Cover Image: A Multitude of Dreams

A Multitude of Dreams

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Mara Rutherford is just all vibes in this book ( + plot + character). She's exceptional at worldbuilding and writing with such a specific, compelling mood. I will continue to read her books and I'm definitely going to go through her backlog.

Was this review helpful?

It's been 4 years since the bloody mori roja began, a plague that has wiped out entire towns, except in King Stuart's palace, where nobles, princesses, and servants have spent all this time locked up.

Princess Imogen of Goslind is the king's favorite daughter but lives a false life, in reality, she is not Imogen but Seraphina, a Jewish girl kidnapped to take the place of the princess, always alert in case someone discovers her secret, she wants to leave the castle and look for her family.

Nico Mott was infected and survived, he is immune and now lives as a servant in Lord Crane's manor, One day a girl appears, she was abroad and was not exposed to the plague, she is an immaculate. Crane discovers King Stuart's palace, and he sends Nico to investigate, he says he wants to help them but in reality, has dark plans.

It’s mysterious, dark, creepy, and has gothic vibes, perfect for the spooky season, It's Dual POV, and I enjoy both voices, Seraphina's chapters have an air of claustrophobia and decadence, she is witty and spunky. Nico was a sweetheart, smart and brave.

There is romance but it's not the central theme, it's more of a mystery at the beginning and action towards the end, the characters are busy solving clues and staying alive. At first, both have secrets and don't trust each other, but to achieve their goal, they must reveal themselves and work as a team.

The author's prose feels like a dark fairytale, I enjoy the suspense and how the story is built little by little, along with the characters we discover the villain and how to beat them. The beginning is slow, atmospheric, and suspenseful, it has you hooked, the last quarter is where the action starts, there are twists and turns, fights, blood, and violence. It’s a dark world, where the greatest enemy is no longer the plague, but the nightmare creatures that were born from it.

It’s a fantasy world, inspired by a Poe short story, the world feels medieval but has one element of our world, Jewish people, The author is Jewish and wanted to expose how they were treated during the black plague and other pandemics.

Read it if you want:
• Gothic aesthetic
• Hidden identity
• Haunted Castles
• Poe retelling (The Masque of the Red Death)
• Just a little of Romance
• YA fantasy stand-alone

Was this review helpful?

A Multitude of Dreams is a loose gothic fantasy retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's The Masque of the Red Death. It's upper YA, bordering on NA, has unique Jewish representation, vampiric creatures, and a dash of closed door romance. It follows a princess with a hidden identity and a nobleman turned gravedigger during a plague, both of whom are trapped in their situations in different ways. As the narrative progresses, both protagonists discover secrets & truths that lead them to rebel against their captors.

The first 60% of the book has great pacing, character development & easy writing style that is descriptive but not pretentious. I wish the world building had been fleshed out more, particularly with regards to the vampiric creatures and the plague. I'm still confused if they were separate issues or one and the same.

I was also excited to have a Jewish protagonist and give tremendous credit to the author for tackling the difficult subject of antisemitism in a YA novel. Unfortunately, it fell flat & shoehorned in with only the FL's perspective, awkward conversations, and very little actionable response from the other characters in regards to the antisemitism being described. It didn't seem to be of much significance with the story, other than to include representation. I did appreciate that the author focused mostly on Jewish perseverance rather than pain, joy & triumph rather than defeat. And this is no easy task with the YA genre.

The main relationship also felt a little rushed because we only got to know the characters separately for most of the book, with not as much on-screen time together. The relationship development felt underwhelming as a result.

Lastly, the pacing in final 30% of the book felt off. There was a long succession of twists and turns with little breathing room. Some of the events seemed redundant & could've been omitted entirely. The ending was ambiguous and unfortunately fell a little flat because of the pacing issues.

Overall, I enjoyed this retelling and give it a solid 3/5 stars. Thank you to Netgalley & the publisher for the advanced review copy of this book.

Was this review helpful?

A Multitude of Dreams by Mara Rutherford, 384 pages. Inkyard Press, 2023. $16.
Language: R (48 swears, 0 “f” + British swears); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13
After three years of hiding from the plague, Seraphina (17yo) is anxious to be able to leave the castle again, but the king isn’t so keen on popping their secure bubble. Meanwhile, Nico (19yo) is working for Lord Crane in gratitude for taking him in when he lost everything—and everyone—to the plague. In this world where everyone is starting over, Seraphina and Nico have to decide whether to be pawns or to take their lives into their own hands.
For the first half of the book, Rutherford builds a compelling tension of the unknown for readers. Through each chapter, readers can feel that something bad is happening, but they don’t know what. Each change in perspective comes at a cliffhanger placed at the perfect moment readers are desperate to return to. When the unknown becomes known, the characters focus on overcoming the obstacle, and a little of the magic was lost for me. The story ends well, but the first half was more enjoyable.
Seraphina is Jewish and is depicted as White on the cover. The mature content rating is for alcohol use and innuendo. The violence rating is for death, self-harm, gun use, murder, and blood and gore.
Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

Was this review helpful?

It took me a little while to get into this book but once I got going there was no turning back. It's my first read from this author as well. The book is centered around Seraphina a Jew who is unexpectedly taken from her family and placed in position to become Princess Imogen (daughter of the King at Eldridge Hall, a Gentile). The setting is from another time with Kings and castles. There is a black plague that has wiped out most of civilization with mythological creatures lurking in the shadows. Seraphina believes she will return to her life and longs for the day to be herself again but as other characters are introduced specifically Lord Crane and Nicodemus (Nico) Mott we learn and see fantasy vs reality. There are so many secrets and twists within in Eldrige Hall and Crane Manner. The irony, thrills, chills and suspense, will keep you zoned in until the very end. I could not get enough. I wish there was a sequel!

Was this review helpful?

This is a great read for this fall time of year. It was dark and mysterious. Overall, written well and i enjoyed the style of writing. I do think the romance subplot felt a little rushed and out of place especially near the end. Overall, i enjoyed it but didn’t blow my mind like i expected it to.

Was this review helpful?

A Multitude of Dreams by Mara Rutherford doesn't look like a complicated story. The plot is straightforward - survivors of a plague go out into the world and discover what remains of post-plague society. While not exactly a tale as old as time, it certainly is a tale told often.

Except, A Multitude of Dreams is anything but simple. In one novel, Ms. Rutherford combines themes of plague and survival, isolationism, anti-semitism, mistaken identities, fresh beginnings, coming-of-age, and vampires. It is a lot.

In fact, it is too much. Ms. Rutherford threw in so many themes and tropes that it was impossible for her to develop any of them. It is like one of those "hold my beer" memes. I feel like Ms. Rutherford was laughing to herself the entire time she was writing A Multitude of Dreams, cackling over the idea of adding vampires to themes of anti-semitism. (By the way, the two have nothing to do with one another. Vampirism doesn't discriminate!)

Moreover, she is so busy adding these plot points that character development suffers. I never clicked with either main character and didn't care whether they lived or died. Without the synopsis, I couldn't tell you their names, and I certainly cannot give you any other details about them. They were just there, our love-struck heroes, as generic as possible.

A Multitude of Dreams is a victim of its own ambition. Or, to put it another way, there is too much going on, and the individual elements suffer. There is no depth to any of the characters or the plot. The story is so ridiculous that you can either quit reading it and move on to something better or continue reading it to find out how Ms. Rutherford ties all of it together. I chose the latter and don't regret it, only because cramming that many themes and tropes into one novel is a marvel all its own.

Was this review helpful?

I’m the kingdom of Goslind there is a plague that has wiped out most of the population. The royal family has managed to survive by locking themselves in the castle. We to a dwindling food supply and a king going mad, princess Imogene worries that her secrets will come to light. Nico was once the son of a noblewoman and lived a life of relative ease before the plague, and has since been taken in by a lord as his servant so he can survive, but he starts noticing unsettling things at Crane Manor. Nico is sent to find any other survivors and encounters Imogen as they both try to unweave the secrets of the plague.

A young adult book doing vampires well. I loved seeing Imogen and Nico together and watching them play off each other in their charade but Dalia’s character felt really off to me. I don’t really get what point she served in the book. Giselle was also super confusing for me like I fully just don’t get what her motive was. Super cute though

Was this review helpful?

A Multitude of Dreams is a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death.” During the years of the Roja Mori plague, Princess Imogen and her sisters have been locked away in a castle along with their father the king and their court. Every day, they go about their business as if the plague doesn’t exist while the king slips deeper into madness and the castle’s food stores slowly deplete. Everyone in the castle might be pretending that nothing is wrong, but Imogen has a secret—she’s not who she says she is. Outside the castle walls, Nico Mott has given up his dreams of becoming a doctor to dig graves for the countless victims of the plague. After losing his family to the sickness, he’s found a new life working for a nobleman. But when a young woman passes through the lord’s manor, Nico begins to suspect there may be more to his employer that meets the eye.

Having just come out of plague years ourselves, this book’s release is well-timed. Rutherford creates an eerie atmosphere throughout the novel, starting with the nobles in their dark castle and continuing out through a country ravaged by plague. The plot is well structured and compelling, bringing the reader back and forth between Imogen and Nico until their paths eventually cross. I appreciated the details and twists that the author includes in the story—especially Imogen’s secret. It’s clear that Rutherford put a lot of care and thought into shaping this story.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book for its plot, I did have a hard time connecting with some of the characters beyond Imogen and Nico. Imogen’s sisters tended to blend together in my mind and other characters’ intentions were occasionally unclear to me in ways that didn’t feel intentional.

A Multitude of Dreams has left an impression on me. It’s been a few days since I finished it and I’m still thinking about it. While perhaps not my favorite read of the summer, I can definitely understand the hype it received prior to its release. The story is unique and the gothic vibes resonating throughout the book are very satisfying. I gave this book 3 ½ stars. With that said, I know a lot of people who would definitely give it 5 stars. If you’re looking for a story to welcome in the witching season, this could be a good choice for you.

Was this review helpful?

The bloody Mori roja plague has finally come to an end, and princess Imogen is ready to escape the castle she’s been trapped in for the last three years. But what if the mad king won’t let anyone leave? Princess Imogene must band together with her closest friends (and some new ones) to try and escape the castle and navigate a world that is far more dangerous than the one she left behind.

This is a new dark fantasy inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's The Mask of the Red Death. Rutherford was very spot on keeping with the dark academia feels that you get when reading Poe’s works. The atmosphere felt very eerie and yet very beautiful.

I loved that she went very heavily into the Jewish representation. Not just with the characters, but with the antisemitic history, of people in the Middle Ages believing that plagues came from Jewish people. Due to the dark themes and topics, there are a few graphic moments in the book. But not enough for me to feel uncomfortable classifying this read as YA.

The relationship between Princess Imogen and Nico felt young and cute. Yes, the characters and some of the story was not built with great depth and detail, but I think this kind of story didn’t really need that. If you’re looking for a fun and quick read during the spooky season, I would highly recommend you pick this one up!

Was this review helpful?

This book was a very, very, very slow start. Rutherford spends almost the entire first 50% scene setting, which makes the back half (and especially the resolution) feel rushed and incomplete. This was such an intriguing concept but unfortunately the execution was less intriguing and bordered on boring at times. I appreciate receiving an ARC from Netgalley & the publisher, I just wish it was a bit better.

Was this review helpful?

This is such a good little book for the spooky season! Great to read on a cold fall day, under the blanket and with a hot cup of tea nearby.

It has darker themes, like plagues, vampires (though they are not called that and seem more zombies or something out of Dracula than our usual vampires *shudders*) and all that inspiration from Poe, but somehow it has a cozy feeling to it. Must be the writing, which has that dark lyrical quality to it.

Told in 3rd person and dual POV, we meet "Imogen" and Nico as they face the cruelty and unknowns of a world destroyed by plague and monsters. Her, from within a castle completely isolated from the world where nothing is as it seems, him from a manor in the outside world, where he can see the death and destruction and bear the consequences of a world lost to desperation, death and famine and having to rely on the only survivors, even when they don't have their best interest at heart.

Then a bigger monster and a common enemy brings them together and they have to fight their usual problems and the new ones together (namely, vampires out to eat them and control the kingdom and what's left of the world), often being put in life or death situations.

But it had a clean ending - the big bad is gone but there's still questions and consequences that could be resolved in a future book.

You cannot read this and not think of our very won pandemic. The isolation, the unknown, the desperation, the ilness that didn't discriminate between a noble at a castle or a grave digger in a small town, everyone faces the same death risk. Yeah, not fun. But realistic, in a way.

I still felt like something was missing, I would have liked to dig deeper into these characters's personalities and relationship, they felt a little superficial. But that's most likely a me problem, as I've struggled with YA books latey in general. At least our heroine is smart, cunning and brave and can take action, she's no damsel in distress.

I did read Mara's books before and I enjoyed them, so if you want an interesting, original, well balanced story, not heavy on angst, drama or prolonged twists, give it a go. :)

*ARC received from the publisher Inkyard Press in exchange for a honest opinion. Thank you.

Was this review helpful?

A Multitude of Dreams is a standalone novel by Mara Rutherford and not only did the cover grab my attention but the summary had me picking this one up as soon as I could.

There are a number of plot lines in this book but the biggest one revolves around the bloody mori roja plague that has impacted the people of Goslind for the last few years. When it became apparent that something was wrong, the King boarded up the castle and didn't let anyone leave or enter. This is where we find Princess Imogen. She has been trapped in the castle with the court, her sisters, and her father and with her birthday coming up she wants out. Now before you think she is just a spoiled princess, I will tell you that there is a plot line here (that I won't ruin) that will prompt you to understand her motivations.

Nico is our mmc and before the plague took his family, he had motivations to become a physician. Now, he finds himself working for a man (Lord Crane) who saved him and as he starts to see cracks in the things Lord Crane does, he starts to question who he really works for and what he is being asked to do. When he is sent by Lord Crane to investigate the castle for survivors, he finds himself connecting with the Princess in a way he never expected and when things come to a head between what he and the princess want versus what Lord Crane is trying to do, Nico has to decide who he truly wants to be.

I know I've been a bit vague in parts and that is on purpose. I don't really want to ruin any bits of the story. It's important to know that the plague has changed those who have survived into something different and you'll definitely learn more as you read the book. Ultimately, I enjoyed this book. It was interesting how Rutherford layered the story and brought me along for the ride. If you're looking for a new YA to pick up, consider grabbing this one when you can.

Was this review helpful?

With constant heartache and a strictly gothic feel, A Multitude of Dreams is something out of historic nightmares.

With A Multitude of Dreams, we get dual POVs from both Nico and Seraphina. Seraphina is a Jew who was stolen from her home to impersonate the youngest princess who unfortunately passed away from the plague. On the other side, Nico is the son of a butcher who is immune to the plague ravaging their lands and finds himself becoming a gravedigger for a lord who also survived.

The story is very dark from whatever angle you look at it. It pieces together how royals and subjects alike felt during the plague era. The tale is weaved with lies, death, and harrowing situations. For me personally, the two main MCs do not meet until about 50% through the book and even though that first 50% was setting up the story I felt it was very slow-going. Once Nico and Seraphina meet though the story takes off.

In the last half of the book, I really enjoyed the constant thrills, fighting, and inter-court workings. Overall a truly unique story and the gothic themes weaved throughout were super well done.

Was this review helpful?

This book was a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed it overall, but I think I was hoping for more. The premise sounded so promising, and it started out very atmospheric and intriguing. Unfortunately, the execution in the second half of the story just didn't fully come together for me.

The story starts out strong, with underpinnings of Edgar Allen Poe's The Masque of the Red Death. There is a plague ravaging the land, and princess Imogen is sequestered in the king's castle with her sisters, the mad king, and a court of nobles. As their food supply dwindles, the castle turns into a veritable tinderbox. The king continues to insist on shows of wealth, and the nobles become less and less certain what their fate will be if they continue to be trapped within the castle walls. Imogen plots an escape, and she finds help in an unlikely ally from outside the castle.

If the story stuck to this plot and veered more toward magical realism, if there was more meat to the political maneuverings, I think it could've been extremely successful. However, the author chose to incorporate a more fantastical element into the story as a way to amp up the tension and conflict and, for me, it sort of jumped the shark. It was still interesting to read, but it took what should've been an upper YA/crossover story and brought it down more toward middle grade. Not wrong or bad, just not what I had hoped for going in.

I did appreciate the author's attempt at Jewish representation and her main character's experience of antisemitic historical views and practices, but I ultimately found this to be a bit clunky, as well. For the amount of background, positioning, and general exposition, it didn't necessarily seem to serve the story in a meaningful way. Or at least it wasn't as seamless as I would've liked to see, and the intention wasn't readily apparent to me.

Again, for a quick and easy read, I think the story serves its purpose. Perhaps the book blurb could use a rework to help readers align their expectations with the true premise. There is still plenty here to enjoy, and I certainly plan to read more of Mara Rutherford's work.

Thank you, Netgalley and the publisher, for the DRC!

Was this review helpful?

When a deadly plague strikes the kingdom, the king and nobles hide in Eldridge Hall to escape the illness. They live their lavish life barricaded in the hall and pretend that nothing changed in the outside world. Seraphina is a Jewish girl who bears a striking resemblance to the youngest daughter of the king, so when the princess dies, Seraphina is forced to go to Eldridge Hall and pretend to be Princess Imogen to make sure that the mad King doesn’t completely lose it if he learns that his precious youngest daughter died of the plague. Seraphina wants to leave the Hall and escape this life of lies, and she might get a chance to do so when she meets Nico, a plague survivor sent by his master to infiltrate the Hall.

While I like that the author wanted to include Jewish representation in her book, it was a little jarring to have Jewish people in a fantasy setting. Especially since there were no details given about belief systems or other religions in this world, besides one or two mentions of God. We just know that Seraphina is a Jewish girl and that Jewish people are living in the kingdom because it is mentioned, but it doesn’t really affect the story. The antisemitism aspect is weak and was not properly exploited if the author’s goal was to make this a focus point of the book.

Some things were just too convenient in this book. I understand that this is a YA fantasy, and not an elaborate and complex high fantasy adventure, but still… First of all, how come no one at Eldrige Hall ever gets sick, even though the servants are in contact with the outside world when they leave the Hall to go get some fresh food? Unless they don’t leave ever? In that case, how do they get a neverending supply of fresh food?

Then, to make things even less believable, vampires are introduced. Freaking vampires that for some reason are not affected by sunlight, and can do basically anything they want. At that point, it just felt like the author had too many ideas and she decided to cram every one of them into a single book.

The way the main character is introduced in the first chapter was also very confusing to me. Seraphina is referred to as Imogen before it is explained that she took the place of the dead princess so it was confusing at first. She also speaks about a “Giselle” and I had to guess that she was the third older sister, but it was never made clear until later in the book. Also, I get that she looks like the dead princess and the mad king might be fooled by her disguise, but what about the rest of the court? Can hair dye and a pretty dress really be enough to fool everyone into thinking that both girls are the same? At that point, they must be some identical twins separated at birth, because there is no way that they can fool everyone by only putting henne in her hair and teaching her how to act like the princess.

Overall, I didn’t care about the characters, they were underdeveloped and very straightforward. The dialogues were not better, and I almost rolled my eyes a few times. Nico and Seraphina were both okay (and slightly boring) characters, but when they were brought together, it felt like their relationship was just forced because the author knew that readers were expecting romance in a YA fantasy book. I didn’t feel the chemistry between them and while it was obvious from the start that there would be a romance between them, I didn’t care at all if they ended up together or no.

I started this book expecting a story with a gothic and dark vibe, but instead, I got the usual predictable YA that could have been set anywhere. There was potential here with the mix of dark plague and regency setting, but the execution was very simplistic and the overall result was rather bland. It’s as if the author wanted to tell a story about antisemitism and the Jews’ oppression during the Black Plague (I think it was the black plague..?) as well as a fantasy retelling of the plague with some very fantastical aspects and the second idea ruined the first one.

Was this review helpful?

My review in School Library Journal:

Gr 9 Up–A bloody plague known as the mori roja has ravaged Goslind and the surrounding areas in this Gothic remix of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Mask of the Red Death.” Princess Imogen’s father, King Stuart, has sheltered and literally locked the royal family and other nobles in their castle to protect themselves while others perished. Elsewhere in the land, Nico’s family has been annihilated by the plague, while he survived as one of few with immunity. Alone and without resources, Nico is taken in by Lord Crane to work in his manor as a servant in exchange for room and board. At first Nico views Crane as a savior of sorts, until he begins piecing together some things that make him suspicious. Nico and Princess Imogen’s situations connect when Crane sends Nico on an expedition to the castle, Eldridge Hall, in search of survivors. Readers discover a plot twist early on that Princess Imogen has a secret, and her character takes on a whole new persona that invokes empathy. She is actually a spirited Jewish girl named Seraphina who was snatched away from her family as a look-alike to impersonate the secretly deceased real Princess Imogen. Rutherford incorporates Jewish history into the tale via anti-Semitism that resulted in Jews being blamed for plagues, leading to the genocide of their people. Seraphina and Nico begin a slow burn romance while attempting to take on grotesque monsters both literal and figurative as the pace intensifies. Side characters Greymount and Colin are welcome additions who bring humor to the dark tone.VERDICT A creepalicious fall read incorporating horror, mystery, and a touch of romance.
Reviewed by Lisa Krok , Sep 01, 2023

Was this review helpful?

Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC of this novel. 3/5 stars.

Honestly, it's probably a 2.5 but I boosted it due to it being loosely inspired by Masque of the Red Death because I just love that short story. In a nutshell, it alternates between those stuck within a castle for the past 4 years to avoid a plague and the POV of a boy on the outside. Those on the inside live under the rule of a mad king, including Seraphima who is a Jew (which is a no-go in this anti-Semitic world) pretending to be his daughter Imogen. Nico is on the outside and is eventually tasked with going into the castle.

I loved the atmosphere of the story but everything else was just...flat. There was a weird twist relating to those wanting those who were immaculate (natural immunity to the plague versus exposed immunity) and then just the romance at the end and I just...I really did think about DNFing it so many times.

Was this review helpful?

This book was quite a bit of fun for Gothic fans! It definitely takes Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death and runs with it. If you ever thought you wished to be in that world longer, this is your book! The atmosphere of the novel is great and perfect for the upcoming fall season. It’s spooky but not too much. Vampires, plagues, creepy clocks, it’s all here!

Was this review helpful?

Mara Rutherford's A Multitude of Dreams is a gothic fantasy retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” with a bloody twist. The story alternates first person narratives between Seraphina Blum and Nicodemus Mott. The characters in this post-pandemic world of Goslind must navigate a land that’s been changed forever after a bloody plague, grapple with what’s been left behind, and consider how they can move forward.

Seraphina has been sequestered in Eldridge Hall for the past 4 years posing as Princess Imogen youngest daughter of a Mad King. She is afraid to reveal her true identity because of lifelong persecution she’s suffered due to her heritage and social class but one of her sisters is the reason she is here, and among her people. As a Jew in this world, her people were blamed for the plague that created Immaculate's, Immune's, and people who die, and came back to life.

You may call them vampires since that's what the publisher and author are pretty much making them out to be instead of zombies. Before the Mori Roya plague, Nicodemus Mott used to live a good life before the plague took everything and everyone from him. Thanks to Lord Crane, Nico, who wanted to become a doctor, is not relegated to doing anything from being a gravedigger, to a valet, to a horse groomer.

Nico and his friend Colin Chambers begin to question everything around them when a visitor who is looking for her brother at Eldridge Hall, goes missing and her horse wanders back to Crane manor. Nico suspects that things are even more twisted than he realized. Soon thereafter, he and Colin are order to Eldridge Hall to see if there are any survivors. Nico poses as the Prince from Pilmond who is supposed to be engaged to Prince Imogen.

Princess Imogen is living on borrowed time. The illusion of order is fading, and she must escape before the fast-dwindling rations run out and all hell is unleashed. Her one ally Lord Greymont has true feelings for her, and may be her hope to get out of Eldridge and see the rest of the world. When Nico runs into Imogen (Seraphina) and learns she wants to leave, he has to stall to keep them alive and away from the horrors that lie outside of the castle walls.

*Thoughts* Rutherford takes the sad historical fact of Jews being accused of causing and spreading plagues during the Middle Ages and harshly scapegoated for it whenever there was an outbreak, and uses it to create a world ravaged by the Bloody Plague, a terrible disease that has exterminated a great chunk of the population. There is still antisemitism in the world today, especially by certain members of Congress who I shall not name.

Anyway, this was more "inspired by" instead of a retelling. The story leaves a bit to be desired like the dark rooms in the original story. Even the author herself stated she was drawn to the story including the macabre ending, and yet she changes her own ending for reasons that elude me. The book takes place in a fantasy world that was very similar to Europe during the Black Plague which makes sense. I don't hate either character. I think Seraphina was more drawn out than Nico, but Nico actually spend 4 years surviving while Sera was being pampered and living with a shuttered castle.

Was this review helpful?