Once Upon A Time Books, Jul 2019
580 pages, Kindle edition
Adult Fantasy (debut)
Provided by Authur (ARC)
I fell in love with the cover, as did so many other early readers of this book. The design and the colors are just beautiful. Maybe the artist will do t-shirts with it. If so, I will certainly buy one. Ms. Danae, are you listening? And Jesse Green, nice choice of font for the title. This cover will surely win awards. I’d give just the cover 5-stars!
And the story is right there with it. The author is known for her YA fantasy books. This is her debut adult fantasy book and it shows us that her time was well spent in the YA realm. Fortuna Sworn and her brother are the last of their kind, Nightmares. All they need do is touch the skin of someone and they can access that person’s worst fears. From there they can send that person into a nightmare loop with their worst fears that can break their minds or kill them. Fortuna tries very hard not to touch anyone’s skin in her daily life. Even an accidental touch can send her into someone’s mind, something she tries very hard to avoid. She’s working as a waitress at a local bar, but her brother Damon has disappeared and she’s been desperately trying to find him. She has no one else since their parents are dead. She keeps looking for clues. Then she’s grabbed by goblins, who really don’t know what she is but they recognize great power when they sense it. They try to sell her at the black market, but a faerie man helps her escape. Then he leaves her a mirror that shows Damon in it and offers to lead her to Damon if she will marry him. She doesn’t know who he really is, but she can’t lose a chance at saving Damon from the torture he seems to be suffering, so she agrees and goes with the faerie.
The characters develop as needed throughout the book. And the world is simply amazing. Just Fortuna’s magic is a good example of what it is like. So unique. I have never found a Nightmare in another book. Her magic has its limits, but within its limits, it is extremely powerful. She understands how to use it and has refined her use of it. Collith, her husband, had another unique power. It was a total surprise to Fortuna when he used it to save her, too. And his power was why he held the position he did with the faerie. To earn her place with the faerie, Fortuna must undergo a series of tests, which no one has ever survived. But Fortuna has decided she will face the tests and succeed. The brisk pacing and nerve-shredding tension of this book kept me reading right up to the end, both times I read it. Yes, I’ve read it twice!
And I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys fantasy books that will have you tearing at your cuticles and fingernails and drinking coffee to stay with it until the end.