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Livia is a dreamstrider. She can inhabit a subject's body while they are sleeping and, for a short time, move around in their skin. She uses her talent to work as a spy for the Barstadt Empire. But her partner, Brandt, has lately become distant, and when Marez comes to join their team from a neighboring kingdom, he offers Livia the option of a life she had never dared to imagine. Livia knows of no other dreamstriders who have survived the pull of Nightmare. So only she understands the stakes when a plot against the Empire emerges that threatens to consume both the dreaming world and the waking one with misery and rage.
Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith, is a high-concept, fantasy spy novel set in a world where dreams are the ultimate form of political intelligence.
what to do. That I could’ve asked him for a primer last night in handling myself in the field. Something unsettles me about Marez, like he sees me as an experiment for him to poke and prod. Is it better to tell the truth now that I’ve brought it up, and risk exposing something of my real identity, or tell a lie to protect myself, and risk being caught lying? Brandt shared a real nightmare of his when we infiltrated the Dreamless den last summer—it worked well enough for him then. But that wasn’t
tumblers!” Vera laughs at a nonexistent joke between them; Brandt weaves from side to side of the upstairs hall as if intoxicated. We reach the top of the stairs and cross the threshold into the northern wing of the house. “My deepest apologies.” A butler charges toward them. “Guests are not permitted in this hallway. If you wish a private room, we have made several available on the third floor—” “Nonsense, my good man. We won’t be but a minute.” Brandt stands up straight, blocking the butler
dreamstride.” Brandt swears under his breath. “Others?” He steps toward me; places a hand on my shoulder. I melt into his touch. “I didn’t know about any others.” My jaw tightens like a screw. “Because they all died. Couldn’t get back to their bodies…” I close my eyes. “And Hesse had been prepared to lose me the same way.” “No. No.” Brandt’s fingers uncurl from my shoulder and he rakes them through his hair. “How could he have done that? How could he have knowingly subjected you to that?” But
the High Priest in a flash. “When were you planning to bring those to my attention?” “Your Majesty, it’s nothing my dreamshapers can’t handle. And”—the High Priest jabs a finger in my direction—“we’d have it all under control without the dreamstrider’s meddling!” “Without the dreamstrider’s warning, you’d let Nightmare crumble the world around us. See that it is handled.” The Emperor’s voice is stretched tighter than a drumhead; gooseflesh lifts on my arms. “Y-yes, Your Majesty.” The High
sidles up to a guardsman near the gate’s mouth, overseeing the reassembly of some ludicrous black carriage the Commandant’s entourage has hauled over on one of the landing boats. When he hunches over a wheel assembly, she places one slippered foot before him; he follows her gauze-swathed tan leg up to its terminus and raises a brow at her. “The Iron Winds blow, but the Commandant is our windbreak. He shall never fall,” she purrs, and reaches out to trail her index finger from his ear down along