cover image The Lost Dreamer (The Lost Dreamer Duology #1)

The Lost Dreamer (The Lost Dreamer Duology #1)

Lizz Huerta. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-75485-1

In Huerta’s mesmerizing debut, a duology starter inspired by ancient Mesoamerican mythology, seers Indir and Saya fight for survival amid revolution in the city of Alcanzeh. Pragmatic Indir is descended from generations of Dreamers—prophet-like individuals capable of seeing beyond the Waking World and into the world of spirits in service to their king. Before the king dies, he urges Indir to keep her most recent Dreams secret from his shrewd son, Alcan, who intends to destroy the seers when he ascends the throne. Meanwhile, reserved Saya, a seer unfamiliar with Dreamer rites, travels with her controlling mother, who uses Saya’s gift for personal gain. When Indir and Saya become inexplicably linked, their lives are thrust into chaos as deception and faith collide. The narrative’s focus on the girls’ individual interpersonal relationships and internal arcs occasionally overshadows intriguing and necessary worldbuilding, which lessens the stakes and urgency. Nevertheless, Huerta weaves Mesoamerican history into the novel’s unique setting with authority. Indir and Saya’s alternating first-person perspectives ably balance intimate characterization, sprawling lore, and lush prose in a languorously paced volume. Ages 14–up. Agent: David Patterson and Aemilia Phillips, Stuart Krichevsky Literary. (Mar.)