Cover Image: A Multitude of Dreams

A Multitude of Dreams

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Member Reviews

I was not entirely sure what I was getting into when I picked this book up, but the cover and description were enticing! It was not what I expected, but it did not disappoint. In the end, this book was probably a 3.5-star read for me!

I found the dual-character perspective very beneficial to the storyline, the effect would not have been the same without it. I can tell that Rutherford put a lot of time into making sure the characters' backstories aided the plot; the writing style really separated the two voices! The underlying themes of individuality versus collectivism explained the characters' interactions within the world, and, overall, I thought character-building was a strong aspect of the book!

The biggest flaw, for me, was the book was a bit slow-moving and lacking in world-building. Parts of it were a cyclical pattern that did not seem to benefit the plot in any way, while other parts seemed to throw you into the middle of a world you had little to no information about. It could be because I do not have the Poe background information, but I did struggle to see the full picture sometimes!

Overall, I am glad I read this book and was able to experience aspects of Judaism in the fantasy genre, as it is something with nowhere near enough representation. I loved following along with the characters and experiencing a darker fantasy. Rutherford has a beautiful and engaging writing style!

Thank you to Netgalley and Inkyard Press for an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

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A gothic Poe retelling with a plague and a masquerade - I loved literally everything about this book!

Told through dual POV, the reader experiences the aftermath of a bloody plague in two distinctly different ways - through Princess Imogen whose father locked all the royalty and nobility away in Eldridge Hall to quarantine them from the illness, leaving the rest of the country to suffer - and through Nico, a gentleman turned servant who survived the plague due to his rare immunity and thanks to Lord Crane, a man who takes him in after his family perishes. Imogen’s and Nico’s stories align when Nico is sent on a quest to find survivors at Eldridge Hall. Together they learn surviving the plague was just the first challenge.

This book was beautifully written and I was immediately pulled into the world of Goslind. Both Imogen and Nico are extremely realistic and relatable characters and I enjoyed their POVs equally. I also really liked the ways in which the author incorporated her Jewish heritage - showing how they were both blamed for and disproportionately affected by the plague.

This story kept me on the edge of my seat - it’s subtly eery and full of suspense. Everyone’s got something to hide at Eldridge Hall. Mara Rutherford is an auto-buy author for me and this novel only further proves her versatility as a writer.

Thank you to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Access full content (sex, language, violence) review and a condensed version of my thoughts here:

Overall, this was a solid 3.5 star read.  I was expecting that, based on my past experiences with Mara Rutherford's works, but I still end up really enjoying her novels.  And the fact that this is a Poe retelling meant I had to read it.  I had some questions about the inner workings of the disease and some of the plot points, however I think Mara Rutherford writes well-rounded, developed and complex characters really well, and I love the character dynamics between her love interests.  Rutherford's writing is simple and easy to read, making for a quick-paced read.  

So, like I said, I really liked the two main characters, though they do seem to mirror the personalities of her past main characters.  The world-building was a little less fresh and developed as with The Poison Season, and I found some of the plot-points to be unbelievable or confusing.  Several times the characters made choices that left me wondering what possible reason they could have for doing so other than to follow along with the author's plot line.  There's a lot of telling rather than showing, which—along with the simplistic writing style—occasionally grates on my nerves.  The twist on the retelling was interesting and cool, but I wish it had been executed a little better.  I feel as if this is an early draft that still needs to work out the kinks.

One aspect of the book that I have no complaints about is the Jewish representation.  Yes, it is a fantasy world, but the author addresses her decision to add in the actual religion rather than substituting it for a fake one in the acknowledgments and I found myself entirely agreeing with her.

Lastly—and this is a personal thing—I really wish there had been more Poe references, or that the title and cover related more closely to the subject matter in the book.

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