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Dreams Lie Beneath

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Perfect for readers of The Hazel Wood and The Night Circus, this lush and layered story about magic and the captivating power of dreams is delivered with acclaimed author Rebecca Ross’s signature exquisite style. A curse plagues the realm of Azenor—during each new moon, magic flows from the nearby mountain and brings nightmares to life. Only magicians, who serve as territor Perfect for readers of The Hazel Wood and The Night Circus, this lush and layered story about magic and the captivating power of dreams is delivered with acclaimed author Rebecca Ross’s signature exquisite style. A curse plagues the realm of Azenor—during each new moon, magic flows from the nearby mountain and brings nightmares to life. Only magicians, who serve as territory wardens, stand between people and their worst dreams. Clementine Madigan is ready to take over as the warden of her small town, but when two magicians challenge her, she is unwittingly drawn into a century-old conflict. She seeks revenge, but as she secretly gets closer to Phelan, one of the handsome young magicians, secrets begin to rise. Clementine must unite with her rival to fight the realm’s curse, which seems to be haunting her every turn.


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Perfect for readers of The Hazel Wood and The Night Circus, this lush and layered story about magic and the captivating power of dreams is delivered with acclaimed author Rebecca Ross’s signature exquisite style. A curse plagues the realm of Azenor—during each new moon, magic flows from the nearby mountain and brings nightmares to life. Only magicians, who serve as territor Perfect for readers of The Hazel Wood and The Night Circus, this lush and layered story about magic and the captivating power of dreams is delivered with acclaimed author Rebecca Ross’s signature exquisite style. A curse plagues the realm of Azenor—during each new moon, magic flows from the nearby mountain and brings nightmares to life. Only magicians, who serve as territory wardens, stand between people and their worst dreams. Clementine Madigan is ready to take over as the warden of her small town, but when two magicians challenge her, she is unwittingly drawn into a century-old conflict. She seeks revenge, but as she secretly gets closer to Phelan, one of the handsome young magicians, secrets begin to rise. Clementine must unite with her rival to fight the realm’s curse, which seems to be haunting her every turn.

30 review for Dreams Lie Beneath

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    4.5 Stars I’m not sure I know what all was going on, but who gives a rats arse, I enjoyed it 😉😏 Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 Oh, and I’m pissed I got the Owlcrate box with this book in it. I’ve been skipping the boxes but I was interested in this book. I should have known they’d put a crappy cover. I’m going to slowly delete these book boxes that cost too much. Ok, rant over. I’m trading in this edition and getting the original cover. The end …. 4.5 Stars I’m not sure I know what all was going on, but who gives a rats arse, I enjoyed it 😉😏 Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 Oh, and I’m pissed I got the Owlcrate box with this book in it. I’ve been skipping the boxes but I was interested in this book. I should have known they’d put a crappy cover. I’m going to slowly delete these book boxes that cost too much. Ok, rant over. I’m trading in this edition and getting the original cover. The end ….

  2. 5 out of 5

    SHOMPA

    Looking at the beautiful cover of the book, as promising as it seemed to me, I did not find anything enjoyable in it. On the contrary, from beginning to end, I was confused the whole time with this poorly written story. Even the main characters were shallowly portrayed here. I put it down and picked it up multiple times, but it just never improved.

  3. 4 out of 5

    sam

    the night circus meets the cruel prince? brb i’m gonna go scream now

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brend

    Gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss, mansplain, manipulate and malewife. All portrayed in this book. A masterpiece.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Helena Paris

    I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! I can't wait to read this!!! Thank you! Thank you! :D I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! I can't wait to read this!!! Thank you! Thank you! :D

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bryn Shutt

    This book was utterly divine. So original, with its unique twits and turns, I had zero clue where the plot was going and I loved that feeling. YA books lately seem to have about two plot options and the reader's only hope is that at least the characters might be original. But this was a cut above. So evocative, so lush, so potent and raw. Ross is definitely becoming an autobuy author for me. This book was utterly divine. So original, with its unique twits and turns, I had zero clue where the plot was going and I loved that feeling. YA books lately seem to have about two plot options and the reader's only hope is that at least the characters might be original. But this was a cut above. So evocative, so lush, so potent and raw. Ross is definitely becoming an autobuy author for me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hilly ♡

    Court intrigue? The Cruel Prince kind of intrigue? I’M SO IN.

  8. 5 out of 5

    megan 💫

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! 4 stars Dreams Lie Beneath is magical and captivating, the best kind of fairytale to become enraptured with. Rebecca Ross has crafted a promising debut with whimsical writing, an intricate storyline, and phenomenal world building, some so luscious and terrifying that it captures you from the moment you first set sight on the world of Azenor. This book follows Clementine Madigan, the daughter of two talented magici Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! 4 stars Dreams Lie Beneath is magical and captivating, the best kind of fairytale to become enraptured with. Rebecca Ross has crafted a promising debut with whimsical writing, an intricate storyline, and phenomenal world building, some so luscious and terrifying that it captures you from the moment you first set sight on the world of Azenor. This book follows Clementine Madigan, the daughter of two talented magicians, as well as gifted herself, in the art of guarding humans from their own nightmares. She and her father guard their hometown of Hereswith, where on each new moon the villagers’ nightmares come to life. That is, until one new moon arrives, and along with it, two young magicians bent on challenging Clementine and her father for the role of dream warden of Hereswith. Blinded by rage and revenge, Clementine disguises herself and unites with one of the young magicians, Phelan, intent of reclaiming her home. But what she does not account for is how Phelan may be different than she first believed him to be, and that the new moon nightmares may be hiding much more sinister beneath. "But sometimes things must break before they can be made whole again, so that they can be forged into something stronger." It would be an injustice to this wondrous story to fail to mention the exquisite world building and magic system. While the premise of this novel is intriguing, it is nothing compared to what lies inside. Rebecca Ross is a master storyteller, so skilled with her words that I felt immediately enraptured from the first few chapters. The walls of my bedroom faded away, replaced by the nightmarish, yet dream-like surroundings of the world of Azenor. The magic of this realm is unlike anything I have ever read or heard about—and I can say that without a single doubt in my mind. Ross’ story is truly unique, something entirely her own, and entirely magnificent. And just as amazing, if not more so, is the plot and storyline of the book. Dreams Lie Beneath has too many twists to count, as it dances the line between a dream and a nightmare. The last quarter of this book eliminated any pre-conceived notions I held towards the story, with a twist I never could have imagined. Ross holds the same skill with her worldbuilding as with her ability to weave together words to form breathtaking lines. What appears to be a straight-forward young adult fantasy novel is really anything but, as Ross subtly adds in details that seem to be simple at first but are apart of a much bigger plot than I had guessed. She is a genius at subtle storytelling, achieving an ending that is only that much more spectacular because of it. "One does not realize how powerful a dream is, in the sleeping world as well as the waking one, until it has been stolen from them." And now, to touch upon the reason why this book was, unfortunately, not a full five stars for me. While the storytelling, world, and magic was wondrous and captivating, it was not enough to make the story a favorite for me. Objectively, this book is fantastic—well-written, masterfully told, and meticulously organized. But subjectively, I simply could not connect to the characters. This book would have a much lower rating for me if I had not been able to connect to the main character, Clementine, but luckily, she was the only character I truly liked. Clem is fierce and snarky, talented and ambitious. With similar traits to Jude from The Cruel Prince, she is an unapologetic heroine, and easily admirable to me. I don’t think she will become one of my all-time favorite female characters, but she was fantastic compared to the rest of the cast of the story. While Clementine was wonderful, the rest of the characters in the story felt a bit…well, boring. I hate to say it because I enjoyed the rest of this story so much, but it’s true. It really dampened my enjoyment throughout some parts of the book. And yes, this group of characters includes Phelan, the love interest of this book. I have a feeling that many people will absolutely love Phelan. He is a classic young adult fantasy protagonist—broody, mysterious, but adorable and sweet. As I mentioned before, I really wanted to love him, and the only reason I did not is because I felt disconnected from his character. He is objectively a very well-written character, but subjectively, he’s just not for me I suppose. Even so, I will not be surprised if he becomes very popular among readers when this book releases. While most of the characters were a miss for me, I have a feeling they will receive more development as the series continued, and I am excited to hopefully fall in love with them. "You challenged me as if you were a nightmare on a new moon." I truly cannot rave enough about Dreams Lie Beneath. Having been compared to books like The Night Circus and Sorcery of Thorns I would even go so far as to say it exceeds those stories. This book is a hidden gem, one that would be a crime to not give a chance. I promise you, you will not be disappointed. Release Date: November 2, 2021 Page Count: 496 pages Perfect for fans of: The Cruel Prince, The Night Circus, Sorcery of Thorns Representation: a sapphic relationship between two side characters Tropes: enemies to lovers, hidden identities, forced proximity, rival families (and much more)

  9. 4 out of 5

    spring ~♡

    Why isn't more people screaming over this cover!! Why isn't more people screaming over this cover!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Maye Holiday

    This was my first time receiving a book from an OwlCrate box. My mother kindly ordered me a subscription for three boxes as a Christmas present. The monetary expense, plus getting them shipped up here to Nova Scotia? You don't want to know. Is it worth it? Definitely. Dreams Lie Beneath is a beautiful book. I got an autographed copy with a blue hardcover and illustrated dust jacket, but the greatest part of all is the story in itself. Rebecca Ross seamlessly weaves together the struggles and eni This was my first time receiving a book from an OwlCrate box. My mother kindly ordered me a subscription for three boxes as a Christmas present. The monetary expense, plus getting them shipped up here to Nova Scotia? You don't want to know. Is it worth it? Definitely. Dreams Lie Beneath is a beautiful book. I got an autographed copy with a blue hardcover and illustrated dust jacket, but the greatest part of all is the story in itself. Rebecca Ross seamlessly weaves together the struggles and enigma of magicians within the world of Azenor. Clementine "Clem" Madigan is the protagonist (this name threw me off because there's a large-scale gardening chain store in this province called "Farmer Clem's", and the Clem mascot is male). Anyway, as the talented and gifted daughter of two mages, Clem has a lot of power, but when this is threatened by some possibly very dangerous opponents, Clem has to team up with an unlikely source to protect herself, her family and her hometown. What she isn't aware of is that something much darker is lurking straight ahead. Ross brings readers into a tangled web of not only fantasy, but also the sinister depths of a world doused in nightmares. Dreams Lie Beneath is often a long-winded book, with a great deal of world-building. More plot-focused than character-focused, it won't be right for every reader, but fans of dark fantasy, romantic fantasy and even the mystery genre will find elements of everything they love in this book. To the best of my knowledge, the generic version of Dreams Lie Beneath also has a pretty emerald green cover illustrated with a character on it, so every edition is a visual artwork, as well.

  11. 5 out of 5

    bookishcharli

    Be patient, be shrewd. Holy moly ME OH MY…. This book was EPIC. I loved every second. The second I started this book I just couldn’t put it down and it only took me a day to read it because I just had to keep going. My first thoughts when I read through it were “why the heck did they name their child Clementine?! Are they hoping she’ll hang out with Apple Martin and Blanket Jackson in the weird name kids club?! Madness” and then I discovered her nickname was anna Clem and I thought that was s Be patient, be shrewd. Holy moly ME OH MY…. This book was EPIC. I loved every second. The second I started this book I just couldn’t put it down and it only took me a day to read it because I just had to keep going. My first thoughts when I read through it were “why the heck did they name their child Clementine?! Are they hoping she’ll hang out with Apple Martin and Blanket Jackson in the weird name kids club?! Madness” and then I discovered her nickname was anna Clem and I thought that was super cute. I really really liked Phelan from the get go, and my gut screamed at me that Phelan and Clem should be together and live long happy lives with each other, so imagine my surprise when that new moon battle happens and I’m supposed to dislike him?! No, I just couldn’t. I wouldn’t. I was firmly in team Phelan and I wasn’t going to change my mind. I didn’t like Clem’s dad, Ambrose, from the beginning, again.. Ambrose?.. come on… some of these names really annoyed me… but I digress, good ole Ambie really pissed me off from the get go, I got a weird vibe from him and I just didn’t trust him. Mazarine, however, I trusted from the get go, mostly because everyone was telling Clem to stay away from her. Anyways, this was a lovely quick read and I loved it, I wish the names of the characters were better… a lot better… but other than that the only other thing that was kind of weird to me was how you could just stay inside and lock the doors because the nightmares couldn’t get into your house uninvited… so then what’s the point of the dream wardens?? Surely you all can just stay inside your house every new moon and be done with it? I dunno… but that and the names aside I loved every second of this book. It’s one I would happily read again. If you like books with magic, rivals, enemies to lovers then I think you'll enjoy this read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    This book exceeded all of my expectations. It was the perfect mix of fantasy, action and romance. I’m not even sure if this is my final rating— it might be bummed up to a 5-star read. If you thought the front cover was stunning, the inside is just as stunning. This is a book you definitely need to look out for! I’m finishing up my book review so hopefully it’ll be up by the end of this week so stay tuned!

  13. 4 out of 5

    ⭐Navier Empress⭐

    Not once does clementine think “Maybe i will make the best with what I have” But i suppose if she did the book would be over by page 80. I had to overlook a lot of her choices or decisions because even if they were not what I would have done, plot wise they worked. (were convenient) To put it in perspective, she's going into a situation knowing little to nothing about whom she is going against (know thine enemies.) and she could care less if she is misunderstanding the whole situation entirely, Not once does clementine think “Maybe i will make the best with what I have” But i suppose if she did the book would be over by page 80. I had to overlook a lot of her choices or decisions because even if they were not what I would have done, plot wise they worked. (were convenient) To put it in perspective, she's going into a situation knowing little to nothing about whom she is going against (know thine enemies.) and she could care less if she is misunderstanding the whole situation entirely, and yet she still gives up nearly too much considering the situation. Her motives don't match up. She tells you in the beginning of the book her way of using magic, and her overall personality is very reckless. But there is a point where its not reckless in a good way and instead takes a turn more into very stupid. I have been harsh. It's honestly not as bad as I make it out to be. Even if Clementine is a very rash decisions character, there still leaves room for some character development. living in a new environment among other things is bound to inspire some growth. It is overall enjoyable.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sanja ✵

    Rating this so low was not something I wanted, the concept sounds amazing and the cover is beautiful. But it didn’t deliver what I expected and it left so many things underdeveloped. There are spoilers in this review. What I expected was badass magicians protecting their towns from nightmares manifesting throughout the night during full moons. But then we got to the first full moon and it was extremely anticlimactic. I thought there would be multiple nightmares, but apparently just a single one ma Rating this so low was not something I wanted, the concept sounds amazing and the cover is beautiful. But it didn’t deliver what I expected and it left so many things underdeveloped. There are spoilers in this review. What I expected was badass magicians protecting their towns from nightmares manifesting throughout the night during full moons. But then we got to the first full moon and it was extremely anticlimactic. I thought there would be multiple nightmares, but apparently just a single one manifest and they defeated that one by lifting a rock. They hardly even used magic to defeat the nightmares and because the magic was so underused, the magic system was underdeveloped. There are several kinds of magic, that influence different things. But for a book about magic, it really didn’t get to play its part and I still have several questions how it works. Like, people with magic doesn’t cast shadows. Did we get an answer for why that is? I certainly don’t remember it, so at most it is described in passing. I also don’t really understand the point of the wardens. They take a remedy so they don’t dream, and therefore they have no nightmares that can manifest during the full moon. So why not let everyone take these remedies? Then there would be no nightmares at all that could pop up. I think it was explained by the remedies being to expensive for everyone or something. But why are the wardens charging for them? Do they want to risk their life? Also, when Clem and Phelan doesn’t succeed in defeating a nightmare, they simply lock themselves in their house until it passes. So you don’t even need to defeat them? Everyone can just lock themselves up for the night and it passes? So why don’t people just do that? Because Clem is definitely not the best person to send out to battle nightmares. She hesitates why too much and gets too emotional. She knows the people in the nightmares aren’t real, but still can’t “kill” them, because they look like people she knows. Even when she supposedly gets half her heart turned to stone and as a result should be way colder. And I was promised court intrigue, but there was nothing of the sort. Well, maybe the last 100 pages had some sort of subplot that could fall into that category. But definitely not enough. Clem was also supposed to take down the Vespers, but the wrote like 4 lines for an “exposé”, then she immediately gives up that plan. So that was also a huge let down. All because Phelan was better than she thought, but that romance did nothing for me and felt forced. And in the end we’re left with so many questions, but mainly; what happens to all the wardens now? The one thing this book was supposed to be about and we don’t even resolve it? I also can’t drop the names, Clementine and Phelan. Did Ross lose a dare or something? I can’t see any other reason for the name choice, there’re very unfortunate in my opinion. Another book with promise unfulfilled, think I’m going to have to create a new shelf to that…

  15. 4 out of 5

    CC

    A brilliant and creative masterpiece. Ross writes beautifully, vividly, realistically - the entire story is a DREAM. It's raw and gripping but also descriptive and lovely. A delicious treat. I related to Clem, the heroine - surprisingly, we're both rather intelligent but also can be vengeful and manipulative but at the same time rather sorry and worried and intimidated even though we pretend we're not. And I was impressed by Phelan (because honestly, I love how he is one of the few people Clem - A brilliant and creative masterpiece. Ross writes beautifully, vividly, realistically - the entire story is a DREAM. It's raw and gripping but also descriptive and lovely. A delicious treat. I related to Clem, the heroine - surprisingly, we're both rather intelligent but also can be vengeful and manipulative but at the same time rather sorry and worried and intimidated even though we pretend we're not. And I was impressed by Phelan (because honestly, I love how he is one of the few people Clem - or me for that matter - can ever look up to =). The world and setting is Victorian-inspired and DUELING MAGICIANS PEOPLE. Dreams/nightmares coming alive! I'm always in for that. :D So yeah.... I'm still trying to recover. (WHY is it that it's the most brilliant books that I have the most difficulty writing reviews for??!! o.O) So yep. Naturally a proper Review To Come! <3 I'm trying to collect all of my PostIt tags right now so I can type down my favorite quotes/moments....

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel & Lindsey

    *Thank you to the author and NetGalley for sending me an arc of this book to read!* Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars This is one of the most interesting books that I have listened to in a while. As soon as I saw that it was for fans of The Cruel Prince, I HAD to have it. The magic system is absolutely amazing and like nothing I have ever read before. It is a little complicated to get a grasp of at first, but Rebecca Ross does a great job of avoiding info dumps and overloads at all costs--Which is grea *Thank you to the author and NetGalley for sending me an arc of this book to read!* Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars This is one of the most interesting books that I have listened to in a while. As soon as I saw that it was for fans of The Cruel Prince, I HAD to have it. The magic system is absolutely amazing and like nothing I have ever read before. It is a little complicated to get a grasp of at first, but Rebecca Ross does a great job of avoiding info dumps and overloads at all costs--Which is greatly appreciated. I also enjoyed the characters and their development throughout the entire story as well. And the world-building? *chef's kiss* The only thing that is keeping me from giving it the full 5 stars is my need to re-read the book. I originally listened to it via audiobook arc and it was a computerized voice doing the reading, which made it a little difficult for me to follow sometimes. I am planning on picking the book up from my local B&N this month though so I can read it again, and I will be updating this review because I have no doubt that I will give it 5 stars! It is just a little hard for me to give it 5 stars at the moment because I had to rewind the audiobook sometimes and there was a weird disconnect between the voice and the emotions scenes were trying to convey. However, I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an action-packed fantasy with some romance in it (one bed, anyone? *wink wink*). ~rachel

  17. 5 out of 5

    Missie ☆

    5 stars, thank you to the author for sending me a copy of her book! "One does not realize how powerful a dream is, in the sleeping world as well as the waking one, until it has been stolen from them." I'm awed by this book. Full of magic and dreams, this story immediately draws you in with its beautiful writing and bewitching characters. Right from the start, I could tell this was a book to be remembered. Dreams Lie Beneath is the type of book people have been wanting to read, and fellow reade 5 stars, thank you to the author for sending me a copy of her book! "One does not realize how powerful a dream is, in the sleeping world as well as the waking one, until it has been stolen from them." I'm awed by this book. Full of magic and dreams, this story immediately draws you in with its beautiful writing and bewitching characters. Right from the start, I could tell this was a book to be remembered. Dreams Lie Beneath is the type of book people have been wanting to read, and fellow readers will fall in love with it, just as I have. This book swept me away in a world full of both dreams and nightmares. This novel had tropes I love (enemies to lovers, revenge arc, hidden identities, one bed, just to name a few) and characters I adore (A Mr. Darcy inspired love interest? He had my heart the moment he appeared on page). Truly, the small components of this book add together to make a beautiful, whole master-piece. I couldn't get enough if it, the writing, the characters, the world, the romance, and so much more. "You challenged me as if you were a nightmare on a new moon." One of the many things I admired in this book is the magic and world itself. While complex, Ross does an excellent job of dropping information subtly, and slowly everything starts to click together. The magic itself was amazing, and full of surprises I had never thought of before. I mean, what would you do if nightmares could became reality every new moon? I love the magic Ross created, and the world full of curses and power surrounding it. Clementine was an amazing main character, and I loved her fierce, independent personality. Due to events in the novel, she must give up a part of herself to get what she wants, and I was awed by her drive and determination. She's truly a character to admire. Her quick wit and strong will were apparent the entire book, even if her plans were derailed by a handsome sorcerer that's not as evil as she would have liked. "But sometimes things must break before they can be made whole again, so that they can be forged into something stronger." The mysterious plot was an added bonus to this already spectacular novel. At first, I thought this was going to be a character driven book, but then you start to realize that something sinister lies beneath the surface, and that it's not something to be ignored. The twists and turns of such a darkness were a pleasure to read, and full of surprises I didn't see coming. All together, Dreams Lie Beneath is more than the sum of its beautifully made parts. It's something new, something unique, a collection of dreaminess and mystery. Past fans of Rebecca Ross won't be disappointed by this new addition to her works, and new readers will fall in love with her wonderful skill at storytelling. "He turned my fire into smoke, my wind into dust, my light into shadows."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Some authors are so gifted that I want to weep and thank them for contributing to grace us with their work. Becca Ross is one such author. Dreams Lie Beneath is stunning in how magic is infused in every page - in how stories are connected and bigger than you could possibly imagine. Clementine is a character I could read 100 stories about. She’s bold and impulsive and clever. And the story within the story - the seven wraiths - was so well crafted and surprising. A pure delight from start to fini Some authors are so gifted that I want to weep and thank them for contributing to grace us with their work. Becca Ross is one such author. Dreams Lie Beneath is stunning in how magic is infused in every page - in how stories are connected and bigger than you could possibly imagine. Clementine is a character I could read 100 stories about. She’s bold and impulsive and clever. And the story within the story - the seven wraiths - was so well crafted and surprising. A pure delight from start to finish. A must read Fantasy of the year.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    I really enjoyed this slow but beautifully crafted story! For me, this read like a fairy tale. Which is exactly what I needed. The writing style completely captivated me from page one. I am glad I took my time with this, if only so I could sit for a few more minutes with these wonderfully weaved words that brought such a unique story to light. I came to love and care for these characters dearly. I feel like I have went on such an extravagant adventure with them. This book completely sucked me in I really enjoyed this slow but beautifully crafted story! For me, this read like a fairy tale. Which is exactly what I needed. The writing style completely captivated me from page one. I am glad I took my time with this, if only so I could sit for a few more minutes with these wonderfully weaved words that brought such a unique story to light. I came to love and care for these characters dearly. I feel like I have went on such an extravagant adventure with them. This book completely sucked me in and that’s hard for books to do these days, only because I get distracted so easily. I do wish we saw more nightmares come to life as I thought that was such a unique thing about this story, and I don’t believe I have ever read a book like this one before. I will miss being in the world, figuring out secret after secret with these characters, and just feeling everyone’s fear with what will happen next and also love for one another. Friends, if you want to sit down and slowly amerce yourself with rich writing and a story you won’t soon forget, then let me happily recommend this book to you! ”Sometimes things must break before they can be made whole again, so that they can be forged into something stronger.”

  20. 4 out of 5

    M Gregs

    I really wanted to like this book, but ultimately I ended up with a 2.5-star rating rounded down to 2. I finished this book a week ago and I'm struggling to remember the plot, which is already a red flag that this book doesn't really hold together as well as it should. From what I can remember, the book opens with a girl--Clem--and her father performing their duties as nightmare wardens for a town with some vaguely fae-sounding name (Hereswith??) where citizens' nightmares come to life on each n I really wanted to like this book, but ultimately I ended up with a 2.5-star rating rounded down to 2. I finished this book a week ago and I'm struggling to remember the plot, which is already a red flag that this book doesn't really hold together as well as it should. From what I can remember, the book opens with a girl--Clem--and her father performing their duties as nightmare wardens for a town with some vaguely fae-sounding name (Hereswith??) where citizens' nightmares come to life on each new moon. Two brothers--Phelan and Lennox--show up and challenge the father-daughter duo for the right to fight nightmares in the town, and Clem and her father lose the magicians duel and must relinquish their right to warden the town. Up until this point, this book was a solid 3-star read, edging toward a 4-star read. The problems start soon after Clem and her father leave Hereswith. They pack up and relocate to a city where Clem's mother lives, and they kind of drop in on her and live with her for a while. Meanwhile Phelan also comes back to this city and sets up his own nightmare warden business and he's looking for a partner. So Clem decides, "well, this guy disgraced me so I'm going to disgrace him by completely altering the way I look and becoming his deputy warden! Ha! That'll sure show him!" And that's what happens. Except of course Clem and Phelan start having feelings for each other-- [I feel a need to pause here to point out just how unfortunate these characters' names are. If you read the names Clem and Phelan in enough sentences, the words blur together until you end up with Phlegm, and that is how I will forever think of this ship. #teamphlegm] --and then, wouldn't you know it, all of Phelan and Clem's extended family members are actually the cause of the century-old curse that makes people's nightmares appear at the new moon. And so what started out as a neat dueling magician story ends up being a complicated mess of a fairy tale involving lots of twins, lots of backstabbing, and legitimately no f*cks given on behalf of the reader. The plot is so hopelessly complicated that I can't even explain how it ends, except to say that somehow everyone who is Bad is punished and Phlegm survives to fight another day (except, they're duke/duchess now, somehow, and also there's nothing left to fight because they supposedly broke the curse?). Anyway. Tl;dr: A book that started with a lot of promise lost its way and ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. All hail this sacrifice to the YA Fantasy gods. May its finer points be resurrected and welded someday by a nobler hand.

  21. 5 out of 5

    ☆ sana ☆

    4.5 stars. this was so good i want another book, also clem and phelan <3

  22. 5 out of 5

    C. S.

    Setting this aside for now for reasons that are probably entirely me-not-the-book. I've listened to about half an our of it, and I'm just helplessly confused. I honestly couldn't explain anything that happened. Granted I don't have a lot of brain cells to spare these days so I may try again because it's an interesting concept and I'm a sucker for a beautiful cover. Setting this aside for now for reasons that are probably entirely me-not-the-book. I've listened to about half an our of it, and I'm just helplessly confused. I honestly couldn't explain anything that happened. Granted I don't have a lot of brain cells to spare these days so I may try again because it's an interesting concept and I'm a sucker for a beautiful cover.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    yoooo that last line!!?!! this was really good. Even though the last line left me wanting another 100 pages to explain wtf just happened I love a good stand alone fantasy, that is so fresh and unexpected. I find we don’t get that enough, particularly in YA. I haven’t read The Night Circus so I can’t really speak on how good of comp this is, but before I even read the goodreads description comparing the two I thought it reminded me of The Hazel Wood, stories layered within the stories that you do yoooo that last line!!?!! this was really good. Even though the last line left me wanting another 100 pages to explain wtf just happened I love a good stand alone fantasy, that is so fresh and unexpected. I find we don’t get that enough, particularly in YA. I haven’t read The Night Circus so I can’t really speak on how good of comp this is, but before I even read the goodreads description comparing the two I thought it reminded me of The Hazel Wood, stories layered within the stories that you don’t know what’s fact or just folklore. also the enemies to lovers + magical disguise was such a good suspenseful combo!! I received the audiobook from Harper Audio via Netgalley for review

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    4.5 Stars Ok, this book surprised the hell out of me and I loved it! Our book club pick for the month of January, I had completely forgotten that I'd received this from Owl Crate - shows you how much I was invested. And I'm not going to lie, when I started the book I was confused. I didn't think I would like it, let alone really understand it (which in all honesty, I'm not 100% sure that I did lol), but I pushed through so that I could have something to talk about at book club. But then it switch 4.5 Stars Ok, this book surprised the hell out of me and I loved it! Our book club pick for the month of January, I had completely forgotten that I'd received this from Owl Crate - shows you how much I was invested. And I'm not going to lie, when I started the book I was confused. I didn't think I would like it, let alone really understand it (which in all honesty, I'm not 100% sure that I did lol), but I pushed through so that I could have something to talk about at book club. But then it switched and I could not put it down. Clem and her father are wardens of nightmares - well, Clem is still in training. Following a curse, the entire land is haunted by nightmares come to life every new moon. Wardens are tasked with recording the nightmares that townfolk have and then fighting the nightmares on the new moon. When Clem & her father lose their home to rival wardens, Clem vows revenge. But what she gets instead is finding herself smack dab in the middle of the curse in ways she never imagined. I really enjoyed Clem but also found her slightly annoying, but, I don't know, that made her more real. She wasn't perfect and she made a lot of mistakes and assumptions. Then there was Phelan, the love interest. I loved watching the two of them get together, but I knew it wasn't going to be smooth sailing based on how Clem was approaching it. But Phelan was definitely the star for me. So intriguing and then when you find out more about his family, just wow. The way that the book merges the past curse with the present was fantastic. While I wanted to see more of the nightmares come to life, I was happy with what we did see. Dreams and nightmares have always been a fascination of mine but I've never seen them portrayed this way. I'm almost sad this isn't a series because I want more but at the same time, it ended perfectly and I wouldn't want anything to ruin that.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hayden (bookish.hayden)

    Wow I really enjoyed this book! The world was so well built, the characters all felt strongly developed with motivations that made sense, and the overall writing and pacing wove everything together beautifully. CW: blood, murder, violence, injury/injury detail, death, abandonment, death of parent Clementine was a firecracker, I loved her from page one. When her life gets turned upside down she is completely and solely motivated by rage, and it's beautiful. Seeing her go undercover to enact her Wow I really enjoyed this book! The world was so well built, the characters all felt strongly developed with motivations that made sense, and the overall writing and pacing wove everything together beautifully. CW: blood, murder, violence, injury/injury detail, death, abandonment, death of parent Clementine was a firecracker, I loved her from page one. When her life gets turned upside down she is completely and solely motivated by rage, and it's beautiful. Seeing her go undercover to enact her revenge was so much fun, I loved watching her work her magic. She was a really compelling character, with a quiet but strong energy. Phelan was a very interesting character. Since this book is single POV we don't get to see his thoughts, but I loved seeing him through Clem's eyes. Watching his character unravel and become more than what we saw at the beginning made for a great story. The plot of this is very well done, simple at first but then it gradually spirals out into such a gorgeously well built and intricate world. Following along with Clem as she goes undercover and works alongside Phelan was just so captivating. The romantic storyline was so well done, it was very well written and I loved watching the two come together, the will they/won't they felt incredibly well done. I don't want to give spoilers, but the second half of the book took off with a bang and the plot shift was so interesting and well done. The world was very well built, it gradually expanded throughout the course of the story yet kept its whimsy and magic. The magic system felt fresh and new, yet was never confusing. I really enjoyed the dream based magic, I think it was interesting and well done. The pacing was lovely, and had me hooked the entire time. It was gorgeously whimsical, slow paced, and stunning. Overall I really enjoyed this. It felt new and fresh, yet had a familiar comfort to it. Rebecca Ross is incredible, her writing is top notch and if you haven't read any of her books you are truly missing out.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    *I received an arc of this book from the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review* Dreams Lie Beneath by Rebecca Ross is a spellbinding tale that will leave you completely bewitched! The realm of Azenor and the utterly beguiling Clementine Madigan will capture your heart. Perfect for fans of A Sorcery of Thorns, do yourself a favor and preorder this standalone now. Ross pulled me in right from the start with her beautiful writing. Such a unique and magical world that will stay with m *I received an arc of this book from the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review* Dreams Lie Beneath by Rebecca Ross is a spellbinding tale that will leave you completely bewitched! The realm of Azenor and the utterly beguiling Clementine Madigan will capture your heart. Perfect for fans of A Sorcery of Thorns, do yourself a favor and preorder this standalone now. Ross pulled me in right from the start with her beautiful writing. Such a unique and magical world that will stay with me. There’s a curse that plagues Azenor. During each new moon, magic flows from the mountain and brings peoples worst nightmares to life. The only thing that can stand between people and their terrible dreams are magicians, who serve as territory wardens. Clementine Madigan is a magician in training and plans to take over as warden of her small town, Hereswith, when her father, also a magician, steps down. As Clementine is preparing for her new roll, two young magicians come to challenge her for the position and she finds herself drawn into a conflict that is at least a century old. Clementine suffers a devastating loss and vengeance becomes her motivation. On her quest for revenge, she is forced to become closer to Phelan, one of those young magicians she met, and things begin to come to light that they never could have imagined. She must unite with her rival to fight the curse, which seems to be unfurling all around her. A book that I loved from start to finish, and perfect for fantasy lovers. I’m so grateful that I was able to read an early copy. Coming November 2, 2021 from Quill Tree Books.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah {The Clever Reader}

    I love me a good standalone YA Fantasy. The premise is unique which I enjoyed the most about this book. I think it'd be scary taking up the position of warden of nightmares but at the same time it'd be interesting to see what nightmares plague others. Clementine's father is the warden of her small town and over the years she's been trained to take his place. When two strangers come into town to challenge her father she does all she can to help him win. When she fails and they are forced out of t I love me a good standalone YA Fantasy. The premise is unique which I enjoyed the most about this book. I think it'd be scary taking up the position of warden of nightmares but at the same time it'd be interesting to see what nightmares plague others. Clementine's father is the warden of her small town and over the years she's been trained to take his place. When two strangers come into town to challenge her father she does all she can to help him win. When she fails and they are forced out of their home, Clem seeks to find a way to gain access to her old house to learn what the new warden is really up to. This book has adventure, romance, and betrayal. I enjoyed it and I think that most people who enjoy YA fantasy will not be disappointed in this one. The audio was well done and I definitely recommend it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    This story is EXACTLY what I've been wanting lately!! A rich and amazing world, great characters that you get invested in, and a magical back story. I really loved these characters. I love Clem and Phelan. I love Clem's family. I loved the lengths Clem was willing to go for good and love. The magic in this world was interesting. It was a little unclear on if ANYONE could learn magic, or if you had to be born with it. Or if you had to have something "special" inside to make the magic grow. That wa This story is EXACTLY what I've been wanting lately!! A rich and amazing world, great characters that you get invested in, and a magical back story. I really loved these characters. I love Clem and Phelan. I love Clem's family. I loved the lengths Clem was willing to go for good and love. The magic in this world was interesting. It was a little unclear on if ANYONE could learn magic, or if you had to be born with it. Or if you had to have something "special" inside to make the magic grow. That was a little confusing for me. I enjoyed how the storied tied together and it was intriguing with how the cards played into the story (you'll find out what I mean when you read it). There were quite the twists towards the end that I didn't catch on to until they were about to happen. I had my suspicions, but Rebecca did an AMAZING job of smoothly rolling into the plot twists. I also LOVED that the romance wasn't in your face the whole time. It was a slow burn and I actually cared about the characters and felt like they were a good match. I also loved that this was a standalone! Everything wrapped up nicely.

  29. 5 out of 5

    mia :)

    holy fuck

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kacie

    Buddy read with my friend, Freya :)

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