Book Review: Seanan McGuire’s “Dreams and Slumbers”

Posted November 25, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

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

Book Review: Seanan McGuire’s “Dreams and Slumbers”

"Dreams and Slumbers"


Seanan McGuire

urban fantasy that was published by DAW Books on September 6, 2016 and has 82 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Home Improvement: Undead Edition, Indexing, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, Half-Off Ragnarok, Midway Relics and Dying Breeds, Games Creatures Play, The Winter Long, Sparrow Hill Road, The InCryptid Prequels, Pocket Apocalypse, Black as Blood, Blocked, White as a Raven's Wing, The Ghosts of Bourbon Street, IM, "Good Girls Go to Heaven", A Red Rose Chain, "Full of Briars", Reflections, Once Broken Faith, Shadowed Souls, Chaos Choreography, Magic For Nothing, Indigo, Every Heart a Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, The Brightest Fell, "Of Things Unknown"

A novella, 10.1, in the October Daye urban fantasy series found in the back of Once Broken Faith, 10, that usually revolves around a controversial knight of the realm. This story focuses on Arden Windermere, Queen of the Mists, and takes place directly after the conclave in Once Broken Faith.

My Take

It’s a tale with Arden thinking back over her life. The one she should have had. The one she was forced into with some back history on what happened to Nolan. And why.

We do get an epilogue of what happened after the vote about the elf-shot cure in Once Broken Faith, and I’m with Arden on what she hopes Dianda will do to Duke Michel.

The true story is Arden trying to decide if she should waken Nolan or not and the fallout that occurs with her choice. For such a short story, it’s amazingly full of characters, as McGuire introduces a new one and fills positions within her knowe.

The Story

After an eventful (and murderous) conclave, Queen Arden Windermere in the Mists is alone again. Alone with her sleeping brother, and the cure that should wake him.

The Characters

Arden Windermere, a Tuatha de Dannan, has been Queen of the Mists for the past ten months. Before, when she was in hiding, she had been Ardith Heydt, working in a bookstore. Her brother, Nolan, was elf-shot in 1932. King Gilad had been their father until he died in the 1906 earthquake. Marianne, a Coblynau, had been the children’s nursemaid. Alan owned the bookstore where Arden had worked. Madden is Arden’s seneschal and still works at the Borderlands Café where Jude is the owner. Lowri is Arden’s captain of the guards.

Sir October Daye, Knight of Lost Words and Amandine’s daughter, ruined Arden’s life. Professor Walther Davies, a Tylwyth Teg who had fled Silences, teaches chemistry at UC-Berkeley and created the cure for elf-shot. Cassandra Brown is a changeling physics major at Berkeley, an aeromancer Seer who can read the motion of air, and would like to be more than friends with Walther. She’s also one of Stacy and Mitch Brown‘s daughters. One of her sisters is Karen, the oneiromancer, who is hanging out with the Luidaeg. Jack is one of Davies’ grad students.

Dianda Lorden, Duchess of Saltmist, had been elf-shot in Once Broken Faith. Patrick is her angry, grieving husband. Tamed Lightning is a computer company owned (and a county ruled) by April, a cyber-Dryad countess.

The Luidaeg is the sea-witch and a Firstborn of Maeve who was bound to never refuse a request.

Duke Michel rules Skyfall (Idaho), and he shot Dianda. I loved the judgment he received!

Elf-shot is a poison created by Evening Winterrose. A Seneschal runs the non-household side of a knowe. The Chamberlain runs the household.

The Cover and Title

The cover for “Dreams and Slumbers” is that of Once Broken Faith with its yellow and purple background of huge redwood trees in Muir Woods, a lined path, and October in black leather jacket, low-slung jeans, and a riveted, silver buckled belt. Her long hair is streaming down her back, and Toby is holding an ornate dagger in her right hand. The author’s name is in white at the top. The title is in purple with a broken white outline at the bottom.

The title is all about Arden and her brother, their “Dreams and Slumbers”.