Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney is the first in a new series starring a boy and a blind girl who see visions of death in their dreams and work with the police to solve the revealed murders. In addition to the cool magic and solid main characters, I really enjoyed the unique cultures that are depicted throughout this story and look forward to finding out everything about their histories and traditions as the series continues. Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post!
Note: I received an advanced copy of Dreaming Death from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney (Palace of Dreams #1)
Published by Roc on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Shironne Anjir's status as a sensitive is both a gift and a curse. Her augmented senses allow her to discover and feel things others can’t, but her talents come with a price: a constant assault of emotions and sensations has left her blind. Determined to use her abilities as best she can, Shironne works tirelessly as an investigator for the Larossan army.
A member of the royal family's guard, Mikael Lee also possesses an overwhelming power—he dreams of the deaths of others, sometimes in vivid, shocking detail, and sometimes in cryptic fragments and half-remembered images.
But then a killer brings a reign of terror to the city, snuffing out his victims with an arcane and deadly blood magic. Only Shironne can sense and interpret Mikael’s dim, dark dreams of the murders. And what they find together will lead them into a nightmare...
- I’m honestly quite picky about the psychic magic that I enjoy reading about, so it was great to find some that really worked. Mikael dreams of murders as they happen, but can’t remember much about them, whereas Shironne is actually a strong psychic and can see Mikael’s dreams as they happen and remember them. Obviously both of their talents are then needed in combination to catch the killers!
- Shironne has been blind for several years and it was great to read about a blind heroine who isn’t fixed by magic, despite her skills, and has to navigate the world with her disability. There are things she has trouble doing and needs help with, but she doesn’t let that stop her.
- The romance develops slowly and still has a ways to go, but it is quite sweet and I’m happy with how is develops in this first book. I definitely believe that these two strangers have started falling for each other as they’ve gotten to know each other during this investigation.
- A lot of stories have a solitary hero and heroine that go face off against the world. Dreaming Death instead has a whole network of friends and family that comfort and support our heroes as they deal with some really gruesome murders. It was especially fun to see Shironne interact with her sister as they read a scandalous book together haha.
- As I mention above, there are several unique cultures depicted in Dreaming Death that are all forced to interact because one conquered another about 100 years ago. One lives completely underground as a defense against frequent glacial periods, which I hope we find out more about! In general it was great to encounter cultures that weren’t just the cookie-cutter fantasy tropes and it’ll be fascinating to find out more throughout the series.
- There are a lot of characters to keep track of in Dreaming Death and they all are referred to by both their first and last name and sometimes nicknames depending on the situation. This made it quite challenging to remember everyone and their roles throughout the story.
- I craved more world-building from Dreaming Death. We got to see the cultural histories and traditions, but not as many details about what this planet actually looks like and how things work outside of the city that the whole story took place in. I feel like the focus was too narrow and I hope things are expanded in later books.
Dreaming Death is a lovely start to what promises to be an epic series. I like the combination of elements of epic fantasy and psychic magic along with a blind heroine. I haven’t read Cheney’s previous series, but I clearly need to remedy that immediately!
Penguin has provided me with a copy of Dreaming Death to giveaway! As per their policies, this giveaway will be open to US addresses only, the winner has 48 hours to respond, and I’ll be checking entries so be sure to include the requested information.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney
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