Cover Image: A Multitude of Dreams

A Multitude of Dreams

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Member Reviews

It’s a fairly interesting retelling of an old story. It has a young adult twist, some cultural aspects, and a princess in the tower aspect.

But I also didn’t find it, particularly special or outstanding compared to other stories.

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Unfortunately, I could not get into this book and ended up not completing it after about 20 percent. I thought the concept was interesting but it missed the mark for me. Others might find it interesting though, the writing was good.

Thanks Netgalley for the eARC

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I love gothic literature and this book made me so excited to read modern gothic literature but I was just sort of shocked by the nonsensical nature of it. Like if we're in a mystical fantasy world that's not our own why are we emplying the usage of current bigoted idealogy in our society. It just felt like antisemitism was used as a tool and it was kind of a disservice to Jewish people, and the fact that the character was Jewish felt like it came out of nowhere in the first chapter. Like WHAT? I really feel like if the author wanted to do a service for Jewish representation there would have been better ways to do it than invent a new world so far removed from ours, and put Jewish people and their historical struggles in it. It just felt like nonsensical and tone deaf milking of the struggles faced by an entire ethnic group.

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4/5 Stars + 0/5 Spice

- Young Adult Gothic Fantasy
- Mystery
- Romantic Subplot
- Dual POV

Thank you to NetGalley, Inkyard Press, and the author, Mara Rutherford, for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this book, all opinions are my own.

This story is inspired by The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe. It is a young adult, gothic fantasy with many twists and turns throughout that keep you guessing.

This story follows our FMC, Seraphina, and our MMC, Nico, as they navigate a world wrought by a plague. The story is revealed through dual POVs which I love and a parallel storyline through which their world is revealed.

There is Jewish representation, and rather than alluding to Jews in the form of a new religion for the sake of it being a fantasy book, the author kept it true to what we know today, as historically Jews were often blamed for plagues. I really enjoyed this integration of Judaism and highlighting this part of their history I was previously ignorant of. Although it felt odd at first to read about Judaism in an otherwise, completely fantasy based story, I ended up really enjoying this method of representation.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the way the plot twists were revealed. This book does not present all the information to you up front. You discover more and more as you read, it was an incredibly atmospheric and beautiful way to world build. As the author states at the beginning of the book: “Just be careful whom you trust, because nothing between these pages is as it seems…”, and boy, is that the truth!

Reading about a plague after experiencing a worldwide pandemic feels different. Previous to our own experience with a plague, it felt like a fantastical notion in and of itself. This very real, and recent experience brought a whole new element to reading this story. I truly felt as though I could relate and empathize with many of the emotions they were having.

If you like YA Gothic Fantasy and are looking to read a book that will keep you guessing throughout, I highly recommend you give this one a try!

#amultitudeofdreams #NetGalley

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4/5 ⭐️

A Multitude of Dreams is an intriguing Gothic fantasy, perfect for the upcoming spooky season. Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and the Black Death, it also delves into Jewish history and the anti-Semitism they were targeted with during that time period, with them used as scapegoats to blame for the plague. Mara Rutherford weaves the historical inspirations into this Gothic-inspired world, interweaving vampires and zombies into the narrative. There’s also the atmospheric Gothic castle, isolated from the plague, and it’s so fascinating to delve into.

Very good writing and character development. The atmospheric gothic setting makes it perfectly for spooky season. The thing that push it back to 4 stars for me was the ending it felt a bit rushed but overall a very good YA fantasy.

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Dark and unique, this wasn't my favorite Rutherford read, but definitely had enough mystery to keep me interested.

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3.5/5 stars

quick thoughts:

i enjoyed the book and would recommend it for people who are looking for a quick fantasy read with a somber, eerie, post-apocalyptic vibe and a dash of fright.

longer review:

after months of procrastinating i finally picked this book up, and surprisingly, it only took me a few days to finish it!

in my initial review/thoughts, i had mentioned the term "slow-burn". what i meant by that was that there was a tension that slowly climbed throughout the story. that tension was probably my favorite part of the book, as it made me want to keep reading and not stop until i finish. once you get through the first act, the story unfolded pretty quickly (for a high fantasy book).

the shining jewel of the book was definitely seraphina. her backstory was heartbreaking, and i really liked her strength of character that was demonstrated in different ways. some of the other characters had depth, but others felt almost cartoonish (which i didn't mind but i know is a big issue for other people).

the main storyline (iykyk) was very fun for me to read. there were a few other threads throughout the book that i thought would lead somewhere, only to end up going nowhere, so that was a bit disappointing.

towards the end of the book i just wanted the tension to be released, so even though the climax was quite underwhelming, i wasn't mad about it.

thank you to inkyard press and netgalley for providing this arc!

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I was very excited for this book. The description was great! I've heard so many great things about the author and I own others of her books. This novel however started very slow and there wasn't enough worldbuilding. The main character was Jewish but it felt very fantasy genre, not realism fantasy. (Not saying I have anything against the religion, just that it didn't feel like this was based on any 'real' life things.) I did become a bit intrigued with the story once Seraphina started to see the issues and Nico got into the castle. The interest dwindle pretty quickly. There was a lot of talking and walking but not really much action. The punches didn't feel well versed. I was hoping it would be a great spooky read but for myself, it fell short.

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I have loved Mara's other books and was so looking forward to this one but it just didn't do it for me. While I thought the world building was very well done the romance in the book felt super forced. It ended up being just an okay read for me.

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So I was excited to read more from Mara Rutherford, since A Poison Season was not my favorite, and this one was certainly interesting.......but for a story that has Vampires as the bad guy....they weren't very scary and I never felt like they were going to win the conflict. The friendships were the highlight of the story while the actual relationship bits were...flat....
A great premise but it just was not for me as I don't think there was enough depth in plot/character/or world building

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Spooky fall vibe turned up on this one! This is my first book by Maura Rutherford and I’m obsessed. First of this over is stunning!! I think it will pop on any bookshelf this fall and will be a great Halloween read. This story was very intrigue and I couldn’t put it down. All of the characters were really thought out and kept me in the story until the very end. I can’t wait for more from Maura Rutherford. She is in her spooky autumn girl bag!

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Sadly this book just didn’t grab as much as I hoped it would. I put it down and picked it up multiple times but I just couldn’t connect with it. Super bummed.

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I actually really liked this one! It was an interesting new take (or at least new for me) about the creation of vampires, or as they’re called in the book, the reborn. While it was a fantasy novel, it didn’t have the never ending world building that I’ve usually found in fantasy books. Instead, the author did an amazing job of building the world while keeping me ingrained in the plot! I thoroughly enjoyed this!

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A plague, a mad King and the undead … you’ve got my attention! Pulling inspiration from the great Poe, Rutherford brings the eerie tension to life as we follow our main characters to a world where not everything or anyone is not what it seems. Truly enjoyed reading till the very end however, in my opinion some aspects of the story were plopped within the story rather than woven through. One of those examples is the Jewish representation, I would have loved to see it as a bigger part of the main characters story then just a matter of fact moments when discussing her past and it having no effect on her or the story during critical events. Other plops include a couple of characters, some particularly adorable felines and smaller things that could’ve made the eye for detail increase greatly. Do not get me wrong, I still rather enjoyed this book and will recommend this to readers looking for the perfect plague doctor Poe vibes.

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I kept trying to pick this one up but it’s not connecting. DNF for me but would try another book by the author.

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Retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's Masque of the Red Death!
18yo Seraphina lives trapped in Eldridge Hall with the Royal Family, servants and courtiers since the plague began three years ago. Seraphina masquerades as Princess Imogen after the real princess died four years ago. The Royal sisters were terrified of how the king would react if he discovered Imogen’s death so the sisters found a look alike Jewish girl, Seraphina, and took her away from her family. She’s been Imogen ever since. 19yo Nico goes to Eldridge Hall to see if there are any survivors. He soon discovers that the man who saved him from the mori roja plague years ago, and who claims to be helping plague survivors, is really a monster. Now Nico is compelled to save everyone he can in and around Eldridge Hall.

Likes/dislikes: I love retellings and this is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death with added supernatural and historical elements. The author shares her background and reasoning for creating this story and I’m impressed with her forethought and hindsight. Wonderful characters bring the book to life.
Mature Content: PG for kissing
Language: R for 43 swears and no f-words.
Violence: PG-13 for deaths.
Ethnicity: Royal family falls to white. Jewish descendants Seraphina and Dalia have olive skin. Lord Greymont has bronze skin. Elisabeth has olive skin. A dark skinned man is mentioned. Colin has brown skin.

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Thank you to the publisher, my BELOVED Inkyard Press who I am DISTRAUGHT to see leave us, and to NetGalley for this eARC to review.

4.5/5 stars!

I am very quickly becoming a fan of Mara Rutherford. Her pacing always seems to be perfect for me and *my brain*, and her stories always have the perfect amount of twists! I really enjoyed getting to see the story develop from both character's sides of their world, and eventually collide at the major tipping point only halfway through the book! It was almost insane that basically from 50% on it was one giant climax where things we're constantly developing in an almost explosive way. And the character's and their relationships were honestly my favorite part of the entire series. There were so many layers between them all, and nothing was very easy to predict.

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Mara Rutherford has woven the excellent back story of a time when the safest place to be is inside, behind locked doors. Her character development shows how each individual responds to this forced confinement and even though they know it's for their own good, the resentment grows, and grows. With so many dead or dying, escape is still on the minds of the survivors.

Writing as skillfully as any painter, Rutherford has drawn the characters, the castle and the community until I have a clear visual of them all. With a cast and community this large and involved, this is no easy task. The story is excellent.

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〰️Imogen is a princess of Goslind, well, kind of. In reality her name is Seraphina, a Jewish girl who was taken from her family during the deadly and bloody mori roja plague, locked up in King Stewart’s castle, and forced to impersonate the dead princess. It doesn’t help that the king’s other daughters despise Seraphina. Plus the hatred of Jews that permeates the kingdom–many blame the plague on the Jews–makes her feel completely alone and hated. With rations dwindling and the king going mad, the illusion of safety and abundance starts to fade and some wish to leave the castle.⁣⁣⁣⁣
〰️Nico once lived a life of comfort, but now he is a grave digger that was taken in by Lord Crane during the aftermath of the plague. When a woman arrives at Lord Crane’s, all alone, Nico is sent out to see if any more survivors can be found, but soon suspects that Crane may have an ulterior motive hidden within his desire to find survivors.⁣⁣⁣⁣
〰️Nico and Seraphina soon cross paths and as they navigate the lies they have told, and the lies told to them, they find that they have a long path ahead of them if they are going to survive the plague’s aftermath.⁣⁣⁣⁣
〰️A Multitude of Dreams is a reimagining of Edger Allen Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death.. Being a fan of E.A. Poe, I was excited to see what Rutherford would do with the tale. For the most part I enjoyed A Multitude of Dreams, but there were some times that the narration dragged. The ending was fast-paced and enjoyable, it just took a lot to get there. I did enjoy Seraphina; she is a tough girl that has to face a lot of hate and obstacles all on her own. I feel like there is a phenomenal story idea here, but it all fell on its face when the concept of vampires was introduced, which put a shadow over the entire novel, slow-going or not.

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A Multitude of Dreams is a "Masque of the Red Death" retelling with a lot of Jewish elements in it. The story follows Imogen née Seraphina as she's impersonating the Princess Imogen and trapped in a castle with her "family" to hide from the mori roja. Meanwhile, gravedigger Nico is fighting his own battles outside the castle.

"Masque of the Red Death" is one of my favorite short stories, so I had hopes. Big hopes. But my hopes were dashed. I hate to say this but beyond mori roja (red death, clever right?), this story had very little in common with Poe's famous tale. I found the characters to be flat. I didn't particularly care what happened to Imogen or Nico, and I know that I was supposed to. I just...didn't. The world building didn't really make much sense and there were vampires for some reason, silly ones at that.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC. All in all, I wanted to like this book, but unfortunately, it wasn't for me.

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