cover image Dreams Lie Beneath

Dreams Lie Beneath

Rebecca Ross. Quill Tree, $17.99 (496p) ISBN 978-0-06-301592-0

A century ago in the realm of Azenor, the Duke of Seren’s court orchestrated his assassination. Before dying, he cast a curse, sealing his mountain fortress, populating it with “tangible nightmares,” and dooming the conspirators to dreamless immortality until they all “return as one to break the curse.” Every new moon, the curse spreads to the surrounding duchies, bringing select nightmares to life. Ambrose Madigan is nearby Heres-with’s town magician, using spells to combat whatever nocturnal horrors materialize. His daughter Clementine, 17, is poised to become his partner—until magicians Phelan and Lennox Vesper best them in a challenge, and Lennox takes Ambrose’s job. The Madigans relocate to the city of Endellion, where Clementine magically alters her appearance and finds work with an unsuspecting Phelan, whom she seeks to ruin. Reluctant attraction sparks, and Clementine realizes they are both pawns in the same dangerous game. But who is manipulating them—and to what end? An imaginative if occasionally half-baked mythology distinguishes this stand-alone fantasy from Ross (Sisters of Sword and Song). The action and stakes feel slight, but abundant intrigue, escalating romantic tension, and twisty plotting keeps readers on their toes. Most characters cue as white. Ages 14–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary. (Nov.)