Book Review: Yasmine Galenorn’s Priestess Dreaming

Posted January 9, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Yasmine Galenorn’s Priestess Dreaming

Priestess Dreaming


Yasmine Galenorn

urban fantasy that was published by Jove on September 30, 2014 and has 285 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Hexed, Witchling, Changeling, Never After, Darkling, Demon Mistress, Dragon Wytch, Bone Magic, Night Huntress, Harvest Hunting, Blood Wyne, Courting Darkness, Shaded Vision, Shadow Rising, Haunted Moon, Night Myst, Night Veil, Night Seeker, Autumn Whispers, Night Vision, Night’s End, Panther Prowling, "Flight From Hell", Flight From Death, Souljacker

Sixteenth in the Otherworld / Sisters of the Moon urban fantasy series and revolving around the D’Artigo sisters, their family, and their friends. The point-of-view is Camille’s and is set in Seattle, Washington.

My Take

Galenorn has one heck of an imagination! She starts off with Smoky not knowing he shouldn’t be bringing a live turkey home and kicks it off with Vanzir and Rozurial wanting to surprise everyone with a beautifully decorated house. If you like a theme of Crack Santa and his methed-out elves. The funny continues when they have to thwart an attack by pixies on a Christmas parade downtown. Although it does lead to some questions.

On the whole however, I found this rather ho-hum. A few funny bits and lots of foretelling — as if Galenorn wants to be sure we’ll come back; prophetic truths which include Morgaine warning Camille that they all are using her, much as she had been used so long ago. She warns Camille to know who the other players in the game truly are. The Raven Mother is awfully conciliatory to Camille, which is terrifying all by itself. Delilah feels changes occurring within herself. And Eriskel warns Camille of repercussions from what she’s doing.

There are some twisty bits that “re-think” the whole Morgaine-Arthur-Mordred legend, the “truth” about The Merlin, and a twisty mess of cause-and-effect as Galenorn slips in bits and pieces in different ways. It’ll take reading the whole story to come to an understanding of how and what is happening. I almost needed to take notes to make sense of it. Clever twists and filled with potential problems for future installments. There’s also a rare sex scene in here with Camille, Smoky, and Morio that gets rather explicit. Or, at least, more explicit than usual for Galenorn.

The niggles, they were a’many:

One of my general issues with Priestess Dreaming is how Galenorn goes over the same old ground about the war, about how awful it was when they experienced the storm. How awful their lives are, never getting a moment’s rest. We get the picture. You do NOT have to pad it out. Well, okay, maybe you do, but don’t. Please.

I can understand wanting to move that Northlands portal out of the house, but I don’t understand why, having moved it somewhere unknown, they slack off and kick back. That they’re not out there scouring the city for this death-dispensing door to the Northlands. Then again, maybe they need the rest, lol. But why not call around and get a few people to start looking? God knows they must know plenty of people through the Supe Community Action Council or at the Court of the Three Queens. No, instead it’s a chance encounter with Tanne Baum before anyone goes out looking for the rogue portal. I do like that name by the way. Cute rip on tannenbaum.

I have a hard time believing that Vanzir and Rozurial would be so stupid as to buy an unknown scroll. They may get into trouble frequently due to their chaotic natures, but I’ve never thought of them as dumb. They know that the girls have their enemies. That Svartans are rare Earthside. Why wouldn’t they check in with Camille that she really did know this witch?

Delilah and Camille are both hyper-sensitive to pixie dust, and they’re about to wade into a pixie invasion. So why don’t they consider wearing face masks?

For all the hype Galenorn throws out there about the trip to rescue the Merlin, how important it is, I can’t understand (I am overusing this word, aren’t I?) why the team doesn’t pack enough food to get there and back, why they don’t plan for bringing the Merlin back? After being asleep for 1,000 years, surely he’ll be hungry when he wakes? Heck, maybe he’ll even need his own blanket. Shocking thought, I know.

Then there’s the trip itself. Sure there are some misadventures along the way, but they seem more like they’re thrown in to make this trip “dangerous”. Then again, that encounter with Beria and her anger with Bran for skipping out on his debt does get interesting. As for Camille’s choice of dress. Oh, brother. Fine, it’s warm. But a skirt in dangerous country? Wet, dangerous country? She could still be sexy and kick-ass in leather pants. It’d be less stupid than struggling through long, wet grasses in a skirt that tangles itself between your legs and impedes your freedom of movement.

I guess there’s some logic somewhere in Delilah stripping off her outer clothes but leaving her underwear on when she’s getting ready to invade the bog creature. I wouldn’t want to get my clothes muddy either. Of course, I wouldn’t want to get my bra and panties muddy and then put my outer clothes back on over ’em either.

And Bran’s Warriors are thrilled with their new source of armor, lol.

Galenorn is an uneven writer. Some of the stories in the series are great while others should be buried deep. She does however create characters you can adore. There’s a coziness, a warmth at the D’Artigo Victorian in Seattle. It welcomes any who need help, while it welcomes those readers who want an adventurous and magickal story or simply love the idea of elves. The core characters — each are individuals with different strengths and weaknesses, and I don’t know how she keeps it all straight — have become family and will do anything to help each other. Sometimes that anything is, um, a bit off, but their hearts are in the right place.

Galenorn certainly puts an interesting twist on the world she’s created here, and she does deserve kudos for the wealth and richness of the detail she’s included.

In spite of all my whining, Priestess Dreaming is a must-read for those following the series as it explains so much and preps us for future installments.

The Story

Oopsies, someone didn’t tell Smoky it’s best if the turkey is dead before bringing it home for Thanksgiving. Smoky’s deed is eclipsed, however, by the best intentions of Vanzir and Rozurial. They should’a known better than to use some unknown spell to decorate the house. It’s fer damn sure that the D’Artigo household will be having a white Christmas. Inside.

If the girls had only known this was the fun side of their day.

The Characters

The D’Artigo household

Camille D’Artigo, the oldest, is a Dark Moon Witch, priestess in the service of the Moon Mother, and in charge of the Earthside division of the Otherworld Intelligence Agency (OIA) along with her two sisters. She holds the skin of the Black Unicorn and carries his horn whose guardian is Eriskel, a jindasel, a part of the Black Unicorn’s soul. The horn has four powers: the Lady of the Land, the Master of Winds, the Mistress of Flames, and Lord of the Depths. She’s married to Smoky (he’s known as Iampaatar in the Dragon Reaches), a half-white, half-silver dragon; Morio Kuroyama, a youkai-kitsune working death magics who is her priest as well as husband, and the mercenary, Trillian, a Dark and Charming Fae who is the alpha husband (partly due to the two of them having undergone the Eleshinar ritual). Darynal is Trillian’s blood-oath brother, and he’s lost in the Shadow Lands on a mission Queen Asteria sent him and others on in Shadow Rising, 12. Misty is Camille’s ghost kitty, last year’s Yule gift from Delilah.

Delilah, the middle child, is a two-faced Were with two shapes: werecat and panther. She’s also a Death Maiden in service to the Autumn Lord, one of the Harvestmen, an elemental lord; she reaps the souls of the dead. Arial is her twin, the one who died at birth. Her dagger is Lysanthra. Shade, a skeletal half-shadow dragon and half-Stradolan, is Delilah’s intended and a stand-in for the Autumn Lord. Delilah also works as a private investigator in her newly renamed agency, Cat’s Eye Investigations Agency.

Mennolly, the youngest, is half-fae, half-human, and full vampire married to Nerissa Shale, a were-puma of the Rainier Puma Pride who works as a victims-rights counselor for Chase. Mennolly had been a jian-tu, an extreme acrobat/spy for the OIA until she was captured by vampires and turned by Dredge. The Wayfarer is her bar which burned down in Autumn Whispers, 14. Tavah is the guardian Mennolly hired to guard the portal in its basement.

Their father died in the attack on Elqaneve in Autumn Whispers. Aunt Rythwar is still alive. Shamas is their Fae cousin who left for Otherworld after events in Shadow Rising, 12 (I think).

Iris, a Finnish house sprite, is a priestess of Undutar and friend, companion, and housekeeper to the girls. She birthed the twins, Maria and Ukkonen, a month ago and is raring to go. Bruce O’Shea, a leprechaun, is her husband, and they all live in a home in back of the D’Artigo house. Her mother-in-law, the Duchess, is visiting.

Chase Johnson is a human cop, the director of the Faerie-Human Crime Scene Investigation (FH-CSI) who was transformed by the Nectar of Life in Bone Magic, 7, and learns he has some elf in his ancestry and has become a bit psychic; he and his half-elf and half-human daughter, Astrid, are living with Iris and Bruce. His girlfriend, Sharah, a former Elfin medic, has inherited the Elqaneve throne and is trapped there, for her advisors refuse to let Chase and Astrid in OW — they’re not pure enough! Hanna helped rescue Camille from Hyto in Courting Darkness, 10, and she is now part of the family. Maggie is their baby calico woodland gargoyle. Vanzir is a dream-chaser demon who feeds on life-energy and was part of Camille’s initiation into the priestesshood. He’s working with Aeval to get his powers back. Rozurial is an incubus and a walking armory. Dez is one of the Fae guards on the portal behind the D’Artigo house.

Tanne Baum is a spell-singing Fae from the Black Forest in Germany. His family is the Hunter’s Glen Group, demon hunters, who are establishing a family base in Washington. They follow Holda, a sorcerer goddess who leads a Wild Hunt. Violet is the girlfriend the D’Artigos saved from a sex slave operation in Autumn Whispers. Liesel is a witch who created a spell to disrupt will-o’-the-wisps.

Lindsey Cartridge is the director of the Green Goddess Women’s Shelter and a High Priestess of an Earthside neo-pagan coven.

The team to rescue Merlin consists of…
Bran, Morgaine, Mordred is Morgaine’s nephew (and the girls do NOT trust him), and Arturo is the silent helper who goes everywhere with them. Camille will bring Tanne, Morio, and Delilah.

Talamh Lonrach Oll is…

…a sovereign Fae nation, a.k.a., Land of Shining Apples, Earthside, in a forest reservation in Washington state created by the Triple Threat, Camille’s name for the Three Earthside Fae Queens: Morgaine, a distant cousin to the D’Artigo girls is Queen of Dusk and Twilight who trained under Meher; Titania is Queen of Light and Morning of the Seelie (see Witchling, 1; Tam Lin, a.k.a., Tom Lane, was her lover); and, Aeval is the Queen of Shadow and Night of the Unseelie — the Court of the Three Queens.

Otherworld is…

…a generic term used by humans to refer to what the Sidhe and Fae call Y’Eírialiastar, another dimension where many of the elves, gods, and Elemental Lords, etc., all live with access through portals.

Raven Mother, a chaotic elemental, is allied with the Black Unicorn, the Black Beast, another elemental lord. Together they produced a son, Bran, the Raven Master who leads the Earthside Fae warriors and hates Camille for being the one chosen (Bone Magic). Raven Mother is jealous of Moon Mother and wants Camille to join her in Darkynwyrd. Howl is another elemental lord, a wolf spirit who rules the Katabas Wolf People, a.k.a., Wind Wolves. Ktää is his wife (see Courting Darkness). Beira, the Cailleach, is an elemental lady of winter and the mother of the bean nighe, the washer-women. She’s the original Washer at the Ford, a portent of doom. Pentangle is the Mistress of Magic, a Hag of Fate.

Derisa is the High Priestess for the Moon Mother and runs her Coterie.

Myrddin was chosen to be The Merlin, the Father Druid, High Priest to the Hunter, and he has lived longer than many of the Great Fae Lords and is from a noble line, his powers renowned even among the ancient Druids. When the War of the Great Divide ended, he was imprisoned along with the Fae Queens. The young green-and-blue dragon, Áine, was frozen into her shapeshifter form as she refused to leave The Merlin. She was priestess, consort, and partner — and foster-daughter to Aeval. Meher was the unofficial successor, 500 years later, to the imprisoned Myrddin.

Elqaneve is…
…the city where Sharah now rules after her aunt, Queen Asteria died. Trenyth Vesalya was Queen Asteria’s advisor and now advises Sharah. He’s the primary communications conduit into Otherworld for the D’Artigo sisters. The city took the brunt of the attack and has lost its infrastructure and food stores.

Y’Elestrial is the…
…girls’ hometown which is still fighting off the goblin hordes. The seers of Aladril helped to disrupt the magical storm before it got there.

Other allies of Elqaneve are…
Goldunsan which took heavy damage from the storm; Aladril; and, Ceredream which is currently overrun.

Mistletoe is one of the very few exceptions to that rule about pixies, and he’s a friend of the girls and best friends with Feddrah-Dahns, the crown prince in Dahnsburg ruled by the Dahns Unicorns.

The Svartalfheim, a.k.a., the Black and Charming Fae, are the more seductive, shadowy cousins to the elves. They used to live in the Subterranean Realms, but as Shadow Wing took over more and more, they moved back to Otherworld. King Vodox rules the Svartan. Aunt Seriana, one of the matriarchs in Trillian’s clan, the upper-crust Zanzera, hates that his father never punished him for being so un-Svartan.

Iyonah is a Svartan witch who rents a table for fortunetelling at Broom Stix, one of those iffy witch shops the girls would love to shut down. Jenny is the stepdaughter of the woman, Maddy, who owns the shop.

The Realm of the Elder Fae is…
…a dangerous place filled with powerful creatures who’d love to have you for lunch. They are the predecessors of Otherworld and Earthside Fae. Camille and Delilah encountered Yannie Fin Diver here (Courting Darkness). Ivana Krask, the Maiden of Karask, is one of the Elder Fae but lives in Seattle and has helped the girls in the past. She does have an unsavory price the girls will not pay. Will-o’-the-wisps are deadly feral Fae created from the souls of Fae who die in woods, moors or fields IF they are near a particular fungus, a.k.a., Corpse Candles, which devour a human’s life-energy or a fae’s magic. Mud men gather in food for the bog creature.

Northland creatures
The Holly King is another elemental lord and the real Santa Claus. Barbegazi are like dwarves but smaller, hardier, and meaner. Ice wolves, a.k.a., amaroks, are wolf demons hungry for human flesh. Yetis. Snow imps. Snow Fields pixies have nasty tempers.

Yvarr is an ancient and powerful wyrm, a dragon, just waking up and vicious with his desire to escape his prison. His kind are the predecessors for the dragons of the Dragon Reaches, their Titans. They are closely tied to the Great Fae Lords.

The Dragon Reaches

The Wing Liege rules in the Dragon Reaches. Vishana is Smoky’s mother and the only in-law who likes Camille.

Subterranean Realms

Shadow Wing is the Demon Lord of the Subterranean Realms battling to break through the portals and conquer Earthside and Otherworld. The girls have been battling him since the beginning. Telazhar is his general and a necromancer.

The Cover and Title

The cover is deep purples with a determined Camille in a purple and black zipper-front bustier, her frothy dark skirt, dark hair, and deep lavender magic swirling around her. The background is a depth of an enpurpled landscape of grasses and forest leading to that full moon that will affect Camille and Delilah.

All I can think of as the reason for the title is that Camille is dreaming of a day when they can live in peace. That or she’s the Priestess Dreaming the night of the battle where she loses a part of her youth.