Dreamstrider

Lindsay Smith. Roaring Brook, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-62672-042-8
Smith (Sekret and Skandal) returns with another spy-centric novel, this one set in a richly imagined fantasy world where the citizens of the Barstadt Empire pray to a godlike Dreamer for protection, while those in the Land of the Iron Winds labor to restore the long-defeated Nightmare to glory and terror. Meek and fearful Livia, once a lowly tunneler, has risen in importance because of her ability to enter a person’s dreams. Livia’s rare skill—called dreamstriding—allows her to inhabit and control the bodies and minds of unsuspecting generals and traitors while they sleep, making her the ideal spy. Her lack of self-confidence in her abilities can grate, however, in addition to endangering Livia and her mission. Smith narrates exciting scenes of espionage via dreamstriding and showdowns against the forces of Nightmare, yet the narrative drags when Livia’s self-doubts take center stage. A love triangle involving a boy of a higher station and one of questionable heritage unfolds amid Livia’s attempts to fight off Nightmare and come into her own. Ages 12–up. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/10/2015
Release date: 10/06/2015
Genre: Children's
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