Cover Image: A Multitude of Dreams

A Multitude of Dreams

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and Inkyard Press for the eARC. This is an honest review.

"A Multitude of Dreams" by Mara Rutherford is a captivating blend of gothic horror, historical elements, and diverse representation, making it a must-read for fans of the genre. Set in a kingdom ravaged by the bloody mori roja plague. In response to the plague, the mad King boards up the castle and the nobles pretend that it's not happening just outside their doors. No one is supposed to mention the plague and anyone who leaves the castle is hanged for treason. The story revolves around Princess Imogen, who has been living a sheltered existence within the boarded-up castle, supposedly safe from the devastating disease. However, Imogen harbors a dangerous secret that could unravel everything as King Stuart's descent into madness continues, and the castle's resources grow scarcer by the day.

Nico Mott, once a man of nobility, lost everything to the plague. His survival owes much to the generosity of Lord Crane, but the question of whether this debt extends to his silence weighs heavily on his conscience. As Lord Crane sends Nico to search for more survivors within the castle, their paths collide with that of Princess Imogen, who yearns to break free. Together, they must navigate a web of lies they've spun and confront the nightmares lurking in the shadows.

What sets this novel apart is its masterful blending of elements. It pays homage to Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" while weaving in Jewish representation and elements of antisemitism. The result is a richly textured and deeply immersive reading experience that rings with historical context. The historical aspects add a layer of depth and authenticity to the story, making it all the more compelling and complex. Rutherford's storytelling is both chilling and enthralling, and her ability to create a sense of impending dread is truly remarkable.

In "A Multitude of Dreams," the author delivers a fascinating and diverse gothic horror novel that is sure to leave a lasting impression. This book is a captivating journey and it is a hauntingly beautiful read from start to finish. Perfect for a spooky season read.

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This book marks the second novel I’ve read from Rutherford that has centered around isolation. This one just happens to be because of the plague that swept through Goslin – the mori roja aka The Bloody Three. Rutherford was in part inspired by Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, which I haven’t read but am planning on rectifying after reading this book. Even though it is a fantasy novel it doesn’t contain much “magic” and the authors inclusion of her Jewish heritage worked really well with this medieval setting.

I was not expecting the folklore turn at all until that nursery rhyme hit. Why must nursery rhymes always have chilling vibes? There was another plot twist regarding a fate within the royal family that I didn’t see coming either.

I greatly enjoyed Princess Imogen‘s character – all the aspects of it. Nico’s character was really good as well & I loved the consideration he had for Imogen – especially the consent. Their supporting characters of Jocelyn & Colin helped build them up as well – even Nico’s treatment of Bronson.

I would like to thank Inkyard Press & NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review yet another book by Mara Rutherford – all opinions are my own.

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This is a great fall time read- grab your cozy blankets and hot cocoa!

I loved the dark fairytale vibes, as well as the Poe influences felt throughout the novel. This would be a great read for people who like their fantasy with a little bit of darkness on the side.

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A Multitude of Dreams feels like a dark and twisted version of a fairytale. This gave me chills and made my skin crawl but I was constantly eager to continue. Beautifully written.

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If Disney decided to flirt with a darker way of telling stories, Multitude of Dreams would be the result.
All the ingredients of a fairy tale are in this recipe: The damsel in distress, the king, the princesses, and a villain that will make you have nightmares. Crane is seductive and evil. His being handsome just makes the character even more frightening. I can't tell much about the plot so as not to spoil the experience of unveiling what will come to pass slowly as the story unfolds.
I highly recommend it.

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This is a perfect read for the fall season, it has all the creepy gothic horror vibes that just scream fall. I have always found Edger Allen Poe’s work very dark and creepy and that is exactly what you get with this story is it is a retelling of The Masque Of Red Death.

We get dual POV’s experiencing the bloody aftermath of a plague through our 2 main characters and it kept me on the edge of seat with its eerie suspense.

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Nico is a survivor of the plague. He has an immunity that saved him from being killed when he contracted it. Now he lives with man who saved him and other survivors. Soon after the story starts, a woman who has never been touched by the virus arrives. His master agrees to help her return to her family, but things don’t sit right with Nico after he returns. The next thing he knows, he is sent on a quest to the castle to see if there are any more surviors to help.

Princess imogen has not left the castle since the day the plague began. She wants to see the outside world again in the worst way, but the king will not let anyone leave. The king decides to have a masquerade ball for Imogen’s birthday even though the world is falling apart outside of the walls. With him falling deeper into madness and the food running low, how long can she stay in the castle before it’s too late?

I’ve loved most of the books I’ve read by Mara Rutherford, and this one didn’t miss the mark. A Multitude of Dreams is dark and macabe, but also perfect for fans of Edgar Allan Poe. This story is perfect for halloween and spooky season as well. The whole thing is enjoyable for being about something so dark.

I really liked how there was a perspective of both a survivor who had to face it while trying to survive and another who never saw the horrors beyond a wall of protection. Nico is a survivor who was trying to look out for other. He wanted to be a Dr before the plague hit. Imogen is not a spoiled, light of heart character either. She would have faced it if given the choice. Meanwhile most of the other character are more than content with how things currently are. Especially those in the castle as they have been protected from all of the outside horrors.

I’ve been a really big fan of Martha Rutherford’s work, but A Multitude of Dreams topped the rest. it was fast-paced and kept me enthralled the whole time. I can’t think of a single thing I disliked in or about this story.

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A haunting, bloody tale that leaves the reader's skin crawling and mind yearning for more. A fantastical story that would make even the most stoic of readers get goosebumps by the final page.

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The plague known as mori roja has devastated the world that Rutherford has created. There are two options that Nico Mott knows of if you catch the plague of mori roja. Death will find you in three days time, or you have immunity and watch everyone around you die. Nico is one of the few who have immunity. Luckily it seems as though the plaque is over as immaculates who have avoided the touch of the plague are beginning to show up. Hidden away in the tower of the palace is Seraphina who is an immaculate along with many other nobles to avoid the plaque. Due to her appearance she was kidnapped to replace the Princess Imogen, who was a victim of the mori roja, and is waiting to find out who survived in her Jewish community and escape from the palace where supplies to survive are dwindling. Princess Imogen is the King's favorite child, and Seraphina is looking for any chance she find to escape the lie. This book is told following the two perspectives of Nico who has seen how the plague has ravaged the land and Seraphina, who has only been able to imagine the worst. Little do they know that the nursery rhyme that children sing shows a third option that results from the mori roja and threaten what remains.

Overall, I enjoyed this read. The pacing was enough to keep me engaged and keep me on the edge of my seat. I appreciated how at the end of the book Rutherford included why she included the Jewish community in the book. It was a bit of disconnect in the beginning to understand why something in the real world was in this fantasy world, but it was established why in the end of the book and will be good to start a conversation. This gothic fantasy is perfect for the fall season.

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

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I will want to read anything inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's work, and while there were things that I enjoyed in this story, there were other elements that left a lot to be desired.

I liked how the hidden identity storylines played out, as well as the initial set-up of the plague and the king and other nobles retreating inside the castle. But that is where I started to have a lot of questions.

First, 500 people locked inside a castle for 4 years? The logistics of that alone is a little hard to imagine. There are a lot of aspects of their survival during that time that are never really explained, so it made me feel as if the reader is not supposed to think too hard on it (or else the whole central conflict just kind of falls apart),

Also... the plague leading to vampire-zombies? Cool in concept, but only okay in execution.

And finally, I appreciate the author wanting to include historical aspects of her Jewish heritage in this story, but since this is a complete fantasy setting with no semblance to the real world or real history... it felt awkward to be talking about Jews and gentiles.

The story was intriguing enough, with well done gothic elements and bloody bits to make it a good spooky read, but for me as an adult reader of YA fantasy, it was only okay.

Genre: Fantasy
Age Level: Young Adult
Content: some violence/mild gore, mild fade=to-black

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I did not read this one due to the Goodreads ratings dropping below a 4. I am screening books for our Battle of the Books list, and that is one of our criteria. I think it had a lot of promise initially, but it hasn’t held up as time went on.

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This was a wonderful YA fantasy to start off the fall season! I didn’t think Edgar Allan Poe retellings were missing from my life until I read this, and now I want more.

I really enjoyed the gothic vibe and incorporation of horror, which I think makes this book stand out. The characters themselves were pretty typical for YA, but I found them likable and was invested in their stories. Inspired by Poe’s The Masque of Red Death, the story itself was very unique and has an interesting twist I wasn’t expecting!

Overall, I would recommend for fans of YA fantasy who are looking for something just a little bit scary and creepy!

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If you enjoy fake princesses, vampires, romance and Edgar Alan Poe, this novel is for you. A gripping gothic drama, Multitude has all the hallmarks of Rutherford's unique style of storytelling.

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Looking for a creepy read for the fall? Well… you can read this one.
A plague is ravaging the land and only the isolated, immune or reborn survive. This book features a unique take on a monster. It did get a little gorey towards the end. This could be the perfect halloween read for some.
The story is told in two points of view. The first being from the perpective of an imposter princess - not of her choosing, having been stolen away from her family. The second point of view comes from a noble turned gravedigger after the loss of his family. Their stories start apart and then join together. There is some romance buried in the pages. There is some very well executed character development and the plot unfolds at a good pace.
There is much to enjoy here for many. Beware of trigger warnings; it is not a particularly happy book.
Thank you to Netgalley and Inkyard press for a e-arc of this book. The opinions expressed are honest and my own.

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Mara is slowly becoming an author where I want all her books. I love her writing style and how all her characters are developed. Before I finished this book I went out and bought it. I really loved this dark take and everything about religion in this book.

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4 Stars

A bit slow at first, but definitely worth the read! Pitched as a YA fantasy inspired by Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, A Multitude of Dreams is part horror, part dystopian, part survival story, part fairytale, all with a dash of mystery and romance. Oh. And maybe vampires *wink*

Seraphina is not really a princess. In fact, she was apparently a dead ringer for the mad king’s favorite daughter, Imogen, and was stolen from her family and Jewish community, to pose as Imogen to keep the king happy. Then a deadly plague hit and she was trapped inside the castle with the king, the princesses and all the Lords and Ladies of court as they waited out death.

Nico was the son of a gentleman, and the only surviving family member of said plague. Half starved and dying, he is saved by Lord Crane, who becomes a father figure to Nico. His unwavering loyalty to Crane is put to question when a guest mysteriously and suspiciously disappears, and it ultimately shattered when Crane requests Nico go to the mad king’s castle and see if there is anyone alive.

Once our two character meet, pieces of a puzzles start to come together and it’s a race of survival all the way through the end.

I loved the characters and how flawed and messy they were. I really appreciated the side characters and their loyalties. Overall, this story is a good reminder of actively choosing the life we want to live and the legacy we can leave behind.

A note on the romance: it’s quick and sweet and secondary to the survival plot. I love kissing and books and was not disappointed in the least! I highly recommend if you need a good palate cleanser from anything heavy on romance.

This book is PERFECT for fall and the spooky season.

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Different premise snd really interesting characters. A bit slow to start but hooked me very quickly. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book

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Trigger Warnings: plague, death, blood, racism, murder, self harm, genocide, survivors guilt

A Multitude of Dreams is a reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death. Four years ago, King Stuart gathered his royals, noblemen, and daughters and locked them into the safety of the castle walls. Every window was boarded up and every door sealed shut - all to protect those within of the horrible mori roja plague ravaging the land outside.

Told in third person, this novel follows Seraphina, a Jewish girl, who is also the (fake) Princess Imogene, and Nico, who once lived a comfortable life but now works for Lord Crane, the man who saved his life after he lost everything. When Lord Crane sends Nico and two others on the search for survivors, Nico meets a princess who wants out. But both are living in giant webs of lies and deception that they must unravel if they’re going to survive.

I wanted this title because I read The Poison Season and I really enjoyed it. So, when I saw Mara Rutherford had another YA novel coming out, I immediately put it on my TBR list. It’s also listed as Fantasy Gothic and
I was all about it and also the cover - like, I love it!

There were a few twists in here I didn’t quite see right away, which was nice. And, even some of the ones that I did see coming, I still enjoyed Rutherford’s storytelling and it kept me interested. And yes, there is some romance in this, but it wasn’t the main focus of the story - surviving and getting out of the castle was.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who’s in need of a good gothic fantasy with a hidden identity, Jewish representation, a masquerade, and the fight of survival.

*Thank you Inkyard Press and NetGalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review

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This is a fantasy story inspired by the Black Death of the middle ages. It's also unique in that there is Jewish representation, and antisemitism, in this fantasy world.

I really got sucked in at first, although the story lost steam toward the end. Still a book I'd recommend, and it fits well into the YA Fantasy / horror genre. Not too scary for a wimp like me, but impeccable vibes.

If you like stories part of the terror is characters being confined to a space (such as a castle), you'll probably love this. Rutherford captured some of the cabin-fever, trapped feeling many of us had during the Covid pandemic.

I enjoyed having a healer character (although I wish we could have seen that more), and having characters that subverted expectations. Who is good and evil isn't obvious!

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A Multitude of Dreams grabbed my attention from it's very first pages but ultimately felt forgettable by the end.

Hidden away in a castle, protected by a devastating plague, Princess Imogen works tirelessly to hide a secret. Nico, once a boy of wealth and prestige, spends his days indebted to the lord that took him in after the plague took virtually everything from him. As their stories unfold readers are plunged into a world filled with lies,death, and the supernatural.

This is the second book from this author that sadly didn't work for me. Her worlds and characters seem to follow a linear and predictable path making them feel like they land on the youngest side of the YA genre. A multitude of Dreams felt particularly jarring for my liking because the violence and romance all read a tad older but the actual bones of the story remained underdeveloped.

I think this could be a quick and easy weekend read but if your looking for something with an atmospheric and gothic vibe to usher the fall reading season in there are much better choices out there.

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