Cover Image: A Multitude of Dreams

A Multitude of Dreams

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Member Reviews

I felt that it was extremely boring. Its setup in a dual POV storyline. Typically when that happens I like the female POV way more. Not the case with this one. I liked Nico way more. I don't think I would recommend this to a friend. Sorry.

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The beginning is a bit shaky. Lots of info dumping and repetition in the first 3 chapters, which is a shame because the premise of A Multitude of Dreams is compelling, but there’s hardly any chase when so much is revealed right away.
I imagine we will soon see a trend in books about plagues, quarantine, etc given the real life pandemic we’ve been living in for 3 years. Although you wouldn’t guess it from the beginning, this book has some fresh tales and commentary about it. I just wish the author would give readers the chance to explore this world on their one instead of info dumping and telling them exactly where to go.

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I enjoyed another of this authors work, but this one was not for me. It takes place a few years after a plaque and some people are immune, while others have been shut in a castle. To me the details were disconnected and overall I found the story on the weaker side.

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What a Gothic masterpiece. I was so impressed that although the circumstances and time period are totally different, after living through a pandemic how easily relatable some of it was. I absolutely loved how this story flowed and how I would get so lost in the book for pages and pages that I would look up and an hour had passed. I rarely get the heart fluttering fear while reading like I do on TV or movies but this really had my heart in my throat. As soon as one thing word happen we went right into another twist and turn. This is going to be a top book of the year I can already tell.

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This is my first book by this author and I’m so glad I read it! I already have people lined up to read it when it comes out. I loved the two perspectives in the book and thought the way they came together was great. It was a great read- I highly recommend it! I’m off to get her other books now.

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I love Mara's writing, it has such a nice vibe and a unique storytelling. This book does not dissapoint either, I enjoyed the story, which was inspired by one of Edgar Allan Poe's story. As a person who lived through a plague kind of thing (looking at you C*vid), most of us will also relate to our characters who find themselves in the middle of a plague.

I definitely recommend this book if you are looking for an adventurous story with two lovely main characters. There were some little love parts added to the story, which was lovely. I've adored Nico so much, and I think you will too, how could you not?

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Thank you to Netgalley and Inkyard Press for this ARC and the chance to read this book early.

What a bloody, horror filled plague ride we went on with Seraphina! Wow!

This book went in a direction I was not expecting and I really enjoyed that. The pacing was decent, and the characters were great.

Things you may like: court politics, a hidden identity, Jewish rep, a masquerade, romance that isn't the main focal point, plague, oh and don't forget the blood, action and decapitations!

Overall, it was a strong book and it kept me on the edge of my seat for a large portion of it. If you're looking for your next suspenseful, fantasy read.. look no further!

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Old King Stuart’s lost his head,
Hoping he won’t end up dead.
Lock the windows, bar the door;
the plague will come for rich and poor.

A Multitude of Dreams takes place a few years after a horrible plague, the Mori Roja (or Bloody Three), has ravaged the land. It is a rich, gothic fantasy that was inspired by The Red Masque of Death by Edgar Allan Poe.
King Stuart is though to be mad, and no one wants to be the one to push him over that edge. He has quarantined his daughters ( and 500 other nobles) in his castle. Princess Imogen, the king's favorite, is desperate to escape the castle and has her own deadly secret.
This story was eerie and compelling. It was full of great characters, who each had their own story to tell. I very much enjoyed this twisty story. This was only my second Mara Rutherford book, but I've got to go read more.

Thanks to Netgalley and Inkyard for an early copy for review.

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A MULTITUDE OF DREAMS by Mara Rutherford is a gothic standalone Young Adult Fantasy inspired by The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe. This book was dark, luscious, and mysterious, with vivid settings and transformative character arcs. Just when I thought I'd figured out where the story would go, another twist would happen, and all twists had been hinted at, so my surprise was well-earned. Before I gush on more, let me tell you what this book is about.

It stars Princess Imogen of Goslind, a young woman who has lived a sheltered three years inside a boarded up castle in order to stay safely away from the mori roja, a deadly plague. Princess Imogen has a big secret, and she's unhappy being trapped, so she tries to figure out how she may escape, and with whom. It also stars Nico Mott, whose family and home were devastated by the plague. Thanks to the generosity of Lord Crane, he at least has a roof over his head and work to do, even if it's not that glamorous. Their paths collide when Lord Crane sends Nico to the castle to discover if there are any people hiding there. Each of them must steer through a multitude (see what I did there?) of twists and turns if they want to survive something even worse than the plague... it's coming to get them, and they are running out of time.

What I loved most about this book:
- how many times the story surprised me
- Nico! Such a kind, smart, hard-working person who just wants to help those who need it. His perspective, and the roller coaster of feelings he experiences, made me feel so badly for him and his situation
- The Jewish representation, and the author using her novel as an opportunity to educate readers who may have never heard of the word pogrom or understand how much the Jewish people have been persecuted and blamed unfairly over the centuries
- Princess Imogen... once I knew her secret, I just... wow. She'd been through so much and had lost almost everything near and dear to her. Her transformation made me smile with joy.
- The stakes kept rising and shifting in unexpected ways, which kept me reading and kept the pacing top notch, especially in the second half of the book
- The romance was slow burn and really well written
- The secondary characters: I'm looking at you, Colin, and you, Jocelyn, and you, Lord Greymont!
- The well-written villain with clear motivations, and who ends up being the scariest monster of a villain

What didn't work:
- There were too many princesses. I had trouble keeping track of who was who. This may be a me thing.
- Towards the end of the book, Princess Imogen makes a foolhardy error that I don't think anyone would make given the circumstances. It sets off an avalanche of predicaments, which I found so frustrating (of course, this also means that I was super invested in the story to get that frustrated!)

A MULTITUDE OF DREAMS is a rollercoaster ride through the darkness of secrets, the spiraling emotions of being trapped by fear, and the triumph of grasping one's own power and truth. I highly recommend it. Run, don't walk, to pre-order this entertaining novel!

Thank you to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for providing me with an eARC of this book for my honest feedback.

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AMAZING AND MAGICAL. I truly couldn’t love this book more than I do. Mara Rutherford does it again! I would read anything she writes

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I’ve had the opportunity and privilegie to receive this book from the author as an ARC in exchange for an honest review, so here we go ❤️

Rating: 5/5⭐️

“Old King Stuart’s lost his head, hoping he won’t end up dead.
Lock the windows, bar the door; the plague will come for rich and poor.
If you want to stay alive, there are three ways to survive:
Run away across the sea; pray for blood immunity; Or die and be reborn again, and drink the blood of living men.”

I confess I’ve never heard of Edgar Allan Poe, so I went a little blind into this Poe retelling inspired story with a deadly plague and a masquerade. And I can say that Mara has done it again! With a darker twist to an already dark plague, this adventure follows Seraphina - known as Princess Imogen to others - and Nico - or Prince Martin -, while they discover the true of the world post plague and the courage to move on. This is a tale about resilience, found family and bravery.

I loved the writing, found the pace enjoyable and engaging and I found myself devouring this book quite quickly! All characters are very interesting and I felt they were all needed! The dual POV was absolutely magical to discover more about the plot and the world Mara had created and to experience the aftermath of the bloody three in two very distinct ways: Seraphina’s is locked inside Eldridge Hall by the King with some nobility to avoid the plague and Nico has survived the plague by being immune and serving Lord Crane.

Everything is plotted together so nicely, the little twists, the clues; you can see the author took her time to make sure everything would come together perfectly. There’s some macabre to this story and you can’t help but be mesmerised by it until the end! It’s a mix of a gothic ya fantasy with an infusion of supernatural and subtle romance.

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I chose this book after falling in love with the cover, I just wish I could have fallen in love with the story as well. I found the every single character was under developed, the plot itself felt very lackluster. It made me really sad, maybe I will go back to the story from the halfway point soon and try again?!

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Inspired by “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe, this YA fantasy has a strong gothic vibe. Plagues, pogroms, and zombie vampires, oh my! It’s tone is dark and thought-provoking. There’s even a fake princess who has to pretend to be the princess who died. The plot is fascinating and twisty. And let’s just admit—the cover is drop dead gorgeous!

Will post on my socials (FB, website, and Instagram) March 18, 2023.

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Thank you Netgalley and Inkyard Press for an arc of A Multitude of Dreams.

The reason I requested this title is because I am always drawn to a good Poe inspired tale. I knew going in this wasn’t going to be a retelling, but I found myself hoping that I would see more shades of Poe in the story.

I felt the beginning was strong and I was intrigued about Nico living with Lord Crane and digging graves and the Princess who was not an Princess but an imposter to keep the mad King from realizing his beloved daughter had died.

There were some really great elements: the different levels of survivors, those that sequestered and never got the plague (immaculates) and those who ended up immune and then those who chose a much different path and drank blood instead of dying. I thought that was done in an interesting way and I wish it held my interest further as I ran into problems around the midway point where a few things felt forced and/or dismissive in regards to character revelations.

I did enjoy the book and it definitely had some twists and turns! A solid 3/5 for me.

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I would have given this book SIX stars is I could - This was such a fun book to read!!

This book follows the perspectives of Princess Imogen from locked within the castle at Eldridge and Nicodemus "Nico" Mott on his way to the castle. There are many other characters that you will fall in love with along the way - and a few that will make you mad as hell. I will say that I don't remember reading "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allen Poe, so I can't give an accurate opinion as far as how this was done as a retelling, but it was so satisfying as its own story and I'd say its release is timely with the status of our current world.

My favorite thing about this book is that things are not as they seem - I found this book to be very UNPREDICTABLE at times and throw me for twists and turns that I was not expecting. Everything was woven together beautifully - the connections that we reveal as the story goes on are incredible. I would love to continue to learn and grow with these characters, I feel like there's so many more adventures that could come from this story.

I thought it was really neat that despite this being a "fantasy" story - it still was able to touch upon the very real and relevant issue of antisemitism. I think this was done in a tasteful and meaningful way. It was also interesting to reflect that this piece discusses the "plague" which in society right now is also pretty spot on as we have all been living through COVID.

Although this story is brief, I felt as though the characters were well developed and had adequate backstories to captivate us the readers and keep us wanting to learn more. This is definitely a YOUNG ADULT book that can be enjoyed by "older folks" like myself (people 30+). It doesn't get too spicy, but there's enough "adult material" that it doesn't read too young. If you like creepy gothic mysteries with some romance, dive in!

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for the ARC in exchange for honest feedback.

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I was disappointed with this book. It is a take on The Masque of the Red Death but really, Rutherford chose to focus more on aesthetics than themes in my opinion. Of course, the plague is there but...maybe I let my expectations get too high before I started reading.

I definitely saw potential and I was interested enough in seeing how everything was wrapped up that I did finish the book but the characters felt rather flat and by the end, I just didn't care anymore. This could be due in part to the repetitive nature of portions of the book and the character's inner narratives/dialogue as well.

Also, I do want to mention here that there was a great potential for discussion here about plagues and the blame that is all too often placed on minorities- the author mentioned this but did not take true advantage of it.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC copy I received for an honest review.

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4.5 stars. Mara is a great writer and I love everything I’ve read by her so far. This book has the eerie vibes of The Poison Season but with a much more gothic atmosphere. It revolves around a plague and a castle full of nobles who have shut themselves away while the rest of the world suffers. It’s a dual POV from Princess Imogen inside the castle, and Nico Mott living on an estate with other immunes.

I feel like saying too much will give things away, but I will say that things are not at all as they seem in this book and there are lots of exciting secrets to uncover. It was suspenseful and bloody at times, but also had strong characters and sweet moments. I liked both MCs and the romance was cute, although the book was on the shorter side which didn’t leave much room for development. Overall I really enjoyed this and the cover is stunning.

Thank you to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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A second for this cover, if you will.

Doubly, a second for this is an Edgar Allen Poe retelling.

Late last year I was lucky enough to win a copy of The Poison Season via BookishFirst, then received a stunning special edition of it via Owlcrate....and I absolutely loved the book. So, when I was randomly scrolling Netgalley and landed on this one - I knew I had to have it!

Imagine my surprise when I got accepted to review this (or don't, I am new to the site and still get excited for acceptances).

Anyway, on to the story itself. While I am not personally ready to read Pandemic-centered stories, I really quite enjoyed The Poison Season and A Multitude of Dreams. Mara Rutherford is just that good! I like that this book was a subtle nod to Edgar Allen, and appreciate the author for making a note of that in the front & back of the book - otherwise it would have gone right over my head.

I like the idea of a castle being untouched by a plague for four years. Of course, in real life, I know that this is something that would not truly happen - especially considering we lived through a pandemic where people got sick even leaving their homes for a few minutes. In the beginning of this book I pictured maybe a couple dozen people in this castle along with the royals....not hundreds of nobles all stuck in one place. And nobody questioned the almost endless food supply in four years!

This whole mini ecosystem untouched by the plague really caught my interest, and I would read a whole novella about everything they did in that castle over the last four years, read about how the meals would change and when rationing would truly kick in, would read more about the sisters and their dynamic. Heck, I wanted to know more about the King and why he acted the way he did! Of course, I am glad that this book skipped to the point and wasn't incredibly boring and drawn out, but also I am left with so any questions about this castle - which I will just have to speculate about!

I enjoyed the characters too. Just like in the Poison Season, you have a boy and a girl in virtually opposite worlds that come together in an attempt for one to save another. I do see the similarities between the books, despite there being different plots. This book does have a little less romance than Poison Season, but the relationship is still there and they work together to get everyone to safety!

Then, because you cannot just have a plague story - the author threw in a new kind of monster too. Well, not new to the book world, but new to the world inside this book. I will not lie, it kind of threw me for a loop, but it made the story interesting and it kind of pushed the characters to leave the "safety" and confines of the castle wall.

Plus, the author was able to weave in a subtle nod to vaccinations in this story as well.....respect for that.

The author does also touch a bit on the Jewish experience in history as well. She touches on it in her Author Note at the end, and basically says that the events of this book are entirely fictional, but some of the fears are from ones rooted in history. The main character is Jewish, she battles with feeling not enough for her heritage, and she witnessed pogroms because gentiles thought her people caused the plague. It was definitely a very real aspect thrown into a fictional world!

Overall, I did thoroughly enjoy this book and it did surprise me a few times throughout as well. I am a sucker for some Poe-related retellings, and I loved the atmosphere of the castle with a quiet, dead world outside. I would have loved to see more inside the castle for the last four years, but also think the author did a good job balancing out the story and weaving in a good amount of action throughout as well. This is definitely a story I will remember for a while to come!
Content warnings: death, blood, body horror, murder, plague, confinement, racism, gun violence, self harm, survivors guilt, genocide

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"He who saves a single life, saves the world entire"

Sinister, dark, engaging, gothic - everything I could've ever wanted. The writing was impeccable and the characters were well developed with deep backstories. I LOVED learning about the Jewish representation in the story. I never knew that the Jewish people were wrongfully blamed for spreading plagues in the past. I'll also mention how engaging the tense and scary scenes were within the book. It felt like from 50% onward we were getting jump scares, artfully written scary scenes, and plot twist after plot twist. This was my first Mara Rutherford book and I am now such a stan. I need to read The Poison Season now. If you liked Anatomy: A Love Story I think you'd love the gothic and sinister style of this book as well.

"She was cunning, and brave, and she was never going to hide who she was again."

"She remembered how he'd kissed her bruised wrists, how the pain in her heart contrasted with the butterflies in her stomach at the tenderness of the gesture."

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Thank you for this opportunity! So I am really digging how the Jewish community is sharing their histories and stories with the wide world through retelling and books. This one an insidious creep up on you sort of take on a popular authors work. I am definitely recommending this to everybody I meet

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