjoyed this author’s previous books. When I heard this one took inspiration from Edgar Allen Poe, I was so excited for the opportunity to read an early copy!

The first line definitely hooked me.
<blockquote>“Eldridge Hall was a castle built on lies.”</blockquote>

The first half (approximately) of the book I thought was really interesting and building up well, but the second half things just started to fall off for me. The writing started out strong and I was loving the simultaneous plots unfolding and converging.

The two main characters are definitely a highlight of the story. They are very endearing. Although their “romance” lacked conviction and the fade-to-black scene was super awkward.

Other parts of the story also didn’t work well for me. I thought the world-building was okay. I liked the setting but the time period felt a little weird to me for some reason. I think it didn’t mesh well with other aspects of the story. In general, a lot of the story felt disjointed in this way.

The lore and rules of the magic system felt very cliche to me. With little to no explanation as to why it worked that way, or why those choices were made, it just wasn’t totally believable.

The religious issues (though I commend her for wanting to include important themes) felt preachy and disconnected from the rest of the story. The plot was predictable, and by the end the book was skimmable. I think the biggest issue was that all the parts weren’t cohesive enough to make a satisfying whole.

I’m so sad to say that this one was a little disappointing to me. It is definitely my least favorite of this author’s books thus far. It’s unfortunate because it had so much conceptual potential that just wasn’t executed compellingly. Overall, this one is just okay for me, solidly middle of the road as far as ratings go.

I’ll still read anything this author writes. I hope that in the future we can go back to the level of storytelling that Luminous was at. Since then, her books have slowly gone downhill for me.

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A deliciously gothic tale that will have you on the edge of your seat!

A Multitude of Dreams is a beautifully intricate and atmospheric tale inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Masque of the Red Death.' Mara Rutherford has superbly depicted the aftermath of a plague filled world; one that oozes with darkness and isolation... and a masquerade ball!

Seraphina, our protagonist, is a royal princess, whom at the behest of the King, is trapped inside the castle alongside her sisters and a bunch of snooty nobles. But not everything is as it seems with this spoiled princess - she's actually a Jew! I know that that's not something scary or horrific, but to those nobles and others it is. I love that Mara weaved historical facts within her tale; I had no idea that Jews were blamed for the plague in the past. It was refreshing to see representation for a group that I don't typically come across in books. I enjoyed reading of her character because she was so complex in her desires, longings and heritage, which I'm not going into too much detail because I think its best to see for yourself. But I did enjoy being inside her mind and found myself wanting her to succeed, even though she sometimes acted like a pick me.

I normally find myself drifting towards morally grey love interests, but Nico, the gravedigger, dug his way into my heart - see what I did there;) This is an innocent young man, who wants to do good for the world, but finds himself trapped in the midst of a Lords villainy. It was great seeing him transform from someone who did as he was told to a valiant protector of the people. I also loved how perceptive he was; I enjoyed the fact that as he began to realise the emerging horrors, so did I! I anticipated the moment when he and Seraphina came across each others path, and lets just say it did not disappoint!

There was a certain level of eeriness and danger that this novel carried from the very beginning. Mara played with our minds and emotions far too much in thinking we were being preyed upon in every page. I found myself feeling the cold seeping through my bones, someones breath on the back of my neck and goosebumps running down my arm as the characters faced their ultimate battle for survival.

A brilliant, brilliant book.

I'm so grateful for being on Mara's street team in that I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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I liked this book. I think that it didn't always flow as nicely as I would have wanted but I was engaged the whole time and I was definitely entertained. I also really loved the Jewish representation and liked hearing the reasons from the author for including that in her novel. If you liked the Plosion Season you will like this. The pacing is similar and the story is easy to get into. I also really liked the gothic vibes and the idea that you are living in opulence at the expense of the rest of the world. I would have loved to have more background on the characters since they were really enjoyable. Regardless, I liked it and will be recommending it !

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This was a very interesting book! I really liked the writing, the themes and the retelling aspect of a Poe story.

However, the world just wasn’t for me— it didn’t draw me in. I found myself growing bored at times. So, unfortunately, it wasn’t for me overall.

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I loved this! I loved Seraphina right from the beginning and the mysteries left me wanting more. It was tough to put down! I’m so glad I read the authors note about her interest in Poe. It made reading the story even better. The world was amazing, the characters were immediately people I wanted to read more about, and I can’t wait to snag this on as a physical copy for my shelf. Another amazing story from Rutherford!

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First I have to mention that the cover is beautiful. It fits the vibe for the feel of this book.

I think the overall concept of this book was super interesting and had so much potential. It didn't completely blow me away but there were still lots to enjoy about the story. I feel like I was definitely more interested in Nico than Seraphina but I always love a book that has a dual perspective.

And while I'm not jewish, that aspect of the book was fascinating.

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