I received this book for free from The Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Foolish Kingdoms #4
Published by CreateSpace on February 21, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Romance, LGBT
Source: The Author
Reading Challenges: New Release 2019, Retellings 2019
Lyrik is a rogue with skills.
In the Kingdom of Winter, he’s a swaggering potioneer who hunts for wisdom - a brew that will shake the world.
It’s the only secret he craves.
Except for the one boy he can’t have.
Nicu is a dreamer with hopes.
He’s an impish Royal who hunts for wishes - a legendary star that grants yearnings.
It’s the only mystery he desires.
Except for the one boy he can’t stand.
It’s been three years since they clashed, never wanting to see each other again. But in a land of glittering frost, they might discover something more than wisdom or wishes. Something far more exquisite - and painful.
Dream, the final installment in the Foolish Kingdoms series, is definitely one of the best books I have read so far this year (tied with Holly Black’s The Wicked King). Yet, conversely it is also the hardest book in the series to review. I have sat on this review for weeks now. I know how the book made me feel but it was so hard trying to put pen to paper (or, ya know, text to screen) and write a coherent review.
Honestly, most of my thoughts about Dream have basically been purely emotional reactions (tears – actual tears – were shed) but trying to dig deeper has been really hard. I think sometimes it’s possible to love a book so much it’s hard to be objective and cohesive without tripping over oneself!
However, I feel now I have sufficiently calmed down enough to write this review. Dream was the perfect ending to a series that has defied and exceeded each and every one of my expectations. I am sad that the series is over but I am also happy to have gone on this incredible journey with characters that have become so dear to me.
my review of dream by natalia jaster
With Dream, the story comes full circle. The very first book Trick was about a stubborn princess and the jester who steals her heart. Yet, underlying this lush love story was an even greater story of familial love. Briar and Poet found each other but it was Nicu (Poet’s young son) who really drew them together and made them a family. It feels fitting that this last book is Nicu’s story.
Nicu is now a young man and, although a prince of the Autumn Kingdom, he is often a source of scorn and derision for being a ‘born fool’. In the last book Lie, Nicu met and fell for a young potioneer named Lyrik, who ultimately broke Nicu’s heart when he left for the Winter Kingdom seemingly without a second glance.
Now, Nicu has been invited by the King of Winter to sing at a special event. What will happen when Nicu’s path once again crosses with the roguish Lyrik? Will sparks fly in this coldest of kingdoms?
Alright, I have to get this out of the way. I was hella pissed at Lyrik at the end of Lie, I can’t even tell you. So going into this, I knew he has so much to make up for. I wasn’t even sure if I could forgive him let alone whether he was deserving of Nicu’s forgiveness (no one hurts my sweet son like that!)
So… lets just say, Lyrik was always going to get a hard time from this reader. Yet, being inside his head, hearing his thoughts, knowing why he did the things he did… it made a huge difference. By the end of the first couple of chapters, Lyrik had completely stolen my heart too (that darn potioneer!)
nicu and lyrik: a scorching song
Nicu is a precious baby that deserves all the love in the world. However, so does Lyrik. I’ll admit, I was shipping these two so hard it was almost painful waiting for them to get a clue and just get over all of the baggage holding them back. When they finally did… well, scorching is the only word I can use to describe it!
I love Nicu and Lyrik. Together. Apart. They are too pure for this world and I will defend them with every breath I have in my body. I loved their connection. It was real and painful but oh so worth it. Nicu is an angel – the sweetest of boys. Lyrik is, well not an angel haha, but a feisty and clever young man who has no idea about his true worth.
the other stuff
Alright, I’m going to address one of the key elements in this book: yes this is a m/m love story. Both Nicu and Lyrik are young men. I love that this series tackles LGBT themes and it does so while weaving it beautifully into the story arc. Nicu and Lyrik might just be my favourite couple yet (and I adore Poet and Briar so that is high praise indeed).
The wasn’t just a showcase for Nicu and Lyrik’s love connection though. This book had the enormous task of tying together all the plot threads from the previous books. And it did so beautifully, let me tell you.
Nothing was left hanging, everything resolved perfectly… while still enough was left unsaid. The author allows the reader a certain sense of denouement while still leaving enough open. Maybe for future spin-off books? Maybe? Possibly? One can hope? Even if this truly is the end (which unfortunately, I think is likely) there is ample room for the reader to imagine all kinds of scenarios in their head which I think a great story ending should have.
to sum up
Overall, this series has been a fantastic journey with amazing characters who steal your heart and soul. I will never forget Briar and Poet. Jeryn and Flare. Aspen and Aire. And last, but by no means least, Nicu and Lyrik. All of these couple will remain in my heart and I know I will return to their world and their stories, many, many times.
If you haven’t read this series yet, you need to get on that. It is absolutely enthralling and magical. Seriously, one of my all-time favourites. I can’t wait to see what Natalia Jaster does next!
for more of my reviews, click the below link:
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: